Taxi dancers – what’s that? Mostly male, experienced dancers who balance the relationship between male and female dancers. Additionally, they take care of the ladies, who are not asked as often for a dance or who are still beginners, so that everyone spends a nice dance night. A good thing. But where there is light, there is also shadow. We have been thinking about it critically.

The taxi dancers’ tasks

The core idea of taxi dancers: to balance out the ratio between male and female dancers. There are usually more ladies than gentlemen on dance events. In Salsa for example, dance partners are switched after 3-4 songs on average and thus there is automatically more movement. In comparison, Kizomba is quieter and therefore dances can take much longer. It is not uncommon that people are dancing together for half an hour or longer and therefore, many ladies have to wait for a long time.

Furthermore, taxi dancers take care of ladies who are rarely asked for a dance or who are still beginners. These ladies should have the chance to dance as well. Normally taxi dancers change after 3-4 songs and ask the next lady for a dance.

As remuneration, the taxi dancers usually get free entry to the event and free drinks. Food and accommodation as well as travel expenses and less common and given rather at larger events. A win-win situation. So far so good and overall a good idea to create a great dance experience for everyone.

The development in the scene

Of course, we are really happy about a dance with a taxi dancer at parties and festivals. They are usually excellent dancers and keep even experienced dancers on their toes.

However, the number of taxi dancers at events is steadily increasing. At many festivals they are an important marketing tool and by now it is hard to imagine events without them. Advertising slogans like “more than 50 taxi dancers” are no longer uncommon. However, critical voices are raised. We have asked both, ladies and gentlemen, and have encountered an unpleasant development. This could lead to the scene growing an even worse imbalance with too many female dancers. Why is that?

“Non-taxi dancers” are ignored

It becomes problematic when ladies have an eye exclusively on taxi dancers. Female dancers increasingly reject invitations to dance from a “normal” dancer and prefer to wait for the next free taxi dancer. This is including also many good female dancers, who normally have no problem to be invited. The aspiration to “catch” good dancers is growing.

Where does this lead to? Especially when it comes to events with many taxi dancers I hear various statements such as: “I do not need to go there, with so many taxi dancers, no woman will dance with me anyways”. “I don’t pay, so that taxi dancers pick up all the female dancers and I’m standing on the side!”, “She turned me down and waited for the next taxi dancer”. No one likes to be rejected. If dancers are turned down because they are no taxi dancer, they will soon not invite the ladies anymore. Men who are not taxi dancers, but who are still good dancers, will then not come to the parties anymore.

The gap between men and women is growing

foto: KizzMag

The inevitable consequence: the gap between men and women continues to grow. To fill this gap, even more taxi dancers are needed.

Also, qualitatively the gap increases. Women usually develop their dancing skills faster than men. After all, the men have some more tasks on the dance floor than the ladies. Dancers who focus on dancing with taxi dancers are brought extremely quickly to a higher level. The men in return develop even slower because they lack the experience on the dancefloor with these ladies.

Taxi dancers need to be financed

From a financial point of view, the topic is also unpleasant. Men who spend money on a festival or party and are then turned down on the dancefloor are dumbfounded. In the end, they co-finance the taxi dancers. Who likes to pay for events, so that taxi dancers dance “for free” with the good ladies while oneself has to wait on the side for a dance?! Ultimately, there is the trend for women to pay the men to dance with them. The question is – do we want that?

Not all taxis stick to the rules of the game

Of course, the following does not apply to everyone. Some individuals however abuse the position to simply get free entry to the events. Often, they only invite the young, beautiful great dancers and then spend more than an hour with the same person on the dance floor. This is not the purpose of a taxi dancer though. If you want to have this freedom, you should buy your ticket and visit the event like a normal participant. We expect something different from taxi dancers. Unfortunately, this is difficult to control, especially at the very big events. Any criticism in retrospect harms both the event and organizer as well as the reputation of the taxi dancer.

The taxi dancer job is exhausting

The taxi dancer job is very exhausting, especially at big events with high female surplus. I have already seen that taxi dancers had to dance for 7 hours non-stop because as they were not given a minute’s rest. In addition, they feel guilty if the women are waiting in three queues. The boys are burned out after a few months and dance their routines just like machines. That cannot be the intention. Whether paid for or not, dancing should still be fun for everyone.

The absence of female taxi dancers

Of course, you hear moaning when you ask for female taxis. After all, there is a woman surplus anyway. But you should not forget, there are also dancers who do not have the confidence to ask good dancers for a dance. Or male dancers who are not very experienced and who would like to improve by dancing with good female dancers. I’ve talked to quite some people who would like to see more female taxis. Apart from that, many men consider it unfair that great dancers are organized exclusively for women.

What needs to happen?

“Everything in moderation”! The flood of taxi dancers is growing too quickly. If a good festival can only be successful if at least 50 or 100 taxi dancers are offered, then the scene is going in the wrong direction. The concept of taxi dancers is great and should continue to exist – but in moderation.

Organizers should keep an eye on the size of their event and, if possible, pay attention to the ratio between women and men during the ticket pre-sales. The number of taxi dancers should be booked accordingly.

Organizers should increase the motivation of male dancers by booking female taxi dancers as well. Female dancers are still rare at the moment.

An appeal to all women – dance also with the “normal dancers”! Do not forget, you were also beginners. There are many good “normal” dancers and, above all, there are many who could become very good if given the chance. How do you get better? Through exercise! After all, we want more men in the scene and not to lose those who have potential.

Push and motivate the male dancers, especially if they are still inexperienced. Tell them how they can improve their leading and what does not feel good. He cannot know this by himself. Dancers need feedback, not everyone has it automatically in his blood. Help them to improve, then we all benefit in the long run.

Conclusion

The basic idea of the “taxi dancer” is good and necessary. But the development of taxi dancers is currently going in the wrong direction at the expense of especially inexperienced male dancers. To avoid this, male dancers need to be motivated and pushed and some female dancers should reconsider their attitude towards normal dancers. Only in this way can and will the scene grow on both sides.

 

1 reply
  1. Hamid Gh
    Hamid Gh says:

    I think the Taxi dancers should just apply to great festivals, the small parties have to manage the workshops to courage people to interact more with each other. If you get to know better someone while you’r enjoying the workshop’s you’ll ask him/her easier than others. At the same time a taxi dancer need to know that it is a voluntary position, if you do not or can’t just go as individual.

    My experience as a dancer is if I go to a party without any expectation I will enjoy more, a real taxi dancer is someone who have an open attitude to let the people ask her/him without any names (as taxi-dancer)

    Enjoy the dance and do not look at it like a job, god bless and have fun.

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