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The Chicago Social Dance Meetup Group Message Board › Dancing where there is not an excess of women

Dancing where there is not an excess of women

Carey Tyler S.
user 11079586
Des Plaines, IL
At the last Flat Cats Dance at willowbrook ballroom I mentioned that most places I went had more men than women. I would like to explain and give suggestions.

First, as I mentioned, for almost any recurring dance, if the weather is bad or it is a holiday weekend, there will be relatively fewer women than usual, often meaning more men than women, because women are more likely to not want to drive in bad weather or have family activities on a holiday. Other women have made this same observation to me.

Also, women are more likely to arrive late or leave early, so one strategy would be to be arrive before the dance starts, if things get to the point where there are too few men, go have dinner, then return and stay to the end. Specifically EVERY time I have been to Willowbrook and stayed to the end, by that time there were more men than available women to dance with. Usually I go home 30-90 minutes before the dance ends because there are no longer any available women to dance with. Dec 30 I had to leave early because the person I gave a ride to needed to leave, so I don't know about that time.

I have said what follows before, and I received personal attacks last time, I hope they will not be repeated.

You may have heard there is "American Style" and "International Style" ballroom dancing. There is also something called "Country and Western Freestyle" dancing, which is NOT NOT NOT the line dancing you may be familiar with. It is the same concept of a leader (man) and follower (woman) as ballroom dancing, and with many of the same rhythms, usually East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Hustle, Waltz, Nightclub Two Step and Cha-Cha. Typically they do NOT do rumba, foxtrot, mambo, samba, etc. They do also have two other rhythms: Two step (distinct from Nightclub Two Step, similar timing to American foxtrot) and Double two (similar timing to triple east coast swing), which are both traveling dances.

My personal opinion is that Country & Western freestyle dancers are not as good dancers (klutzy, especially the men) but are more friendly to beginners than most ballroom dance groups. Their classes almost always let the students have or make a video of a synopsis of everything taught to help them remember, for no extra charge.

Warning: All country western freestyle dance styles (especially two step) have the women turning or spinning a lot more than traditional ballroom. Also, most dancing is done in bars, there are only few in park districts or dance studios.

My favorite group is Swing N Country, which dances in Franklin Park on the first and 3rd fridays of most months. There is a 90 minute beginning and intermediate lesson at 7:30 and dancing from 9 to midnight. The lesson is $4 (and you can do the lesson but NOT stay for the dance) and the dance is $10 ($6 for members). They also have two dedicated lessons on Wednesdays, about 55 minutes each for beginner and intermediate at 7:30 and 8:30 respectively, each lesson is $13 ($10 members), or each monthly series for $40 ($30).

Oh, and the dance (not the lesson) is free for the first time you come.

Since last summer, a few of the wednesday lessons have vacillated (as people arrived late) between having excess women and excess men. All the others except the first two weeks of waltz had more men than women, not a lot more but a few. To help the balance, the volunteers who run the club (and don't need the lessons) will fill in as appropriate to ease any unbalance.

This month the first Friday and Wednesday lessons are west coast swing, with one of the best teachers around, and the format he anounced for lessons should mean each is independent and you need not worry about missing the first one. If you can get there tonight (sorry for the late notice), I would encourage you to do so.
Carey Tyler S.
user 11079586
Des Plaines, IL
Post #: 53
I just got back from a dance at Ballroom City, with Bob Urbon teaching mambo aka salsa. When the lesson tstarted there were about 3 extra women, but by 10 minutes into the lesson it was even (taking into account that Bob used one of the women as his partner, a woman who probably didn't need any lesson). For the dance there were probably a few extra women, but it was hard to tell, for instance on women only did slow dances. When they did a mixer, it started with one extra woman (a waterfall mixer doesn't mix if the numbers are the same), but by halfway through, there was one extra man in the mixer.

Bob will be leading a dance (and teaching( again on Jan 15, that time with a whole hour lesson.
Carey Tyler S.
user 11079586
Des Plaines, IL
Post #: 54
The last dance I went to at Ballroom city had excess men, at least one of whom left part way through the lesson. Previously I have left early because of a shortage of women. They assure me that usually there are a few extra women.
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