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“Edie, one thing I did want to ask you is how do you dance on a crowded floor? I know you mentioned to keep your feet on the ground, but I honestly don’t like being crowded. You really can’t do the moves without hitting somebody!”

That’s why I said “Salsa is a CONTACT SPORT”. In all my life, I have NEVER received so many bruises from accidental hits in ANY SPORT. I can’t even remember getting this banged up rough-housing and wrestling with my little brother when we were kids! What’s worse, is when your dance partner gets mad and ends up banging and crashing into people just to piss them off. Sometimes you just can’t dance to that song. Sometimes you’ll just have to kick back and enjoy the music! Dance solo to the rythm, clap your hands, shake your shoulders, close your eyes, and groove with it. BUT. If you just can’t stand it, and just HAVE TO GET OUT THERE, here’s a few things that work:

Keep your feet close to the floor. If you pick them up too much, you step on people.

And when (not “if” – it WILL happen some day) you DO step on someone and you KNOW IT, please, look at them, acknowledge it, touch their shoulder and apologize. They won’t kill you. 9 times out of 10, they’ll smile and say “It’s OK.”. Always, always, always sincerely apologize. It drives me crazy when some gal NAILS the top of my foot with her SPIKE HEEL and KNOWS IT, and continues dancing without even saying “sorry.”. The same when a man the size of an elephant STOMPS on my bare toe and keeps going, not missing a beat. AAARRRRGGGGGHHH!!!!!!

Foot Stories:
One time I nailed a woman, and I immediately embraced her shoulders and back with my right arm and said “Oh my God, I’m so sorry…” because I KNEW I hurt her pretty bad. I felt so terrible. But after she saw that I was sincere, she brushed it off, and limped to her seat. I felt like @#$%^. I felt ssssooooo bad!!! I apologized again after the song was over. Sometimes you just can’t help it, and need to mellow out for a while. There was another time, I was at St. Marks, and I kept stepping on this older gentleman over and over again. The funny thing was, that I would only end up stepping on him when I was dancing with one particular guy. I apologized every time, but then I realized that the guy I was dancing with couldn’t stand that older guy, and was causing me to do it! WHAT A SCUM BAG, I thought. I could have told him off, but I’m not one for making enemies, so the next time he asked me to dance, I pulled him as far away from that older guy as possible… clear to the other side of the dance floor…

Keep your steps small (directly below the center of your body) and hold your partner close. Don’t do too many turns. You can make this into a very wonderful experience…

Go to the outer edges of the dance floor and dance. At least you only have a 180 degree area (and 50% less frequency of hits) where people can’t bash into you.

Dance in the hallways, next to the tables, or outside the boundaries of the dance floor. Nobody said you HAVE to stay on the dance floor! Some of the best dancing I’ve seen is done on the carpet! This will also give a hint to the owners to actually EXPAND THE FLOOR.

Very smoothly and suttley, make room by GENTLY nudging against other people.

Say “Oh, excuse me, uh, sorry, oops, oh, SORRY!”, then they’ll move.

Wait for a Cha Cha…

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