At dances I'll sometimes skip out on the initial partnering to see if
there's someone who didn't end up with a partner but would like one.
I've done this the most at dances where I have some sort of
responsibility in the group (bida, the contra dances at swarthmore),
but I try to do it whenever I notice people getting left out. This
works pretty well at getting people in, especially new people. The
main way it doesn't work is if I get asked to dance by an experienced
dancer when I intend to be doing this. I can avoid that somewhat by
making myself scarce refilling water pitchers or whatever, but
sometimes people who are fun to dance with and will not be having any
trouble finding a partner ask me right away. I can say "I'm sorry;
I'm looking for a left out newcomer to dance with" but that's kind of
strange and a bit of a mouthful. I think what I need is a name for
this activity. Is there one already in use somewhere else? I'd like
to be able to say "sorry, not this dance, I'm [name-of-this]ing".
Another advantage of a name is that even if the person I'm talking to
doesn't understand me at the time beyond "jeff won't dance, need to
find a different partner", if they come talk to me later I can give
more detail and it will have a name attached.