Hi Edie, I’ve just recently logged on to your website and just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it. It takes a special kind of person to open up their life for everyone else to read and I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate that kind of commitment.
I’ve spent five years of my life engaged to a man who refused to dance with me because he’d mistaken my smiling on the dance floor for laughing at his dancing. I’ve been single for two years now and I’ve pledged to myself that my soul mate would have the same passion for dancing that I do, especially Salsa!
I was bitten by the Salsa Bug sometime in March of this year. I intended to take an East Coast Swing class and attended a Salsa class by mistake. Best mistake I’ve ever made in my life. — Since then, I’ve taken some private lessons and group classes and I’m picking it up fairly quickly (10 years of ballet and jazz training have been helpful). I’ve been concentrating on trying to follow different leads.
Everyone man seems to have his own style. Of course, when I’m dancing with the instructor, I feel as if I could do anything. His lead is so smooth. Friends have asked me what do I mean when I describe somebody as a “smooth lead” and the only explanation I can come up with is this: It’s like the guy is driving a standard shift car. When he’s shifting gears, he has to let off the gas, press the clutch, shift gears, and press on the gas again in one smooth motion. Now, just about any guy can shift gears. But the idea is to shift the gears without disturbing the motion of the car (i.e., popping the clutch, grinding the gears, shifting the steering wheel, . . . you get the picture).
Now a real smooth lead is one that can change lanes, adjust the rear view mirror, and give his partner a sweet kiss on the cheek while shifting those gears! Granted, we women love to be driven (so to speak) smoothly and seductively across the dance floor; however, it is fair to say that the men too, would much rather be driving a Ferrari than a Pinto (no offense to Pinto owners). And I must say that I know what it’s like to feel like a Pinto. That’s when one of the best dancers in a club asks you to dance once and only once never to come near you again for the rest of the evening or any other time you enter the club. Need I say that it does not feel good.
Anyway, I still try to go to as many Salsa clubs as much as I can even though I can’t find anyone else as interested in going as I am. (This is what happens when you’re exclusively involved with someone for over five years.) So, I’ve resigned to going by myself even though I realize that this is sometimes misinterpreted by others.
Edie, I realize you’re very busy and may not be able to respond to this inquiry. If that’s the case, I completely understand. But I’ll ask my questions anyway in the event you do have a minute. [I’m not sure about going to clubs alone] I won’t know a soul there but I’m willing to take my chances and go to some of the clubs alone. Any suggestions or advice you may have for me will be greatly appreciated. By the way, I also got on the Partner Search page – hopefully I will find someone to practice with!
Thank you for taking the time to read the longest e-mail I’ve ever written. And thank you for having such an inspirational website. Your life must be exhausting!
Afraid of Going Out There Alone…
Dear Afraid of Going Out There Alone…
I wrote a related article about this a few years ago… here it is.
You don’t need to know anyone at the club to go dancing! Especially Salsa!
I go alone to nightclubs 100% of the time! In fact, I PREFER IT – I can leave when I want, or stay AS LONG AS I WANT. If there is one thing a Salsera cannot stand is having to go home because her “friend” wants to leave. That is right up there next to car wrecks, scratching chalk on chalkboard, accidentally eating moth balls, and getting pulled over for speeding. Nothing worse.
Here’s what I do:
- Walk into the nightclub totally DECKED OUT and ready for dancing – but not trashy – dress conservatively. Believe it or not, men are intimidated by super short skirts, and anything that is too sexy or that will fall off, or get wrapped up around him… See the Dress Devil article that Yohan wrote. It’s hysterical, omg.
- Now I put AN ENORMOUS SMILE on my face!
- I then ask ANYONE to dance (as you get better, you will have more confidence to ask the great dancers to dance).
- Keep smiling (even if you have to fake it).
- Smile more.
- … THEN SMILE SOME MORE!!! 100% of men will tell you that your SMILE Is the sexiest part about you!
- … lit up their entire evening.
- … helped them realize that life isn’t all that bad.
- … encouraged them (budding Salsero) to “keep trying”.
- … made them feel better about themselves.
AND THEN… I’ve had MEN tell me that my smile made them super jealous when I was dancing with another man AND NO THEM. Ha!! Happens.
I used to date a particular Salsero jerk that when I smiled, it had to be WITH HIM – and NOT ANYONE ELSE. I know some of you think I’m exhagerating, but I’m not. My choices of men in the past have been ROCK BOTTOM DECISION to SAY THE LEAST.
So my advice to you is, NEVER go with anyone to Salsa clubs (just meet them there instead)
and SMILE, SMILE, SMILE!!!!
– Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!