Author Topic: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)  (Read 8288 times)

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AmyBird85

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First of all, I wasn't sure which forum to post this in- I'm hoping this is the right one.

This happened to me on Friday night at a pub gig I attended.

[BG] I go to see a rock 'n' roll/rhythm and blues band at the same pub every month. Sometimes I go alone, sometimes my dad comes along. All of the band members, bar staff and regulars know me and I'm never short of people to talk to. There is space to dance too and there's always a great atmosphere whenever I go there. [END BG]

So, I'm sitting (alone, this time) enjoying the band playing a nice slow blues jam, when a man comes up to me and asks me to dance. Fair enough, I will dance with anyone once, even though I'm not great at partnered dancing- I like to be a good sport and join in! He takes my hand and we go on the "dance floor". Now, when I go to this place I have no intentions of going "on the pull", nor do I dress or behave in a way that would suggest otherwise. A dance is a dance to me, but this guy had other ideas....
What hits me first is the foul stench of cigarettes coming from him, which turns my stomach. Not wanting to be rude and break away mid-song, I carry on dancing but just hold my breath. The song ends, he thanks me, then.... plants a big, horrible sloppy kiss on my cheek! Eurgh! I cringe and make my way back to my seat.

The next song starts up- a faster number- and I stand up and start to dance solo. Before I know what's happening, Mr Ciggy Breath (CB) has grabbed my hand and dragged me back over the other side of the dance floor and starts twirling me around, trying to grind up against me. I really want to get away from him, but once again, I can't break away mid song. Another dance and sloppy kiss on cheek later, I ponder over whether it would be considered bad etiquette to refuse a dance (even in a pub environment). But all I can think of is that horrible smell and how uncomfortable he makes me feel.

A couple of songs later, and I am dancing with a group of people this time. All of a sudden, CB's friend comes up to me and apologises for his friend who keeps asking me to dance. I try to explain to him about the situation but the music is so loud, and before I can get my response across properly, CB appears out of nowhere, extends his hand and asks me "want to dance?" I really cannot stomach dancing with him again so, I quickly dart between them and rejoin the group I was originally dancing with. (Was I rude here?)
 
I sit down to sip my drink and give my feet a rest for a couple of songs, still tapping my foot to the beat. One of the regulars sits down next to me and asks me if everything is okay. I tell him what happened and he offers to be my "minder" for the rest of the night, which is very kind of him! Then he gets up to go to the bar.....
Then guess who comes up to me AGAIN? You guessed it. "Want to dance?" Extends his hand, etc.
This time, I reply with "no thank you, I'd like to sit this one out."
His reply? "Why don't you want to dance?"
I reply. "I would like to take a rest."
He then leaves my table and doesn't approach me again for the rest of the night- thank goodness!

Is there any way I could have handled this better?

Thanks!

Amy.

Brentwood

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2011, 07:37:32 PM »
Quote
I really want to get away from him, but once again, I can't break away mid song.

Yes. Yes, you can.

And no, it's not rude to refuse an offer to dance.

something.new.every.day

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2011, 07:41:27 PM »
You can always say no--any time and for any (or no) reason.  "No thank you," is a sufficient response.  If you give an excuse (wanting to dance w/ someone else or wanting to sit a song out) he'll just come back later.  It's better to be upfront and shut him down kindly but firmly. 

AmyBird85

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2011, 08:19:07 PM »
Thanks for your feedback, and for clearing up something that has been bugging me for ages! In future I will just use a simple "no thank you" to anybody I don't wish to dance with.

violinp

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2011, 08:19:51 PM »
Quote
I really want to get away from him, but once again, I can't break away mid song.

Yes. Yes, you can.

And no, it's not rude to refuse an offer to dance.

POD.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


HorseFreak

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2011, 09:04:49 PM »
I think I posted this on a recent thread about refusing dates, but here it is again: I went to my cousin's wedding a few years ago without my boyfriend (he was invited, but not included on the invitation and I wasn't going to be rude and ask) with my parents. A friend of the groom repeatedly asked me to dance, the first being a fast dance that ended about a minute after we started dancing. I tried to slip away after that, but he grabbed my hand and pulled me close for a slow number. I backed away appropriately far and completed that dance and excused myself. He asked AGAIN about 10 minutes later and I just smiled and shook my head since it was quite loud in there. He walked away, but I saw him talking to the groom (who I had never met before the wedding) and gesturing to me. My parents scolded me for being "rude" for refusing to dance with someone A) I didn't want to and B) wasn't my boyfriend. Even if I wasn't in a relationship, this man was in no way my type at all and I didn't want him to get the wrong idea.

