How a Man Should Ask a Women to Dance with Him: 10 Essential Steps to Get That "Yes!"

Updated on February 2, 2017
abrodech profile image

Anya Brodech is a professional salsa, latin, swing, and ballroom dance teacher in Oakland, CA.

Asking a woman to dance with you is easier than you think!
Asking a woman to dance with you is easier than you think!

Why You Should Listen to Me

I'm a professional ballroom, salsa/latin, and swing dance teacher. Most often my new single male students will ask me this age-old question, "How do I ask a woman to dance when I'm out dancing?" Since you're here reading this, you obviously recognize the need for specific directions on how to go about doing this. I've been dancing for more than 10 years, so I have a lot of experience being asked to dance. So here I've compiled a list of 10 steps you should follow to ask a woman to dance, as well as what to do once she's said "yes".

This advice is intended for men who are asking a woman to dance with them for the first time (someone you haven't danced with before). If you on a date/friends with the person already, the process will be the same, and you can feel a little more sure about getting that "yes!"

10 Steps to Get a Woman to Dance With You

1. Get in Position
2. Say Hello
3. Ask Her to Dance
4. Wait for Her to Respond
5. Walk onto the Dance Floor
6. Find a Spot to Dance
7. Get Ready to Dance
8. Dance!
9. End with a Finale
10. Say Thank You & Walk Away

Have you gone out dancing before?

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Why Is It Important to Invite a Woman to Dance the Right Way

Asking a woman to dance is usually going to be the first time you interact with her, and like everything else in life, first impressions are pretty important.

It is important to ask a woman to dance with you the right way for several reasons:

  1. It makes you look good
  2. You'll be more likely to receive a "yes" to your offer to dance
  3. You won't come across as a jerk
  4. Other women who are looking at you will see that you're a gentleman

Sounds great, right? So won't don't more men do this?

A lot of men either a) Don't know how to ask a woman to dance or b) Are lazy, or the worst c) Don't care because they think they know better.

Get close to the woman you want to ask to dance with you
Get close to the woman you want to ask to dance with you

1. Get in Position

When you see a woman you would like to dance with standing somewhere in the room:

Make eye contact with her, if possible, and smile in a nice friendly way

  1. Calmly walk over to her so you are facing her directly
  2. Leave about 3 feet of "personal space" between you two, so she doesn't feel claustrophobic

If the woman you would like to dance with is standing in front of you, either try and get through the crowd and reposition yourself so you're facing her, or gently tap her on the shoulder so she turns around and looks at you.

2. Say Hello

Now that you're in position and face-to-face with your potential dance partner:

  1. Make sure that you have her attention, so get some eye contact happening
  2. Relax, if you're feeling nervous
  3. Smile, (like a normal person)
  4. Say "hi" or "hello"

Easy, right?!

Believe it or not, I've had more than one guy who tried to grab my hand from behind and pull me in to dance with him, which was very unsettling/confusing because I was like ahh! what's happening?! who's pulling me!!? I honestly felt like he was trying to kidnap and I felt very violated.

I've also had some guys try to talk me from behind, and I was blissfully unaware of their existence and then when I did finally notice them, they were all pissed off and offended and stormed off, and I was like "what the hell just happened.....?"

So don't be that random guy with bad/ineffective communication skills and anger issues, not a good combo, and certainly not becoming to potential dance partners.

Extend your left hand to the woman as an offer to dance
Extend your left hand to the woman as an offer to dance

3. Ask Her to Dance

Now that you've established visual contact as well as verbal:

  1. Extend your left hand, palm up (slightly above waist level) to your potential dance partner and offer her your hand.
  2. Ask her one of these phrases: "Would you like to dance?" "May I have this dance" etc.
  3. Smile/look happy as you do so

If you are in a setting with very loud music where it's hard to hear each other, then the physical offer of the hand will suffice as an invitation to dance.

4. Wait for Her to Respond

Now that you've asked your potential partner to dance, wait and see what her response is:

If she says YES:

  • She takes the hand that you offered her. Congratulations! Good for you, you got a woman to say "yes" to dancing with you! Proceed to step 5 and look excited, damn it.

