Giving compliment while dancing: yes or no?
Here 10 dance stories regarding the effect (or not) of the compliment on and out the dancefloor.
Dance Story 1: “Compliment me about my dance skill and not about my body”
I think that there is a distinction to make between the compliments that are dance/skill related and about physical appearance. Interestingly, if a guy says something like you’re pretty, nice shirt, etc, I’m not weirded out, unless it’s a just creepily delivered (and as such, it would creep me out whether I was on the dance floor, at a party, or on the bus!). Smarmy comments are smarmy, period.
Dance/skill related compliments that are heartfelt are always appreciated. Generic compliments, whether from someone far less experienced or more experienced, don’t resonate much, and seem to be more pleasant fillers in our dance time. I do my best to only give genuine compliments, and I try to resist the urge to mimic the other’s enthusiasm if they compliment me and I don’t feel as excited about their dancing as they do mine. I do appreciate and take to heart more the compliments that my regular dance buddies give me, as they can judge when I’m dancing well or not (probably better than I could tell about myself even!). So, their compliments come from a better perspective than a stranger’s do.
I like about the unspoken agreement/implied compliment of wanting to dance with one another regularly. It’s such a fun way to move around the dance floor, from one fun partner to the next! I will definitely accept that compliment any time!
If a compliment comes from somebody less skilled than me, I’d prefer to hear a compliment about the nature of our shared dance, such as: “you’re nice/fun/cool to dance with” that indicates they feel comfortable and are having fun in the dance, more so than for them to say, “you’re a good dancer” as it’s all relative!
If a compliment comes from somebody more skilled than me, I am not looking for verbal compliments, but that they are smiling somewhat & keep trying increasingly difficult moves with me…that’s affirmation enough that I’m keeping up! I feel that compliments from people more advanced than me are sometimes just pleasantries, so I don’t take them too seriously (though I appreciate the gesture & kindness!).
For compliments from my peers on the dancefloor, I think I mentioned before that a terrific compliment is to hear something like, “wow! great!” or “niiiiice,” even, “you let me mess around & try things, it’s great!”
Dance Story 2: “Yes compliment me, and yes continue complimenting me…”
I think that’s the key. If there’s an established dance relationship, then a compliment of that nature doesn’t sound so awkward. However, if that relationship doesn’t exist, a compliment of that nature has a lot of potential to come across in a way that maybe you didn’t mean.
As for the earlier question about skill-related compliments. I like compliments in general, regardless of skill level. But, if the guy is more advanced than I am and notices that I did something well–wasn’t thrown by a complex pattern or wacky hand toss, didn’t anticipate a move, threw in a nice styling element–I pay more attention to that compliment only because it means that I’m making some kind of improvement.
Dance Story 3 “I do not dare say what i think, i control my compliments”
I recently danced with a lady whose basic body movement was so powerful and exhilarating. She said she had never taken classes, but she just knew how to move; Anyway, I came really close to saying something like, “Wow, you have such a powerful, sexy style” (a very true statement), but it just didn’t sound right. Instead, I said, “Wow, you’re a beautiful dancer,” and she smiled and said “Thank you.”
Since Bachata is a SOCIAL dance, there must be some situation where one can make many more personal compliments, but that would presumably wait until the two people dancing know each other a little better.
Though I usually stick to beginners, I occasionally dance with a more experienced follower who enables me to do moves I can’t do with beginners. I sometimes compliment them: “Wow, you’re a good dancer; I can’t do that move with other followers.”
Dance Story 4: “Dance and be quiet?”
Yesterday I danced with a woman. We also danced earlier on a few occasions. She started the dance with asking: “how long have you been dancing?” After telling her, she said: “Me too, how come that you are so much better than me?” It was a really annoying flattering, but I answered something along the lines: “I just like to dance not to make comparisons.” A minute later she came with : “Finally I get a quality dance.” I muttered something like “Me, too”, etc.
It was not fun at all to try keeping up with flatteries instead of just enjoying the moment and the music. I really love if I see my partner enjoying the dance and acting like that nonverbally. I think that the best compliment is to be asked for a dance, getting smiles during the dance or/and having a hug at the end. Anything else is just annoyance.
Dance Story 5: “The Non verbal compliment more than words for me”
I am fine with receiving compliments during a dance from a lead of any level…but I agree , in general that nonverbal confirmation that it’s a quality dance weighs in much more than verbal affirmation! A smile, quick word or cheer, or the exhileration at the end of a great dance are what I thrive on. I think that I’m more comfortable receiving a compliment at the end of a dance than in the middle. Perhaps it feels like a more appropriate time to say, “thanks, that was great–you’re a delightful dancer” or something like that.
Dance Story 6: “This compliment has killed me. Then i refused a dance from him”
A couple weeks ago, I was dancing bachata with this guy when in the middle of the song, he said, “You have such a rare beauty.” I told him thank you, but it was all kinds of awkward. After the dance, he suggested that we dance a bachata later in the evening. Needless to say, it didn’t happen.