If that man had kissed me after a single dance I wouldn't have been half as nice as you were. That's completely inappropriate, and besides, you are never rude to refuse a dance as long as you're polite about it. It's not 1830, I don't have a dance card and I don't have to touch anyone I don't want to.

shhh its me

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2011, 09:17:06 PM »
Quote
I really want to get away from him, but once again, I can't break away mid song.

Yes. Yes, you can.

And no, it's not rude to refuse an offer to dance.

I'm going to disagree slightly .  In this circumstance is it not rude to refuse even a first request to dance.  In a more "proper" formal setting you should dance once with each person you've been introduced to who asks(or not dance at all/stop dancing) In the most formal seetings dancing is still just like conversation , you're expected to be able to converse with anyone who wishes to speak to for at a party for 2-5 minutes. Of course all guests are suppose to be vetted so they would never plant kisses , have roving hands and will not persist in monopolising your time .

AmyBird85

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2011, 09:20:33 PM »
@HorseFreak: Thanks for your feedback. I am not currently in a relationship, but even if I was, I certainly wouldn't be too thrilled if the BF started grinding against me in public! I much prefer to save the "dirty dancing" for private moments.  >:D

Quote
If that man had kissed me after a single dance I wouldn't have been half as nice as you were. That's completely inappropriate, and besides, you are never rude to refuse a dance as long as you're polite about it. It's not 1830, I don't have a dance card and I don't have to touch anyone I don't want to.

Believe me, I don't know how I managed to hold my tongue... it was so cringeworthy! Even my dog doesn't slobber as much as he did!  :o

Amava

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2011, 09:26:50 PM »
That second time, you could certainly have broken away mid-song without being rude in any way. He was the rude one for grabbing you that way.

Brentwood

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2011, 09:56:15 PM »
Quote
I really want to get away from him, but once again, I can't break away mid song.

Yes. Yes, you can.

And no, it's not rude to refuse an offer to dance.

I'm going to disagree slightly .  In this circumstance is it not rude to refuse even a first request to dance.  In a more "proper" formal setting you should dance once with each person you've been introduced to who asks(or not dance at all/stop dancing) In the most formal seetings dancing is still just like conversation , you're expected to be able to converse with anyone who wishes to speak to for at a party for 2-5 minutes. Of course all guests are suppose to be vetted so they would never plant kisses , have roving hands and will not persist in monopolising your time .

This was a bar and not at all comparable to any type of formal situation.

tallone

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2011, 11:38:31 PM »
Quote
I really want to get away from him, but once again, I can't break away mid song.

Yes. Yes, you can.

And no, it's not rude to refuse an offer to dance.

I'm going to disagree slightly .  In this circumstance is it not rude to refuse even a first request to dance.  In a more "proper" formal setting you should dance once with each person you've been introduced to who asks(or not dance at all/stop dancing) In the most formal seetings dancing is still just like conversation , you're expected to be able to converse with anyone who wishes to speak to for at a party for 2-5 minutes. Of course all guests are suppose to be vetted so they would never plant kisses , have roving hands and will not persist in monopolising your time .

This was a bar and not at all comparable to any type of formal situation.

POD, there is no etiquette requirement in a bar to dance with anyone. In fact I find most patrons will fully support someone refusing to dance. I once frequented a fairly rough bar with the tiniest of dance floors which was packed every friday night, great local band who did amazing covers kept us all on our toes. Half the time it was regulars (truckies and tradies) and friday and saturday nights a younger crowd, including me and my friends, mixed in as well. One night I saw this one guy who would not stop pestering this pretty girl to dance. She kept shaking her head and walking away until finally he grabbed her by the arm and tried pulling her over despite her protestations.

At about that point the crowd of rough looking, heavily muscled truck drivers manning the bar did their best impression of older brothers and reminded Mr Grabby that the young lady did not have to dance with him just because he said so. Mr Grabby became Mr Contrite very, very fast.  ;)

shhh its me

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2011, 11:45:30 PM »
Quote
I really want to get away from him, but once again, I can't break away mid song.

Yes. Yes, you can.

And no, it's not rude to refuse an offer to dance.

