The most intimidating part of any swing dance is the proposal. Better known as "asking for a dance," it entails the pursuit of a dance partner for a song. The incredible tension built into the proposal is self-imposed; the baggage in asking for a dance is just a natural instinct in ourselves to save us from embarrassment. If this is the case for you, cower no more! As a seasoned dancer, I have compiled a list of foolproof methods for popping the question. Tried and true, these methods will guarantee a dance and maybe even a friend. Note that the order of these methods are listed in order of difficulty. If you're feeling unsure of yourself, the first two or three might be more your speed. But, if you're looking for some spice in your proposal, the last few are just for you!
1. Write It DownGiphy
For those guys (myself included) who find words awkward and bulky, just write down a short proposal. Writing the question down and memorizing it can help separate your ego from the actual answer. The prewritten proposal can be short and sweet, for example, "Hi. Would you like to dance?" Or, it can be a bit more long and complex, "Hello Ma'am or Sir, would you care to experience this piece of musical passion with a complete stranger, such as myself?" Remember, the point in writing it down is to help give you the sense of confidence you need to pop the question.
2. Smooth Groovin'Giphy
What I like to call "Smooth Groovin" is a very natural way of asking somebody to dance. Simply bob your head or tap your feet to the beat before engaging in the proposal, which may or may not be written down. The pressure is taken off you, the asker, putting it more on the music itself. This will make the askee more comfortable as well because they feel like you're asking them to simply enjoy the music with you, rather than the to start a permanent relationship lasting a lifetime.
3. Small TalkGiphy
Sometimes people find it easier to start dancing with a person by first engaging in meaningless conversation. Leading conversation starters can be "Been dancing long?," "Come here often?," or "This playlist is the cat's pajamas!" By establishing a superficial relationship, asking to dance might feel like a natural lead in to conclude your interactions.
At this point, the methods become more abstract and complex. Telepathy is communicating through a psychic connection, typically established through strong eye contact. If you find yourself locked into a stare with somebody, there's a good chance this person is trying to communicate to you through telepathy. If you can't understand the message, simply smile and put out your hand as a physical expression of acceptance.
5. The Lasso
Classic, classic, classic dance proposal. The Lasso is a roleplaying method in which the asker pretends to be a cowboy lassoing a person, and pulling him/her to him/herself. It's bold, entertaining and powerful. If performed correctly, the askee will have the time of his or her life.
To perform the Lasso, first, make strong eye connection with the askee. Second, spit out your chew, then swing your arm around in Lasso fashion. Third, throw your invisible lasso to the person you've made eye connection with. And, lastly, pull 'em in to have the rootinest, tootinest time of your lives!
6. Bird of ParadiseGiphy
This last method of the proposal is the sum of every method mentioned so far. It's a complex web of both verbal and non-verbal expressions, formed into a powerful performance. "Bird of Paradise" is so elaborate, it can easily take up to two minutes to properly execute. The idea was inspired by the mating rituals of birds in Papua New Guinea. But, just like the variance of mating rituals between different bird species, the "Bird of Paradise" method can vary between dancers.
To perform your Bird of Paradise proposal, you must look into your soul. Identify your inner primal being, and draw him out by allowing him to interpret the music that's playing at that moment. As your body begins to move, search for your dance mate. The person you lock into a strong psychic connection with is most definitely the person! Keep eye contact, and show off your best qualities.
Of course, with anything this powerful, there are some possible negative effects. The most obvious one is the strong possibility that you'll take so long asking for a dance that you end up going through the entire song. Other possibilities include being kicked out of the venue, damaging any potential relationship with the person you're asking, damaging any existing relationships and cognitive devolution. But the reward is worth it.