EVERYONE: How to get more PEOPLE to ask YOU to DANCE! (Men, Women, Leads, Follows - works for all)


I had one of my male students approach me and tell me that I was TOTALLY WRONG in one of my past articles. His wife had him translate for her one of my articles: "WOMEN, How to get more MEN to ask you to dance". He then said that he tried the techniques as a leader, and obviously as a Man, since he is a man...lol. He found the "SWEET SPOT" at a nightclub and stood there and just smiled. He then told me the following:

"It was incredible!! I counted and I had 9 women come and ask me to dance in the next hour. I didn't do anything, I just stood in the "sweet spot" and smiled. I also, had 2 of those women come back and ask me for a second dance. I never knew it could be so easy...thank you Juan".


So I realized my article was ALL WRONG. It shouldn't say WOMEN....it shouldn't say MEN...it shouldn't even say LEADS AND FOLLOWS....it should actually just say: "EVERYONE: How to get more PEOPLE to ask you to DANCE! (Men, Women, Leads, Follows - works for all)". I finally corrected the whole article so I wanted to re-share it, and although I have completely fixed it I wanted to keep this prelude as a reminder, please know, that it works for both Leads and Follows, and for both Men & Women. ENJOY!!!

To dance aficionados the nightclub is like a library full of books without titles, and without a card-catalog, there's also no friendly librarian to guide us and there is no internet to tell us about the books in stock. So we just have our own internal GPS: Logic and Common Sense to guide us in this journey. We know we're supposed to ask people to dance, but we don't want to be rejected time and time again. Yes the tide has turned a lot and in the latin dance scene, at least, both men and women, leaders and followers ask people to dance. And yes, we're encouraged to go and ask "perfect strangers" for a dance. This is not easy. I've studied the art of partner dancing for the last 20 years. As an instructor, performer, choreographer and avid social dancer I have climbed the ladder of expertise in this field. I AM AN EXPERT. I can take a beginner who knows nothing and make it appear like he/she is following me into intricate patterns. Some call it Dance Hypnosis or Dance Whispering...whatever you want to call it...it still doesn't make me immune to being rejected. Even at my level, EXPERT, I still get rejected all the time.

Yes, you read that correctly. I GET REJECTED ALL OF THE TIME. Sure, you're going to say, they probably didn't know you were an instructor, or maybe they were tired, or their feet hurt. Nonsense. People get rejected all the time and only each individual person knows why. Sometimes it's just bad timing. I was at Latin Quarters (LQs) just a few days ago, and I approached a group of 4 women who were standing outside of the dance-floor on the balcony/banister, having some drinks and talking. I asked each to dance and each one of them said no, one right after the other. I was wearing a nice suit, my hair was spectacular (no seriously I had a really good hair day), I approached them like a gentleman and asked them politely "May I have this dance?", "Would you like to dance?", and I had my best cologne on. Which later someone commented: "You're the best smelling person in this club...and that includes the women"...lol. So, why did I get rejected?

They had already seen me dance. They knew I was an instructor. They knew I could dance every style of Salsa as I had danced with all types of women before approaching them. They knew I was approachable and that I danced with all levels of dancers from beginners who didn't even know the basics to advanced professionals. They hadn't started dancing yet, so they were not tired nor did their feet hurt. Maybe they were having a great conversation, or maybe they wanted to get their drinks on first. Whatever the reason...I got 4 rejections in a row.

So, let me explain what that does to the average person. They are not going back to that side of the club again. They now have to walk back to where they came from...talk about "the walk of shame". Getting 4 rejections in a row and then having to relocate to another section of the club that has "better energy". We feel defeated, we feel insecure, we feel REJECTED. Some might just take it out on you by dancing amazing dances with someone else right in front of you and never making eye contact with your group again...as if you don't exist. Never asking you to dance again for as long as you live...lol. Seriously, I know people like this. You turn them down and now they will show you how good they dance and never ask you again. They hold a grudge. We shouldn't do this..."Please people, don't do this, be generous and forgiving"...and pick up some tips below on how to better handle the situation.

I'm personally not that drastic, but I'm also honest in my perception and open in my communication...I actually told the ladies how I felt. I made a joke out of it...but it had some seriousness to it. I said: "wow, 4 rejections in a row...there's something about this section of the club, I'm relocating"...I seriously did not want to return to that section of the club. Why would I? To give them another chance to reject me again...lol. There were tons of women that wanted to dance. The men were actually outnumbered on that night, which is common. There were other "packs" of women, groups of 4 hanging out in other sections...so I relocated there...BRILLIANT....lol.

