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Here's the setting:

I'm at a popular nightclub, and on the main dance floor there's a girl who is dancing with her friends; they seem to be having a great time and her body language, e.g. her dance moves, I would interpret as her being comfortable with getting attention and being approached, if the guy were respectful or is a good dancer himself.

The question is:

Now, if she doesn't obviously seem to be paired off with anyone else, i.e. she may not have a "date" for the night or a significant other, how could I ask her whether she would like to dance with me?

Some context:

The music in the club is usually Top 40, R&B, Hip Hop, and electronic.

Motivation for the question:

I've seen mostly aggressive and creepy approaches - in particular, drunk guys just going up to girls and dancing right behind them, aka "grinding", and often initiating unwanted physical contact, e.g. putting their hands around a woman's waist.

So, I'm wondering whether there's a better and more respectful way of asking a girl to dance.

Some obvious difficulties:

The music is loud, and the dance floor is crowded with people, on a busy night.

36

I happen to be a girl, so I'm writing the answer below based on what I liked in the approaches that worked for me and what I observed in the other ones.

The key here is respect.

As the other answers said, approach the girl from the front, not invading her personal space. Make eye contact with her, refrain from scanning her body or other plainly sexual attitudes. Enjoy the moment of dancing with her. Your face and body language should tell "I'm here to have fun and dance, do you want to do it with me?" and not, like the guys you mentioned, "You look like a fine piece of meat, I want to have sex with you so let's jump at that part".

I think that the first contact between the two of you should be nonverbal: at first just let the girl see you and make up her mind about you. If she rejects you after this approach (for example she turns her back or dances away), do not insist too much: trying another time to dance with her (always in a respectful manner etc) it's OK, if you didn't understand well what her message for you was, but no more than that.

It's also important to accept the rejection in a good way: she's only telling you that she's OK in dancing by herself and NOT expressing a judgment on your person. I'm telling this because there are lots of guys in clubs who act offended if the girl rejects them, as if it was their right to dance with them.

If she communicates with her body language that she's ok to dance with you, you can start a conversation with her about whatever topic you want.


Since the OP is asking for some perspective from the POV of a girl, I'll give mine more specifically here. Just personal view here.

I didn't like much when the approach of a guy in a club was verbal. It boils down on either asking the girl to dance with him or telling something unrelated to it. I didn't like the question because it didn't give me the time to make up an opinion about the guy (OK, more a feeling than a proper opinion), who entered my visual field a second before. I didn't like the other option either because I felt like the guy was awkwardly beating around the bush. Moreover, the dancefloor is not the best place to have a talk, where you have to scream for everything so saying "DO YOU LIKE VIRGINIA WOOLF?" may not be the best move.

If we're on a dancefloor, well, let's dance. If we have fun dancing together, we could enjoy a drink together, or we could just keep dancing and that would be great as well.

  • 12
    "I'm here to have fun and dance, do you want to do it with me?" is a fairly complicated concept to communicate with body language - I think this answer would benefit from specific examples of body language that communicates that – LeBleu Jan 31 '18 at 20:26
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    @LeBleu I think the key, as is mentioned, is eye contact. If she reciprocates it and maintains it (though not for an awkward amount of time), it’s safe to get closer to dance “with” her. I like this answer because it stresses being non-verbal in a respectful way. While saying something is fine, I’m far more impressed by someone being able to pick up on non-verbal queues accurately. – user1997744 Jan 31 '18 at 22:20
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    "I'm telling this because there are lots of guys in clubs who act offended if the girl rejects them, as if it was their right to dance with them." How do you know this suggests the guy believes it's their right to dance with them? Perhaps he's offended because not wanting to dance with someone is evidence that you find them to not be of sufficiently high value or appeal. Note: I'm not saying acting offended is a nice thing to do in this context. I'm pointing out that you're making assumptions about other people's psychology that aren't necessarily warranted (and seem ideological in nature). – goblin Feb 1 '18 at 9:45
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    @LinuxBlanket How do you avoid having a "creepy" or "awkward" facial expression? Unless you are a master level manipulator, you'll have a fairly difficult time being consciously aware of what your facial expression at any given time is, let alone control it in such a manner that other people perceive it the way you want them to. – Cubic Feb 1 '18 at 11:38
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    @barbecue This took me a large part of my life to realize, but when people label a guy "creepy", it's rarely because of specific physical flaws, even if they say or think that it is when explaining it. It's almost always about how that person's mannerisms make the person feel. I can't really give this topic justice in SE's comments, and I know how hard it is for those of us who aren't "naturals" at body-language/facial-expression-language to figure out what all those subtleties of behavior are that cause it, especially because the naturals suck at explaining it. But it is learnable. – mtraceur Feb 1 '18 at 19:06
11

Approach from the front (don't sneak up behind her), make eye contact, smile and simply ask "want to dance?" - In short: look at how these other guys are doing it, and try to do the opposite.

