How to Avoid Dancing With People

by Paige Ferrari

If you’ve ever been a single lady at a club, you’ve had the experience of being dance-penetrated seven different ways by five different strangers over the course of a three-minute song. This is what happens in the club.

It’s an awkward situation. But, unless you’re someone who likes to spend your evening all indignant and eye-roll-y, it can be handled with grace, and you can maintain both healthy boundaries and positive feelings between you and the dudes who would rub up on you.

1. Go with it.

Just for 15–30 seconds. I know you’re a delicate flower and the guy in the fedora is probably icky and all, but think about it: You’ve already accepted a number of indignities by entering a club in the first place. If you waited in line, paid a cover, then can’t handle 15–30 seconds of rhythmic humping, you may be a little bit stuck up or at least working from a strange set of expectations.

There are, of course, different levels of dance predator:

Front groper: wiggles up to your face, usually with arms raised. The front groper approaches with a clear agenda, and should be treated with some respect. And I’d say at least feigned consideration.

Sandwich gropers: rare double teams, usually found in discotheques. Averted with a simple electric-slide style sidestep that will leave them face to face.

Back groper: the worst. Grabs your hips from behind, leans back, rams his pelvis into your delicate areas. Even at a gross venue, these guys push the boundaries of taste. Feel free to do an about face and move onto step 2.

2. Find a male with no moves.

This is key. Don’t latch onto your gay friend who toured with Ke$ha, and don’t dive into the arms of your girlfriend. Dancing with a girl may stir his loins, and dancing with a better-dancing guy will stir his competitive instincts and may result a potentially explosive dance-off situation.

Instead, bring a guy with no moves, or find him. Then sort of gesture at him and look put-upon, like, I would love to dance with you but I’m saddled with THIS GUY. If hopeless no-move guy is close to you, mime leaning in and whispering to him, Honey may I dance with danger? Then come back and shake your head — no. I may not. My guy has no moves and is driven mad with jealousy by our superior dance chemistry. Shrug. What a drag. Most front gropers will feel sorry for you and move on.

3. If it gets really intense, leave the area and get a drink.

But be warned that this will not deter the determined. A friend of mine tried this and her unwanted dance partner followed her off the floor like they were a two-person conga line. Then, while she tried to order, he kept dancing up on her, gyrating and moving his arms over his head like a rodeo cowboy. He didn’t even offer to buy my friend her beer, which is pretty typical for a back groper. You can try it, but I say the situation started on the dance floor and that’s where you’ve got to end it.

4. Twirl a lot, or jump up and down.

Not only is this really unattractive, it conveys that you’re clueless, immature, and not at all down to get down. Like, this girl came to the club where the whole point is to GET LOW and now she’s treating the dance floor like a Kangoo class at Crunch. It is also hard to get a skeeve-hold on a bouncing female. You won’t even have to worry about it, though, because it will convince most guys in the place that you’re mentally deficient, and therefore a subpar candidate for dance floor procreation.

5. After the blow-off, soften your exit.

From about an arm’s length, thank your partner for this shared moment of dance. Just a pat on the shoulder or back, or an approving nod will do. If you don’t put a nice cap on the encounter, he’ll return to try some new move. Dance predators are persistent. They truly believe that that superior demonstrations of male dance = female acquiescence.

It’s also because, especially in the case of a front groper — ah, Christ. He’s just a guy who took a chance.

Paige Ferrari just wants to dance with nobody.