Thursday, January 6, 2011

Guys! Afraid of Dancing and Night Clubs...?

How to Go to Night Clubs

First, you're not alone.  I say this because I'm writing this article in response to a personal request, although that was certainly not anywhere near the first time I've been asked about it.  I'm guessing you probably have a wife or girlfriend that wants you to go out with her or some nice friends, male or female, that have invited you to hit the clubs.  However, you're afraid of dance clubs probably mostly because you don't know how to dance.  Many people will advocate taking dance classes to deal with this (and that's nice and all...), but I think there is a cheaper and easier way.  Anyway, let's get started by just addressing some common questions and concerns that I've been asked by many.

"I don't know how to dance and it looks goofy if I try."  No one is expecting you to be a professional or even be any good.  No one worth talking to or caring about is going to care about this at all.  Even good dancers are not usually worried about it.  I'm a good dancer, and when I see guys out at night clubs goofing about with each other or their female friends or girlfriends, it's endearing.  I love see other people having fun.  Here's a secret, you're more attractive when you're smiling and having a good time.  The girls I know will take a guy who is fun and unskilled over a guy who is skilled and boring or stuck up any day of the week.  That's why "guy who can make me laugh" and "guy who is fun/doesn't take himself too seriously" is usually in the top three to five on pretty much any girl's list of what she wants in a guy.

"I feel like people will be looking at me."  You have to be trying to get attention for people to notice you at a night club.  It's packed with people, many of whom are pretty intoxicated, so few people can see you at all.  What you don't think about is that many of the people there, including a lot of the girls, are too self-conscious about their own dancing to think about what you're doing, especially if they don't know you.  If a girl is looking at you, she might be checking you out.  If she looks at you and smiles, don't get scared.  She's probably trying to get your attention.

"So how does one actually dance? Do I need to know steps?"  Well, there's the easy part.  No, you do not need steps.  DJs at nightclubs go out of their way to make it easy for you to find the beat.  You can start by just listening for it.  Shift your weight from one foot to the other in rhythm with this basic beat.  You can actually just avoid steps altogether if you want to.  It's easier and leaves less room for error (like stepping on someone's foot).  In fact, a lot of people get more goofy by overdoing the stepping thing.  For now, just don't worry about it.  Once you start to get into this rhythm, let your body just go with it.  Take a look around.  Try and pick up what other people are doing.  I guarantee that you will eventually meet eyes with someone who is looking at you to pick up on your moves.  You may be thinking, "Sucker, I don't know what I'm doing..."  Most people don't, though, so you'll fit right in.

Awesome Tip of the Day:  While you're out there trying to figure out the dancing thing, worrying about what people are thinking about you, here's a secret:  There will be a lot of girls looking at you... wishing their boyfriend/husband was (believe it or not) as awesome as you!  That's right, they're dancing by themselves because their man will not join them.  See a cute girl by herself?  That girl wishes her boyfriend was dancing right now, goofy as it may be, instead of looking "cool" by himself at home or at the bar.  Boring.

"Uh oh, so this girl wants to dance with me.  What do I do now?"  First thing?  Relax.  Smile, she must think you're attractive or at least fun.  Dance with her.

"Okay, now she's moving in on me and wants to do that whole dancing *together* thing."  Yeah, let it happen.  When the time is right, you'll know what to ... wait, wrong speech!  Actually, this is the easiest part.  She will either face you or face away from you.  No real difference there.  I must caution you to not get too grabby.  Some girls may tolerate it, others will find it offensive and irritating.  Keep it respectful.  Try to avoid touching the breast and butt area.  She will appreciate that.  If she's facing away from you, you will be best off keeping your hands on her hands or arms.  It's still affectionate but not too presumptuous.

The key is to just move with her.  Try to avoid friction.  Just stay close to her and try to get into her rhythm.  This will probably be a very basic swaying back and forth with the simplest part of the rhythm, since it is most practical when you have a partner.  I get crazy with music and rhythms and dancing, but on the occasion that I dance with a guy, I stick to what makes sense.  Once you get into her rhythm, just get comfortable and forget the rest of the room.  You can talk to her a bit if she's interested.  Introduce yourself and ask her her name.  She probably just wants to dance, so don't worry about having to come up with a conversation.

"What if I have to have some drinks to "get loose"?  Is that okay?"  Yes, but... try not to have more than just that amount.  Unless a girl is really intoxicated, she's not too interested in being approached by someone who is really intoxicated.  You may think you're a charming guy when you're drunk, and your friends might agree, but she may think you're just sloppy and obnoxious.  Have a couple of drink if you must, then take a break.  It will be easier on your wallet and help keep you from making an ass of yourself.

"How do I get a girl to dance with me?"  Well, that only works if 1. you ask and 2. she wants to.  The safest thing is to make eye contact with her before you approach her and try to judge her reaction.  If she wants to to approach, she may make eyes at you or smile or something.  If she doesn't, she will probably look away and try not to see you so as not to give you an invitation.  If you're on the fence about it, flip a coin.  Once you've made a decision, it's best to approach casually.  If a guy is approaching me that I have no interest in, I usually move away a little bit to give him space.  Any guy who approaches respectfully, asks me or my friend to dance, taps us on the shoulder or something, gets a nice response.  Even if that response is no, it's still done nicely.  If the guy is a jerk about it, he gets that in return.  Also, be a jerk to one girl and all her friends will hate you, too.  Be nice, and even if the girls is not to interested or if she has a boyfriend, she might send a cute friend your way.  However, if you try all her friends after she said no, it may look bad on you.