Then, as @雰囲気読めない人 has said, dance separately to begin with, to demonstrate you're respecting her personal space and clearly setting yourself apart from the rampant grind machines they are very likely used to.

If she declines, smile and bid her a good evening then dance on your own a bit.

Main thing to remember is that women are hit on in clubs very frequently, but seldom receive transparency or respect to their wishes and personal space... So tick all 3 and you're well ahead of the crowd.

Have fun and good luck!

9

There are lots of things you can do. Personally, I would recommend not doing something very typical e.g. "Hey, wanna dance with me?", it's a club, not a prom.

Before approaching her

First thing you will need to do is inform her of your presence. Try to have eye contact to her, with a slight smile. Once that's done many scenarios can happen.

- You and her will keep having eye contacts with each other.

This most probably means that she is interested in you. After a couple of eye contacts, you can approach her. Having too many eye contacts is simply risky, because time passes. She may leave or get asked by another guy. That's the reason you need to be efficient. Enough eye contact(s) for her to know your presence and you get an idea of her mood but not too many and risking of losing her. By having some looks with each other before you come close to her, she will feel comfortable, secure and somewhat familiar with you, instead of you going unexpectedly or randomly to her.

- She never looks at you again

Although not certain, she is probably not very interested. Of course, you have nothing to lose if you still approach her.

Depending on her look during your eye contact(s), you will get lots of insight. Sometimes it will be deadly obvious that she wants you to go talk to her. Try to decrypt her face look and prepare accordingly.

Approaching her

This is the hard part. Even if you both had multiple eye contacts, you can still ruin everything if you do this wrong way. Since you are in a night club and the sound is strong, you need to keep the talk low. Comparing to a pub setting, you can't invest much in talking. Of course you will talk -and it will be important what/how you say- but not too much.

Again, this is a dance club and she is dancing. You will need to be in a dance mood also. Approach her by looking only her and extent your arm nicely with a smiley face without saying anything. You just asked her to dance with you. If she gives you her arm (YEEIII!!), pull her gently and nicely out of her friends circle and go a little bit further to dance (not too far away, that would be creepy, just 1-2 meters - she needs to feel she is safe close to her friends). You have started dancing with her! Of course, how you dance is up to you. Assuming she enjoys dancing with you, you can then try to touch her in a nice way i.e. placing your arms in her waist, be gentleman and respectful. Enjoy the night! ;)

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – John Feb 5 '18 at 1:38
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Do you have to ask her? If the dance floor is crowded just dance somewhere near her, make eye contact, and dance "with" her. If she is interested then she will look in your direction. And if not then she will ignore you or maybe move away. You will get your answer without asking.

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    Yea this seems like the most natural approach from my experiences. Just be dancing near by and trying to make eye contact, if they start moving with you and looking at you consistently, congrats, you're now "dancing together". The ask part is probably after a song or two and it'll be "wanna grab a drink?" Then proper introductions, "have you been here before?" etc. – coblr Jan 31 '18 at 20:55
4

A lot of the other answers are very goal oriented. This sort of thing never worked for me in a club atmosphere.

I suggest instead to focus on enjoying your own dancing, and enjoying yourself either with or without the friends you came with. The nature of dance floors is such that people who are enjoying themselves dance with not just their group, but with the entire dance floor. Try to be in her proximity - preferably somewhere visible to her.

After 10 or 15 minutes (or more, enjoy yourself!) you can try to integrate with her and her dancing friends. If they accept you, great! If not, move along, and continue to enjoy dancing. Maybe repeat it every 10 or 15 minutes.

What if you don't enjoy dancing for 20 or 30 minutes? I suggest that if this is the case, meeting on the dance floor isn't the right way to go about it.

Anyhoo, after a while and a bunch of drinks, her and her friends will realize that you're not creepy and somewhat respectful. And if that's what they are interested in* and you've got some decent dance moves, you should be able to meet someone nice.

*(some women like creeps, doesn't mean you should act that way though)

1

A bold but respectful and classic way would be to wait, paradoxically, until she doesn't dance, and then find a good moment to approach her spot at the bar or table and simply ask her, politely, with a smile. The good moment would be after she has had a few sips of her drink, and when she seems not too engaged in a conversation. If she finds you attractive she may bite.

In many (more 80s and 90s, punk-ish) places where I have been that would be a rather unusual move and may easily be turned down; tough. But it shows your interest in a straight-forward, un-creepy way.

Another classic one is to send a drink over, if there is service, and say cheers from afar.

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Its loud and your window of opportunity to communicate is short. I would write ("its too loud to talk here and so you won't hear me but I would really like to dance with you") on a small card and show it to her. She will either say "yes" or "no" and you will have your answer. Either way you won't be a creep/grinder. Make sure its fairly clean and not covered in food/beer etc and doesn't look like you used it forty times before.

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