Salsa > Friendliness on the Scene

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by volleybgrl, May 13, 2004.

  1. volleybgrl

    volleybgrl New Member

    Hey all-

    Last night, after meeting people at a salsa social, we all decided to get a late night snack at a local pizza place. As we were all eating and talking, I realized that I barely knew half the people that I was with :shock: , but our love for salsa fostered a sense of camaraderie and affinity for each other. I have yet to meet someone that I don't like, and I don't think there's any sort of tension between members of our salsa community, even though our community is somewhat small. Everyone seems like they're genuinely friendly and want to be part of a big family. I wonder: is this the case for all dance scenes, or is our community just lucky? Comments welcome :D
  2. tj

    tj New Member

    IMHO, there's not a more subjective highly individualized question than that!

    I think individual experiences vary across the whole spectrum with this one!

    (...but hey, congrats! Sounds like you've met some nice folk!)
  3. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    A lot of it has to do with the type of person you are. If you are friendly, open, welcoming...people tend to respond positively to you.
  4. volleybgrl

    volleybgrl New Member

    Then let me re-phrase. What is the dynamic of your local salsa scene? What would you change? What would you keep the same? Do you have any stories to share? I'd love to hear.
  5. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Hiya volleybgrl,

    I actually think there's a bit more to your original post... certainly individual circumstances, personality, expectations, and happensatnces will provide for a very wide range of indiviudal experiences. That being said, I think that smaller communities lend themselves to the more friendly atmosphere you describe. This isn't to say that everyone really loves everyone else but, rather, that the dance community is too small to sustain two active factions so any differences are tucked away in a way which they are not in larger dance communities.

    If you can avoid someone (and all of their friends) without losing an abundant suply of dance partners you are much more likely to do so than if the same avoidance might alienate you from a goodly portion of the available partners, no?
  6. tj

    tj New Member

    Well said!

    In some ways, I have had friends say that the salsa scene is lot like high school all over again. And I totally agree with SDsalsaguy's take that it has to do with the size of a scene as to the friendliness.

    As far as me personally - being the extrovert/social butterfly that I am, when I go to a new scene, it's only a matter of time before I find/establish a good group of friends and start spending lots of time with them.

    Back in Denver, there was a group of 5-10 of us that would get together after dancing on Mondays, and go to the local Denny's for a bite to eat. We were such regulars that the waitress would have our drinks ready for us before we even sat down! This eating after salsa was a tradition brought to us by a friend of mine who had moved to Denver from Singapore. And I'm pleased to say that the tradition has carried on even though both she and I are no longer in Denver.

    I hear and see all sorts of dramas and gossip all the time. And while it's amusing at times, for the most part it gets tedious, and I'll distance myself from it. Especially from the drama queens and kings that I have known.

    A lot of the groups that I have seen form, tend to be around certain instructors. In that people who take lessons together, dance and hang out together. But I'd say that this is a voluntary/willing thing, and it's not too hard to move from group to group if you so choose.

    So, overall my experience is a good one. But I see lots of people get their egos stomped on - often by the very people who treat me well. I influence how I can, but it's too big a part of the scene for me to make a big stink over.

    For example, one gal that I'm friendly with, shot down two guys within 10-20 seconds of each other. Very direct and mildly rude. I walked up beside her, and gave her a hard time by making jet crashing noises to her. She gave me a *look*, and then grabbed my hand and led me out to the dancefloor. Flattering for me, but rude for the two guys she just rejected offhand.

    I've seen more rudeness in the 9 months I've been dancing in Seattle than I had over the 3+ years that I danced in Denver. So that reinforces my belief that larger scenes make for ruder behavior.
  7. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    tj, I've seen a lot of the things you mention...
    Being a dance instructor, I can tell you that yes groups tend to form around un instructors... but as you said it's only natural...
    The thing is that the egos and own personality traits of some people might hurt the salsa scene a lot...
  8. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    Great topic, Volleybgirl!

    Having been in my scene since its existence from the beginning, I can certainly tell you that it has changed a lot. We used to know everybody; and sure, there were always personal differences, but there were certainlt no segragation as it is today!

    As SD had put it together so well, I wouldn't need to add much at all. As an individual who receive a certain degree of respect (out of my 'vintage' more than anything else :roll: ), all I can do is be open to everyone, while blurring the boundaries between groups as much as I can.

    *We want to spread the positive vibes around, while sharing wisdoms/experiences to help eachother grow. To me, this is my family (a global one, no less!), that's the main reason why I (& many others) am here at DF :D !*
  9. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    :shock: :shock: What...?! :cry: I loved Seattle scene when I last visited....