"Am I supposed to dress up? What do I wear?"  Well, that's going to depend on the place you're going and what night of the week it is.  If you're unsure, ask your girlfriend/wife or female friends what you should wear to the place you're planning to go.  Girls are usually pretty happy to give out fashion advice.  If it's your woman you're asking, you're sure to please her.  If it's just your lady friends, they're probably happy to help you look your best.

Other cool tips and clubbing etiquette...

Take "no" for an answer.  Being pushy will not get you anywhere unless you're persistent enough for the bouncer to show you the door.

Don't be *that guy*.  You know, that guy that comes up behind girls by surprise doing something that resembles a dog humping her leg?  He deserves the same rolled-up newspaper to the muzzle.  That same guy is usually the one that puts his hands on people unnecessarily when he walks by.  You don't want his reputation.

You may buy her a drink, but don't think that entitles you to anything.  It was your offer.  If she refuses, it's probably either because she doesn't want one, or she doesn't know if you're the kind of guy that will follow her around because you bought her a drink.  If she accepts, ask her what she wants.  It's a little weird to try to choose for her unless she asks you to.

If she asks you to buy her a drink, don't.  You're probably not the first guy she's gotten to pay for her drinks tonight.

If you dance with a girl, try not to occupy all of her time and attention.  Don't try to cut her off from her friends.  You want to be the highlight of her night, not that guy who ruined "girl's night out".  It's fun for her to have a guy with her for a little while, but having some guy attached to her all night can really cramp her style.  If a few songs go by, excuse yourself.  Offer to get her some water or tell her you're going to step outside and chat with your friend for a few.  Invite her if you'd like.  You can come back later and dance with her again.  She will appreciate this.

Don't stand in the corner.  If you must stand around for awhile, stand by the bar, in line for the bathroom, in the patio/social area, anywhere but the dance floor.  1. Usually, those places are pretty packed and it sucks to have someone just standing there, taking up space.  2. At best, you look boring. 3. At worst, you look like that really creepy guy who stands there, fantasizing about all the young girls, making this face.  You don't want to come off like that, ever.

Be clean.  I'm not kidding, I've had "stinky guy" ruin many a night club experience.  I know, most of you are not this guy, but in case you are, read carefully.  It's not just about the shower, it's how you shower.  Go to your local discount store and buy something that really scrubs.  *Hint* Those little puffy things don't scrub, they just lather.  Scrub all of your skin with it.  Wash your hair.  Make sure your clothes are fresh.  Wear clean socks.  If you're going to wear a cologne, try not to wear too much of it.  You will stop smelling it after about ten minutes because you get used to it, not because it wears off.  Everone you meet will have to smell it at full force.  Anyone who gets too close to you will be stuck with it for the rest of the night.

While we're on the subject of hygiene, brushing your teeth is not enough.  Long term lack of flossing creates a type of bad breath that cannot be cured by any amount of gum or even mouth wash.  This type of bad breath actually comes from old decay between your teeth.  You may be used to it, but no one else wants to breathe it (let alone taste it).  I know that "high tech mouth wash" claims to clean between your teeth in the commercials.  Don't believe them.  Floss works, though.  You can count on floss anytime.

Don't swing dance, unless it is a swing club.  On a crowded dance floor, it seems unusually self-centered to dance in a way that involves big spins and dips and flailing arms and legs, especially since it doesn't even fit the music.  However, invariably, every time I go out there is at least one pair doing this.  Stepping on people's feet and elbowing their faces and drinks won't win you any friends.  It might, though, get you "put outside", as my bouncer friends call it.  Anyway, people who do this don't impress anyone, they just ruin other people's good time.  Don't let it be you.

Learning to go out to clubs and have fun (and be fun to hang out with) can really add a nice aspect to your dating/social life.  People will be more likely to invite you out.  Ability to dance when called for is a good skill to have even if you decide that clubbing is not your preferred night life.  It will come in handy when you meet a girl that likes dancing and hated how her last boyfriend wouldn't go out with her.  It also helps when your friends want to go bar hopping and end up at a club.  It also saves your butt when that one really beautiful girl comes along and wants to dance with you, and you would otherwise have to look at the floor and say, "uh, I don't dance..."

If you have any questions or helpful tips and advice I didn't think about or forgot to add, feel free to comment below.


  1. Well, I wish I could say this makes me less scared. Not a bad article or anything, but I think I have some issues. I'm gonna take some E, get a buzz and have at it. LOL.

  2. Thank you for clearly writing about not standing in a corner. I've only been to one night club where I did that. I was only amazed at the scenery, but I got a weird vibe from a body guard. Odd.

  3. Great Article! This will help for sure!

  4. I notice a bias in your article for partner dancing. What about if I want to dance solo because I like the beat ala John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Yes, I am an old fart of 48.

  5. This is a great article! Well written, and informative. I appreciate all the good tips, and I will be going out asap to see how I do with this new information.