Then I looked around the club and discovered something interesting: The nightclub is like a library...back to our Metaphor

So, basically, we are all trying to select a compatible book that will stimulate us (select a compatible dance partner that they can share chemistry with), without much knowledge when dealing with strangers (no book titles). So I think I narrowed down the formula to the three basic rules in the pattern that most successful people abide by:

Formula People Use to ask someone to dance:

1) How easily accessible is this book? Do I have to climb a ladder balance myself on top of a shelf and reach out into a precipice to reach it. Or is the book at arms reach, eye level, easily accessible. If I climb the shelf and reach out over a precipice to reach the book...and I can't get the book...will I go back and climb the shelf and put myself at risk again...or will I just reach for more accessible books?

2) Does the book cover look inviting? Or does it look like my sister's teenage diary with locks and chains and a "Keep Away", "No Trespassing" Sign!!?

3) Is the book we're reaching currently available? Maybe it's serving another function. If there's a stack of books and we want the one at the bottom will all the other books fall?

Ok, translation:


Every Nightclub is a Sociological Experiment waiting to happen. There are "SWEET SPOTS", which are actual places that people in the know go to if they want to be asked to dance and "no man's land" or "no woman's land" which are places that people in the know go to if they don't want to be asked to dance. There are also "diplomatically neutral zones" which can make things confusing....and then there are people who are not in the know...so therefore they don't follow the rules. I know the rules..but yet sometimes I forget or I'm not paying attention. When I approached the 4 women at LQs they were in.."NO MAN'S LAND"...But I wasn't paying attention.


I tried to look for a gender neutral phrase but the suggestions that came up didn't make sense...so I'm going to call No Man's Land & No Women's Land the "Dead Zone". Just like when your cell phone can not find a signal...The Nightclub's Dead Zone is where there is NO CONNECTION. If the spot you are standing at in a nightclub is the furthest from the dance-floor, you're in "THE DEAD ZONE". If people have to walk across the whole room/dance-floor/building to reach you, you're in "THE DEAD ZONE". If people have to jump over obstacles and avoid dangers to reach you...you're in "THE DEAD ZONE". People rarely frequent "THE DEAD ZONE"...Pretty much because it is "THE DEAD ZONE" and if you are a person who doesn't want to dance at all, and your friends dragged you to this nightclub, and you wanted to find a safe place where you can have a drink and have nobody pestering you for a dance...where will you situate yourself?...in "THE DEAD ZONE". It is your refuge. You're not easily accessible, you're in a very low or no traffic at all area, you're out of the way, in the boonies, in the sticks, in timbuktu, you get the picture..no one is visiting. So, if you want to be asked to dance...don't go to "THE DEAD ZONE".

If every place in the club is taken and you must go to "No Man's Land"...you need to send some smoke signals, some morse code, some flashing red lights, sound the bell, turn on the sirens...let us know you want us to come rescue you. This can easily be accomplished by dancing by yourself, with some subtle eye contact, a smile and then when we're looking straight at you, you wave us in. Yes, we need the wave...after all, you're in "THE DEAD ZONE".


Sure you can look inviting by wearing the "right" outfit. But, that's not the only thing. If you are wearing a huge purse on your shoulder, your laptop bag, a backpack, shoes that don't appear like you can even stand in them...never-mind dance in them, construction boots, if you have a drink in your hand, while your texting with your other hand and you're seated at a table with 4 people on each side of you...so in order for someone to ask you to dance they have to ignore 4 other people that are closer to the exit of the table and they all have to get up for you...that's not very inviting. If you're standing in the "Sweet Spot", swaying your hips, tapping your feet, and singing the song...you will get asked much quicker. What in the world are "Sweet Spots"? Don't worry, I'll translate that one for you as well.


"Sweet Spots" are just like they sound: SWEET and I have a Sweet Tooth...heck, I should call them "SUPER SWEET SPOTS" since these spots are what make men and women get together on the dance-floor. The science behind being asked to dance quickly is simple...sit...don't even sit, stand...actually, did I say stand...I meant DANCE, yep, seriously....DANCE IN THE "SWEET SPOT". You want to be asked to dance quickly...try just that. You might have 2 or 3 people asking you at the same time. Side effects you will now have to reject 2 and dance with 1...or if you're smart...tell person # 2 they are next and # 3 right after that. But, if you make reservations...you must keep reservations. After all that's the science of reservations...anybody can make reservations, BUT the thing that makes reservations special is keeping them.

