Last year I finally pulled the trigger on something I wanted to do for a looooong time: learn to dance. Watching people effortlessly move and jive on the dancefloor inspired feelings of admiration and envy. The best dancers seemed to be possessed by a rhythmic demon that compelled them to shake their booty to enthrall onlookers. Sadly, I was born with “lyrical cartilage and calcium beat deficiency disease,” which means I didn’t have a single musical bone in my body. SO, I took the plunge and signed up for a six week Salsa and Latin dance class. Here’s what I learned:
Practice, Practice, Practice. (And practice some more)
My first class I stood in the dance space fidgeting my toes with my head down as we waited for the instructor. There were roughly six people in the class and it felt like I was the only one who was visibly nervous. Maybe it’s not too late to leave. I could pretend to go to the bathroom! No no no I can’t leave. Lord, why am I so nervous?! A few moments later the salsa teacher strolls into the room, “Hello class! My name is Rodolpho, let’s get started” There was nowhere to escape now.
Left foot, righ- wait no left UGGGGGHHHH.
Rodolpho started us out with a basic salsa move literally called “The Basic.” I quickly discovered I had no control over my limbs. I spent the entire class arguing, begging, pleading with my feet. Please just me get this one dance move right! My feet still fumbled despite my straining to concentrate on the proper movement. I left that first class completely deflated. The second week something magical happened: I started to get it! I focused less, allowing my feet to just move. This story is the same for every move I learned in that class. First frustration then tons of practice and eventually it clicks. By week six I went from owing two left feet to confidently dancing with a partner. It proves that you could learn anything with enough practice.
Attraction and Seduction
I knew taking Salsa would make more popular with the ladies, let’s be honest that was 99% the reason I signed up. Dancing with a partner helped me feel more comfortable with women. I learned super fast not to say stupid shit to my dance partner like, “This is kinda awkward, right?” These experiences also gave me deeper insight into traditional male to female attraction. Salsa taught me that the men must approach the women for a dance. Guys were also responsible for leading their partner throughout the dance and signaling changes in moves. It became the perfect metaphor for the role men play in dating and seduction. Healthy masculine energy comes from the willingness to be bold in the face of fear. Putting yourself out there (in this case asking for a dance) despite the risk of rejection makes you more attractive.
Dancing with different partners also showed me the importance of compatibility. We were forced to rotate partners during practice and I dreaded dancing with certain women. With an incompatible partner our movements felt stifled and ultra mechanical, I suspect this was because neither one of us felt comfortable. For some reason or another we wouldn’t click. With other ladies dancing became a fun almost effortless back and forth – almost like we could read each others minds and adjust instantly. I suspect real life is about the same. It all comes down to finding the right partner.
Don’t stop dancin’ – Barry