But, I do like getting (and giving) skill-related compliments. I especially like it when I’m dancing basics, only because I still consider myself in the learning phase. I once danced with a guy who was trying out some new pattern (but I didn’t know it was a new pattern), and I got it with no fumbling of the hands or lost connections or anything of the sort. He complimented my ability to react accordingly. At a later dance time (same venue, different night), with the same guy, he tried a new pattern that I really liked, and I told him that it was cool.
Dance Story 7: ” A social compliment”
I think compliments are fine if you happen to want to come out with one. With beginners, I might say a few more positive comments than with anyone else, as I generally do not like to chat so much when dancing….. but even so, sometimes I find myself nattering away to some girl, and then I would slip in a few compliments if it felt right to do so.
Mostly though, I would just say something like, “that was a nice dance, thanks,” at the end of the song.
Dance Story 8: “The best compliment for me? You are one of my preferred dancers”.
Obviously people like compliments provided they are truthful.
For dancers the best compliment bar none is to be on the list of preferred dance partners. You walk into the venue and your first 5-6 dances are with other regulars. This can seem cliquish to newbies, outsiders and visitors but its actually a form of compliment. A version of that compliment is: one doesn’t even have to ask or formally accept the dance anymore. Its just some type of visual non-verbal cue that says loud and clear “we got next”
Dance Story 9: “Encourage the beginners: compliment!”
As I am a beginner myself, the only thing I can say after having danced with an unknown woman is that is was fun for me. Every woman likes to hear that I think.
Recently I was in a club for the first time without a partner after two to three months of dancing lessons. I danced with several women. Among them was one (some years older than me) I had already danced with when I was just beginning with my lessons. After 2 songs (with most of the women that evening I only had 1 song, so this probably was already a kind of compliment) we went apart and she told me, that I had considerably improved since the last time.
This was by the far the best compliment I can imagine up to now and I even was a bit proud of myself.
More stories about social dancing and bachata dance experiences
(My) Dance Story 10: “Compliment everyone for anything but be sincere and spontaneous”
I have the chance that i have been dancing for some years now. I consider myself as a beginner forever since the dance journey is really a life journey. I dance, i progress, i dance, i progress. I had the chance to get a strong social dancing which means the chance to have danced with thousands and thousands girls at congresses, parties, workshops etc… No ego, this is not a performance at all, many dancers are also in this case.
For me complimenting is a proof of humility and common sense. I am talking about a sincere and not interested compliment. The real one, the pure one with no hidden ideas. A compliment can be offered from the heart to encourage a beginner. Or to value the evolution of a dancer. I do agree with the fact the compliment can be non verbal too. Looking at your partner with a smile and a connection is a compliment: i feel good with you and i show you with no words. I also do agree that a compliment should be first dance oriented even if as a boy you can be impressed by the beauty of the girl. This is human so let’s not go against but a minimum of education is needed on the dancefloor.
I would say that the dancing is not the right moment for a compliment. A compliment can be generated sincerely after the dance after the “thank you” to get a “thank you for…”. But i have to admit that when i say sincerely to a girl i used to dance with ‘you are so sexy dancer”, the effect is immediate and the girl is really in appreciation for this direct compliment. And believe me or not but she was really sexy and i did not have any hidden ideas with her.
I have to say that a complment can be programmed out of the party on the social network. I remember, i regularly send written compliment via private message on the social network. And i receive it too. I have to say that this is a powerful motivational tool when you know that it is sincere and if you are the giver, that you do not need any return.
As a leader in Bachata, i am able to compliment girls and boys. Ok more the girls than the boys hehe. But i can ensure you that for example right after the last congress of bachata in Poland, Bachaturo 2019 i was really happy to compliment two leaders for their great social dancing. One is from Belgium and one is from Egypt, i let you girls investigate… So i guess, a compliment can be given, taken from a girl/boy AND given to a girl/boy whatever the gender.
I am convinced that it is as important to receive a compliment as to send it. For example i have generosity for the people and myself and i feel very good when i get a compliment and i appreciate it without losing my mind.
I think a compliment whatever the object, is a powerful energy maker if it is sincere. It requires an effort, humility, recognition and gratitude. This is not offered to everyone. The good news for me is that i trained my brain to repeat the sincere compliment after dancing. Now it has become a habit and this is only by repetition that we turned the bad habits into the good ones. I recommend to compliment your dance partner at least once per party during your next 21 parties. Why 21? A habit is getting to be created after 21 repetitions. Help your brain, compliment your partners and get a great social experience on and out of the dancefloor.
Having generosity for yourself means also to be able to compliment yourself, to celebrate the dancer you are.
So, i have a question for you, do you compliment yourself?
Related article: a-simple-way-to-transform-your-bachata-dance
And what about your dance story?
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