Ladies Dance Floor Survival Tips 101

In my last post Why You Shouldn’t Dip Your Dance Partners, there was no shortage of “whip dip” injury stories from the ladies and gratitude for sharing some thoughts on why dipping may not be such a slick idea. Now, with hopefully more gentlemen thinking twice before dipping, what happens if you get someone who doesn’t? Or gets really creepy close while dancing with you? Let’s find out.

Social dancing is an incredible release of expression and emotion. It’s fun, playful, sometimes even sexy. But sometimes it just gets downright uncomfortable and creepy. Guys, you never want to be in that latter category. The ladies just don’t like it and chances are she’ll never say “Yes” to a dance request from you again (and yes, it’s actually a request!).

Ladies, if you find yourself in an uncomfortable position, these next two tips are for you. Fellas, if you notice her doing one of these two things, please adjust course!

Tip 1: How to Avoid Getting Dipped

Have an injury, don’t trust your dance partner, or just really don’t enjoy getting dipped? Then this one’s for you ladies. But hold up a second, let’s rewind a quick moment so the guy’s know why you might not want that dip. Here’s a shortlist:

  • Does she have the technical ability to be dipped safely?
  • Do you know how to dip properly and safely?
  • Does she trust you, a stranger?
  • Is there enough space on the dance floor?
  • Are there other couples around that could hit her?
  • Does she have an injury that might flare up?
  • Is she ready to expose what’s under that really nice dress of hers?
  • Did you ASK her if it’s okay to dip her?

Now back to regularly scheduled dance floor survival programming….

It doesn’t much matter your reason – if you don’t want to be dipped, Scarlet has a simple fool proof solution she throws down anytime she finds herself with a lead her wants to, well, throw her down. Let’s take a look…

It’s dead simple. Feel a dip coming on? Step that outside leg back! Is he trying again? Step back, step back, step back. You’re now invincible from unwanted dippage.

Now what if you find yourself with a guy who doesn’t want to dip you, but is a little overexcited to pop that personal space bubble of yours?

Tip 2: What to Do When He Gets Too Close

Don’t get me wrong guys, there’s plenty of ladies who enjoy some proximity in salsa, bachata, kizomba or whatever you may be dancing. But it’s not called for all the time, and the chemistry just has to be right. If you’re not sure if you’re too close, or if you’re not sure if she’ll be OK with it, just don’t go there. Give her space. If you get some winky “come here” vibes well then game on.

Now ladies, what if he misreads your signals or is completely deaf to all body language and social signals and continues to push past your proximity comfort zone? Here’s another simple tip from Scarlet to slither your way out of discomfort.

  1. Take your left arm, place it on his shoulder and push back to create some space.
  2. Did he pull you in again? Repeat step 1 and let him know you prefer to have a little space.

Whatever you do or say the most important thing is to do it respectfully. Everyone is out to have a good time and there’s no need to rude or disrespectful. Dancing is all about communication, so do your best to be understood. If you’ve done your best and he really doesn’t get the message then you have every right to walk off the dance floor. Unfortunately it happens, but you never have to accept a dance with him again. It’s totally up to you.

What do you think?

Did you find these tips useful? Are you going to put them into practice next time you go out? Have a story to tell? Let us know in the comments below!

Enjoy this post and want to learn more? Try a sample lesson with 3x Canadian Salsa Champs Patrick and Scarlet at We make learning salsa easier.


Join the Conversation


Leave a Reply

  1. says: Mick

    I very much look forward to reading your next article “Salsa Tips: Banning Stiletto Heels”. Men could refuse to dance with partners sporting them thus saving countless puncture and gauge injuries inflicted on us by those slaves to fashion.

    Trading dips for heels girls? ?

  2. says: Guillaume

    Tip 2 can be useful for men too: I’ve already used it as a lead (some ladies have gluestick tendencies, and contrary to the ideal macho man I don’t appreciate it 100% of the time).
    As another related note, tip 2 is also useful by negative inference: don’t apply it if you want to get close to your partner. I’ve already had a beginner follow do it to me when it was nearly obvious that being close to me wasn’t the problem; in this case I explained to her the meaning of her arm positioning, and she confirmed it wasn’t her intent 🙂

    1. You’re totally right about Tip 2 Guillaume. Most of the time we think these tips are for the ladies, but there are definitely some velcro follows out there that just don’t want to peel their bodies off the boys!

      Also a great second point. Maybe we should collaborate on the next article ;)?
      A lot of beginners are less aware of their body position and signals, so that’s great you talked that it through.