I'm going to disagree slightly . In this circumstance is it not rude to refuse even a first request to dance.  In a more "proper" formal setting you should dance once with each person you've been introduced to who asks(or not dance at all/stop dancing) In the most formal seetings dancing is still just like conversation , you're expected to be able to converse with anyone who wishes to speak to for at a party for 2-5 minutes. Of course all guests are suppose to be vetted so they would never plant kisses , have roving hands and will not persist in monopolising your time .

This was a bar and not at all comparable to any type of formal situation.

POD, there is no etiquette requirement in a bar to dance with anyone. In fact I find most patrons will fully support someone refusing to dance. I once frequented a fairly rough bar with the tiniest of dance floors which was packed every friday night, great local band who did amazing covers kept us all on our toes. Half the time it was regulars (truckies and tradies) and friday and saturday nights a younger crowd, including me and my friends, mixed in as well. One night I saw this one guy who would not stop pestering this pretty girl to dance. She kept shaking her head and walking away until finally he grabbed her by the arm and tried pulling her over despite her protestations.

At about that point the crowd of rough looking, heavily muscled truck drivers manning the bar did their best impression of older brothers and reminded Mr Grabby that the young lady did not have to dance with him just because he said so. Mr Grabby became Mr Contrite very, very fast.  ;)

there has been more then one poster here who has said " why should my date with widow Auntie Em " , or " I'm married and  bride's maid I shouldn't have to dance 30 second of a waltz with a groom'sman" that formal etiquette is different bares saying.

Tai

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2011, 12:13:21 AM »
You don't have to dance with anyone you don't want to. 

Since I am not likely to be invited to a state dinner or any other gala, I'll stick to this.  Only the most formal of formal events have the "you should not decline a dance" rule.  Weddings are family and friend events.  A member of a wedding party doesn't have to dance with anyone, either, unless they choose to.  There are many reasons why people don't dance, including religion, personal mortification at the lack of bodily rhythm, disability, or too tight shoes. 


Mental Magpie

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2011, 12:50:37 AM »
Quote
I really want to get away from him, but once again, I can't break away mid song.

Yes. Yes, you can.

And no, it's not rude to refuse an offer to dance.

I'm going to disagree slightly .  In this circumstance is it not rude to refuse even a first request to dance.  In a more "proper" formal setting you should dance once with each person you've been introduced to who asks(or not dance at all/stop dancing) In the most formal seetings dancing is still just like conversation , you're expected to be able to converse with anyone who wishes to speak to for at a party for 2-5 minutes. Of course all guests are suppose to be vetted so they would never plant kisses , have roving hands and will not persist in monopolising your time .

I think we need to stop dog piling on Merry Mrs Martin.  Her was response was to Cathy saying "It's not rude to refuse an offer to dance".  All Merry Mrs Martin was saying was that in some circumstances, it is rude to refuse.  Further, Merry Mrs Martin also made sure to say that it was not rude in that circumstance (the one about which the OP was speaking).
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Brentwood

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Re: Refusing a dance with a pushy man (pub gig environment- long-ish)
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2011, 02:12:53 AM »
Quote
I really want to get away from him, but once again, I can't break away mid song.

Yes. Yes, you can.

And no, it's not rude to refuse an offer to dance.

I'm going to disagree slightly .  In this circumstance is it not rude to refuse even a first request to dance.  In a more "proper" formal setting you should dance once with each person you've been introduced to who asks(or not dance at all/stop dancing) In the most formal seetings dancing is still just like conversation , you're expected to be able to converse with anyone who wishes to speak to for at a party for 2-5 minutes. Of course all guests are suppose to be vetted so they would never plant kisses , have roving hands and will not persist in monopolising your time .

I think we need to stop dog piling on Merry Mrs Martin.  Her was response was to Cathy saying "It's not rude to refuse an offer to dance".  All Merry Mrs Martin was saying was that in some circumstances, it is rude to refuse.  Further, Merry Mrs Martin also made sure to say that it was not rude in that circumstance (the one about which the OP was speaking).

Two people - including me - responded to Merry Mrs Martin. That is hardly dogpiling. There actually was no reason to bring in the etiquette of a formal situation because most of us are basing our advice on the situation actually described in the OP. Had the question been, "Is it rude to refuse to dance with my new FIL at my wedding?", the answers might have been different. However, that was not the question. The question was specifically about a bar situation.