    *I wonder if Melbourne scene is also perceived that way :? , as I've been told the size (amongst other things) is similar to Seattle......*
  10. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    The Denver scene is a small, friendly scene. Don't get me wrong we have our distinct groups that form around the area instructors, but all in all they're very coordial with each other. It's really great for me since I didn't begin here; I dance very different from most of those that learned here in Denver so they're all very friendly with me. What I love about the salsa community (for the most part) is when I'm traveling and show up at a new club...once they find out I'm a serious salsero they kinda take me in.
  11. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    Jet crashing noises, Tj! You're hilarious!!!
    I agree with what you said as well. Although, over here in our almost non-existent salsa scene, you get profound cliques, A sleeping with B, gossip & daggers, the whole shabang. I try not to get too deeply involved as I have better things to do with my time, but after the salsa parties I produce with my buddy(my former instructor), we get a group of people and go out for food/drinks and it's a lot of fun for all involved. I have frequent dinner parties and occasionally include them, and they are always cordial and talkative (and we all always end up dancing in my livingroom!!!).

    Interesting topic, indeed!
  12. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I haven't been dancing salsa very long, but I think on the whole the Scottish scene is a friendly one, partly because of its small size and also the Scots being friendly folk. Cliquey behaviours, bitching and instructor rivalry do seem to exist, but not to the extent that affects the vibes of the entire scene.

    One thing I've found is that Edinburgh and Glasgow are almost like two separate scenes. There are people who go to both, but many people seem to stick to one or the other. I started out in Edinburgh, and when I started going to Glasgow, I felt like a complete stranger. It took me a while to get acquainted with enough people there to feel comfortable, but once people knew my face, it was fine.
  13. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    the Salsa scene in my city is small... and segregated! about 5 cliques... one for each school... they tend to go out together... outsiders are accepted, but up to a certain degree...
    yes cocodrilo, I know what you mean... it seems I've slept with half the dancers in the disco and I shall with the other half! :shock: :shock: Yes, that's what I heard about myself! I'm sleeping with a guy just because we come together or leave together... I wish I had as much experience as they give me credit for! :roll: :oops: :p
  14. tj

    tj New Member

    One person's rudeness is another's "just being themselves"...

    It's all relative, but "general dance etiquette" isn't being followed a large amount of the time. And it's individualized. I've known and seen people who come visit and have a grand ol' time. And I've known and seen people who have fun in their local scene but not have fun in the Seattle scene.

    Perhaps to generalize and say a scene is "X" is going too far. I think it varies a lot by individual perspectives. So if a friend of mine says that his experience was good/bad, I'm not going to argue and tell him he's wrong. His own experience is as valid as the rest of ours.
  15. volleybgrl

    volleybgrl New Member

    I like the turn that this topic has taken. :D What are other salsa communities like?
  16. tj

    tj New Member

    In my experience:

    Hong Kong was exceptionally friendly.

    Barcelona and Madrid medium friendly. Bit of a language problem since my Spanish sucks.

    London - big club: not so friendly, small class/club: friendly

    Vancouver - mostly friendly, nice scene

    Portland - mostly friendly, picked a bit of an off weekend

    Waikiki (Honolulu) - a bit stand-offish at first; warmed up quickly

    NYC - mixed results; quite a few friendly, but hardly everyone

    oh, and L.A. was friendlier than NYC
  17. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    now way, we are so friendly here. Just ask for the time to anyone, they'll tell you to get a watch. Ask for directions you'll end up in the South Bronx. Walk in behind someone, the door will smack you on the face. If you hold the door open for the person behind you, you'll be beautifuly ignored. Ask for a dance, they'll look at you up and down for 3 songs before saying NO. hehe... NY City is the friendliest place on earth. :together:
  18. tj

    tj New Member


    Actually, in my experience growing up in NJ, people from the Tri-State area tend to be outwardly rude to each other, but as soon as they get to know you, you get welcomed with open arms. Meanwhile, out west, people tend to be more outwardly polite, but less likely to let you into their lives/social circles.

    IMHO, of course.
  19. aragonh

    aragonh New Member

    I though Seattle was cool!!

    I visited Seattle last year and I thought that scene was the bomb. I come from a "bigger city" but it has a small salsa scene compared to Seattle.

    The people were also friendly there. I went to this club called "Century Ballroom" (i think) and the people were all cool there. I danced will all that would say yes to me. The ones that said no . . .well . . .i think they were having lesbian moments (it couldnt be me, of course :wink: )

    But a vast majority said yes. Yeah I saw the cliques hanging with each other, but that didnt intimidate me. The ladies are more receptive to your dance offer if you look like your having fun out on the floor.

    The same general thing happened the other 2 nights i went out. I say it has something to do with the water, but the people were just cool.

    Sorry TJ about your experiences, but Seattle is definitely a Salsa scene i recommend to check out.
  20. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    That's hilarious, "...having lesbian moments"!!!!! :lol:

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