Learn to Salsa dance with Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
“Dear Edie,
Hi. I kind of have a problem that occurs with some women I dance with. I take advanced classes and have been annoyed and/or confused on what to do about the following:
When I perform any connecting move, such as doing a basic turn, grabbing the right hand, turning her, and placing the right hand on the back of my neck, the woman shys away from touching my neck and/or collar just below my neck. It also happens with the same move with the left hand coming over and brushing your head.
I obviously don’t have this problem with my main partner/girlfriend, but when I dance with strangers or even friends, some pull away. I really like those moves and would hate to abandon them. I am hardly ugly and am a strong lead, but I feel somewhat humiliated when this happens. I also don’t sweat much at all. What is the etiquette here? My philosophy is SALSA is a contact sport and if you don’t want to be touched (in the normal course of dancing) then you shouldn’t be out there.
What are some alternatives without abandoning the flair and intricacies of SALSA. This has really been bothering me for sometime now and I’m interested to hear what the you think. It doesn’t happen with every person I dance with, but it happens enough that I notice. I guess I understand it from the woman’s point of view – that some basically think it is gross to be touching a stranger like that, but I mean come on, it’s hardly like I am groping them. There! I got it off my chest.”
“- Wanna do my move damn it!”Dear “Wanna do my move, damn it!”,
I love this move, but tend to shy away from it like those women you talk about only when the guy is absolutely dripping, and sweat. When he places (forces) my hand on his dripping, greased hair and then down his slimy wet neck, it completely grosses me out and I CAN’T WAIT for the song to end. I end up wiping his sweat off on my dress, then have to tolerate the rest of the song with him. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is sometimes. We all have certain toleration levels. It’s funny, the better the dancer we’re dancing with, the more “tolerable” we are (man or woman). Aren’t we all self-serving narcissistic bit-ches sometimes?

BUT, if you say you are NOT sweating at the time, then there are some moves that some men do, that certain women just don’t like. Keep in mind, that you’re not the ONLY one they shy away from. Some women would rather just have you hold them in a regular closed position. You need to identify who those women are, and don’t do certain moves with them. Consider this an opportunity to learn different moves that they may like better. I have a student of mine that dances with a woman out here in Colorado that asked him not to put her into any Cross Body Leads.

I almost fell off my chair.

When he told me that, I was like… “What the f___?”
He surprised me when he told me that he “took it as a challenge, and did every move he knew that did not involve a Cross Body Lead.”

Wow. Now THAT is a man I can admire. Taking an otherwise pitiful woman, and literally “creating” something beautiful with her. My respect for him shot through the roof at that point.
(If it were me, well, I would have left her ___ss on the floor to dance by herself.)

I know a gal, that whenever she gets thrown into a dip, she goes into a “seated position” and, I’m not kidding, virtually “sits” on the dance floor! This drives the guys NUTS! Like clockwork, she does this EVERY TIME! Most of the guys know by now not to put her into a dip, because she just refuses to do it. Most conservative women feel uncomfortable with their hands anywhere else on a man’s body other than their right hand on your shoulder, and their left hand on your back. That’s all the more they want or are willing to touch. Nothing else. They truly feel that if their hands are too close to your face, back, or rear, it’s considered being forward or flirtatious, and they do not want to be put in that position, hence the reason why they back off believe it or not. Remember, that everyone has been brought up differently, in different cultures, and with different values. Respect them, and they will respect you.

Happy Dancing!
– Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
Edie The Salsa FREAK!! Website