There's no confusion here...if someone is in the "Sweet Spot" they want to dance. Add to that, the fact that they're probably already shaking their hips and moving their feet. Yep, they're in the "Sweet Spot". HOW DO YOU FIND THE SWEET SPOT? It's simple. The Sweet Spot is the closest spot to the dance-floor. In many clubs it's actually on the dance-floor. It's the perimeter where people stand right before they dance. It is usually the highest foot traffic area in the club. New people always walking through, so therefore the chances of running into a partner for the next song is exponentially growing..every second...lol. Side Effects of the Sweet Spot is you could literally get cavities aka dance all night, no resting. I did that last night at at a party at a local dance studio: La Luna...I just stood in the Sweet Spot, all night long. So you're saying, "sure, but you're an instructor". But you're missing the point: The people I danced with were in the sweet spot and guess what the people in the sweet spot who were not dancing with me were doing...getting asked by other people. The "Sweet Spot" is fool proof and full proof.

What is the exception to the rule...you can sabotage the sweet spot by not smiling, by looking pissed off, upset, body language communicating stay away, wearing the wrong shoes, holding huge purses, actually any purse at all is already a bad sign, when in the sweet spot you should have nothing except you, no bags, no laptop cases, no backpacks, no holding 2 drinks, no making out with a random guy for a full song. Actually that last one could get you more invitations to dance as well...but you might be attracting people that want more than just dancing. I don't recommend it, unless you like to dance with people that might try to make out with you before the song is over. (PEOPLE UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHOULD YOUR FIRST KISS WITH BE ON THE DANCE-FLOOR...

Read my note on CONSENT, by clicking on this link:


If you like Science....well, guess what happens if you wear red while hanging out in the sweet spot? Don't get mad at me, it's Psychology. Red is the color that attracts the opposite gender the most. So, it works here as well.

3) Understanding the Grey Zones = Diplomatic Neutral Zones = Mixed Signals:

"Grey Zones" - I would say stay away from them...or just visit them shortly. What is the gray zone?: The Bar. People go to the bar for a drink, so therefore I don't go to the bar to ask people to dance. Many times they'll say, "I just ordered a drink", "We're waiting for our drinks", "After we finish our drinks we'll be dancing". The Sweet Spot has people who are already dancing, the bar has some people who are sitting waiting for a bartender or with a drink in their hand. Not the best preparedness for dancing. Yes, some people sit at the bar waiting to be asked for a dance...But, also, some people sit at the bar waiting to be asked if they want a drink. So, I stay away from the bar. Sitting at a table is another Grey Zone. Are you tired, resting, or waiting for someone to come over to ask you to dance? It's confusing. If you are tired but you want to dance, take a seat for 1 song, and then get up and go to the Sweet Spot!! PROBLEM SOLVED



ANSWER: On the Dance-Floor as the song is finishing. At that moment people are about to let go of their present partner and are about to start looking for a new one. If you are on the dance-floor walking through, you will be passing the most potential partners at that moment. So, if you're sitting out a song, and you really want to dance, as it is finishing start walking through the dance-floor slowly. But, make sure you keep your head up and smile, so that people know you are available and not that you are walking through the floor to go to the bathroom, or going to THE DEAD ZONE or that you are walking towards someone you want to ask to dance. Slow, smiling walk will do the trick. (My friend Quinn taught me this trick)


Of course there is one additional thing you can do that will guarantee you a much higher success rate than just being in the right place in the club...ASKING PEOPLE TO DANCE! And of course ask the people that are dancing in the "Sweet Spot"

P.S. - I hope that this information is helpful and that you can put it to use immediately!!

P.P.S. - If you are a man, and you read this whole Note...you get a little gift here...I figured out a spot for men that will get you even more dances than the "Sweet Spot":

MEN - The best spot in the nightclub for you to ask women to dance is in a path that has foot traffic to the bathroom. All of the women will make a bathroom trip at least once per night while at the club. EVERY SINGLE WOMAN MAKES THIS REQUIRED PILGRIMAGE. So, what I do is ask them for a dance after they come out. If you ask them while they're going in, they might not be able to...lol. Also, sometimes I will even brake the ice and talk to them for a second before they go in, and I'll say something like: "When you come out, may I have a dance with you?" People like when you ask for a dance in advance, when you make a reservation. It means you really want to dance with them and that you're thinking and planning ahead. It shows that you're smart, and that you go after what you want. People Love these qualities in a dance partner!!

Juan Calderon