If she says NO:

  1. Remain calm, cool, and collected.
  2. Do NOT get physically angry, pissed off, or annoyed or show any visible signs of distress.
  3. Brush it off, and simply say "Thank you, maybe another time."
  4. Peacefully walk away as soon as possible to avoid awkwardly lingering next to her.
  5. Find a new woman to ask to dance, preferably one not right next to her. Take some time to clear your head if you're upset. Then go back to step 1.

Remember to handle rejections gracefully, I always get a little freaked out when I turn down a guy to dance and he gets really pissed off and angry, I'm like "Dramatic much?" No way am I gonna dance with the emotionally unstable guy with anger management issues.

On the other hand, if the guy is chill about me turning him down, I'll be able to tell he's a normal, emotionally stable person, and once my feet stop hurting, or I took a much-needed trip to the bathroom, odds are, I will probably go and find him later and ask him to dance.

Long story short, don't be going around burning bridges over every woman that turns you down.

5. Walk onto the Dance Floor

Great, you've got a woman to agree to dance with you, now let's get her onto the dance floor if you're not there already.

If there is a lot of room available:

  • Use that left hand you offered to her, to slowly walk her out onto the dance floor. Walk so that she is by your left side, next to you, and keep your joined hand slightly lifted. Don't walk ahead of her so you can avoid dragging her behind you (I've had guys do that before and it did NOT feel good!)

If the place is crowded:

  • While holding her with her left hand, pull her slightly towards you, and place your right hand on the top/middle of her back (don't grab her waist, it feels too personal if it's your first time interacting), and keeping her relatively close to you, walk out onto the dance floor with her, using that hand on her back to shield her from bumping into other people. This will make her feel protected and secure, especially if the place is really crowded/busy.

If your dance partner is sitting behind a table or a booth, give her a moment or two to get out and stand up, then proceed to escort her to the dance floor using one of the above methods.

If your dance partner is sitting in a chair, offer to pull her chair out, so it's easier for her to get up.

Find a good spot to dance on the dance floor!
Find a good spot to dance on the dance floor!

6. Find a Spot to Dance

As soon as you start escorting your lady to the dance floor, IMMEDIATELY start looking for a free spot to dance. This may not be as easy as it sounds if the place is very busy.

"Good" Dance Spot Criteria:

  • Not next to the speakers/band, the music will be too loud and hurt your ears, as well as hers
  • Clean and dry. Avoid dancing where someone has spilled a drink or broken glass.
  • Middle of the room. Dancing next to a crowd of onlookers/people will make you feel cramped, and you can potentially bump into someone and knock over their drink.
  • Away from the "Crazy's:" Don't pick a spot next to the crazy people who are dancing wild and out of control and bumping into everyone around them. Your partner will not appreciate getting bumped every 30 seconds.

I really hate it when a guy picks a crap spot to dance and I end up getting bumped and jostled constantly during the song, or have my ears ringing from being right next to the speakers.

What does impress me though, is the guy who's able to find that sweet spot on the dance floor every time, no matter how many people there are or how crowded the room is.

7. Get Ready to Dance

If the song/band has not started playing yet:

  • You can use this as an opportunity to ask your dance partner what her name is, and introduce yourself. You can also ask her if she's been here before, how her evening is going, is she doing a lot of dancing tonight, if she's been to another club, etc. Keep it short so you don't wind up deep in conversation when the song begins.

If the song has started:

  1. Start by giving your partner a little one handed spin and pull her into closed position. All women like this, it adds a nice bit of flair to the beginning, regardless of your skill level.
  2. If there is a musical into that doesn't have a strong beat/you're listening for a cue to start dancing, just hold onto your partner and gently sway, so you're not standing still awkwardly waiting for the music to pick up.

Dance with your partner and have fun!
Dance with your partner and have fun!

