I’m writing this post out of pure love and affection for up and coming dancers in any dance scene, truly. I’m giving you advice that maybe no one will ever tell you to your face, but will affect your social and dance life for as long as you stick around. Consider this a piece of insider advice that is going to help you assimilate yourself into the dance scene faster and smoother. Are you ready for it? Here it is: STOP TALKING ON THE DANCE FLOOR. Just stop it. (For a laugh see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw)
Many new people commit this social faux-pas as a way to feel less awkward about their dances. But if you you start talking over the music, THAT’s the thing that will annoy us — not your small repertoire of moves. Yes, we know you are having a difficult time hearing and interpreting the music. Yes, you only can do the basic step and a basic turn. That’s OKAY. No really, it is! Get comfortable listening to the music for 4 minutes while looking at the person at the end of your fingertips and smiling on occasion. Be patient with yourself. The space that you believe is awkward silence is not silence to those of us who hear the music. We are enjoying this dance with you because the music speaks to us. You know how it feels to have music blasting in your car with the windows down when you’re on the highway? That’s how it feels when we’re dancing. Let the music take over.
But how will I make friends otherwise? If you want to make friends, chatting off the dance floor is the place to do it. Just don’t be in a rush to find new friends (especially a romantic interest if that’s why you picked up dancing in the first place). Seeming too eager to get to know us is a social deterrent and a sure-fired way to get yourself noticed in a negative way. Personally, I don’t want to give you my life story. I let people get to know me slowly and naturally. I don’t come to salsa to be interviewed on my life. I come to salsa to escape. I don’t need you to ask how work has been, how my dog is, or anything else that you’ve learned about me through these probing questions. Just chill. Be around. Get comfortable. Your friendships will develop naturally, and you’ll find that people will eventually take interest in YOU and ask YOU the questions.
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