8. Dance!

  • Dance the song with your partner, whatever dance it is you're doing. Make sure that you stay on beat, use good technique, have a strong frame, employ a variety of different dance moves, and keep her entertained for the duration of the song.
  • You don't have to talk to your partner while you are dancing. It's perfectly acceptable to simply dance and listen to the music. Your partner will not be offended that you're not deep in conversation while dancing, because a) it's hard to hear each other when you're turning and spinning and moving around, b) it's probably too hard to hear over the music, c) it's distracting.
  • You can give your partner compliments occasionally about her dancing, such as "Wow!", "Really good!" "You look great!" etc. but keep it PG and don't do anything inappropriate

9. End with a Finale

As the song ends, use it as an opportunity to do a little finale, and either dip her (if you know how to do it), or at least give her a little spin/turn out.

Most women like this, and will appreciate that you put some thought into finishing the song. You don't ever want to just suddenly stop dancing and drop your hands when the music stops/ends because that both looks and feels SUPER AWKWARD!

10. Say Thank You & Walk Away

Regardless of how the dancing was, always, always, alway say "Thank you" at the end of every song. Don't be an uncivilized pig.

Always say "thank you" and if you really liked dancing with her and sensed that she liked it too, you can add on "Save me a dance later" or "Come find me for another dance later" etc. This takes the pressure off of you and gives the woman the option to dance with you again later if she wants to. If it's getting later and/or you're leaving, tell her you'd love to dance with her again next week/next time you're there, etc.

If you're done dancing, leave her where you found her. This means, if she was sitting out on the side somewhere, walk her back to her seat, just like you walked her onto the dance floor originally. If she was already standing on the dance floor and you picked her up after she had just finished dancing another song and there are a lot of people by you, then you can just sort of smile/nod your head/give her a hug "thank you" and walk away from her. This will give her the opportunity to dance the next song with someone new right away.

  • If you BOTH really, really, really, really, really liked dancing together, you can ask her for a second dance. It is perfectly acceptable to ask a woman to dance two times in a row with you. It's up to her to say "yes" or "no." If she is popular/in-demand, she might turn you down and say that there's other guys she'd like to dance with first and that she'll find you later, which is totally fine and nothing to get upset about.
  • If she does agree to dance with you a second time, don't overdo it by asking her to dance a third time with you for several reasons: a) You might come off too strong/more interested than she is, b) Give her an opportunity to dance with other people she knows, c) Give her a break to rest/use the bathroom.
  • If you really like her, you can offer to dance with her again later or offer to buy her a drink. It all depends on the situation and whether or not you sense mutual romantic connection. If you're just going to be friends, be fair let her move on to dance with other guys.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this ten step list was both amusing and helpful to you. Guys, I hope this list helps you get a lot of "yes's" and get your dance card filled up with a lot of dances from a lot of wonderful women. Dancing is social interaction just like anything else, so it's important to have good manners and treat all of your dance partners with courtesy and respect. It's a well-known fact that men who are nice to women usually get to dance a lot more than guys who act like jerks. Anyways, share this list with your friends, guys and girls a-like, and have fun dancing!

Do you feel more confident/comfortable asking women to dance now?

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© 2016 Anya Brodech

Comments

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    • profile image

      brothaweb 

      6 months ago

      No 1 rule for you guys who don't get it...Smile, extend your hand, then ask her to dance. Don't grin like you are a crazy man. Just pleasantly smile. Don't act like you is bad but believe that you are the guy who will show her a good time. Always be cool on the dance floor. Don't watch others dancing. (It will throw you off the beat.) If you try a move, chances are the first one will be a learning experience for her to get to know your style. Just try it again. Always be cool. Don't intimidate by swooping her.

    • abrodech profile imageAUTHOR

      Anya Brodech 

      10 months ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      Hi, the reason why I suggested tapping a woman on the shoulder is to get her attention because most salsa clubs are very loud and sometimes it is hard to hear other people talking. I recommend tapping a woman gently, not grabbing her shoulder, just as a way to make contact with her in a crowded setting.

    • profile image

      Dancer 

      10 months ago

      Please do not advise men to "tap her on the shoulder"

      1. in some cultures it is considered rude

      2. some of us will freak out

      and definitely not dance with the man!

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