how do I stop being bitter an enjoy salsa dancing again?

#42
Congrats on your return!!! As an instructor, it drives me nuts when people are not welcoming or exclude others. I wish everybody would could enjoy dancing on the same level.

Even as an instructor, I've always been an outsider...but more so on my own terms. Unlike many seasoned dancers who only dance with the best, I make it a point to dance with everybody. This keeps me out of circles and clicks. Also, since I try not to approach the same woman twice, that means if someone really enjoys dancing with me the first time, it's up to them to make the effort to come up for the 2nd dance. What this does for me is it shows me which people I want to surround myself with. Once I find my people, those are the ones I ask for more dances.

I went through a phase one time that I think most dancers go through where certain songs pulled the "snob strings" a bit where I wanted to find the best dancer and just throw down, but now I've realized that I would prefer to dance those songs with someone whom I connect more with than a really great dancer.

So dance with everybody, get to know more people....maybe get to know them outside of dance. One you are around the right people, you will be back and better than ever.

Note: This applies to social life in general. I could be at the crappiest event, bar, party.....but when you are in great company, none of that matters.

I hope this helps Austin. :) And Happy Holidays.
 
#43
If I can offer you some advice from the female perspective. I'm a very advanced dancer, I'm very attractive, and getting guys to ask me to dance has never been a problem. But, I have also left the salsa scene for this very reason. I love the dance, but the social aspects surrounding it make it feel like you're in high school again. There's really only two experiences: 1. You take salsa seriously and want to get better so you find people who are like-minded---- and they happen to be MUCH older and of various cultural backgrounds. OR 2. You are interested in finding a young crowd to dance with in efforts to improve your skills, and it's a meat market (in LA, overwhelmingly Latino). The people are hotter, but much more superficial. As a female, I've come to appreciate the male dancers who have a great style rather than a bunch of fancy moves. In fact, I steer clear of the instructors because they have massive egos and end up throwing me around like we're playing crack the whip. It's just not fun. Best advice I can give you is to find a significant other and take lessons with her. You'll always have a partner to go with and won't have to worry about competing against the other guys. otherwise, find a woman who is interested in taking lessons with you or just going out to practice. And do make sure you smell good and dress well (don't dress like a douche, it only embarrasses us, no matter how good a dancer you are).

Ahhh.... I wish I had someone like you to dance with :p.


Thanks for the advice and yes it seems pretty accurate from my observation as well. I did try going to a few dancing lessons at my local University campus and meeting people there. I enjoyed it every week when we had it (once a week) but by the time I got to it every week, I found bits and parts were starting to fade as I haven't practised it enough.. I also saw the difference between how happy a gal was when she was learning with me and with someone more experienced. You could see a frown turn to smile :( But I also improved and there was less frowns later on :) I also went to a dance ballroom where they host they latin dances and was surprised to see how it was kind of better to find some of the older people more interested and open to dancing with others. Because I was still sooo green and knew no one, I froze :(. But I know what you mean by it being a meat market as some of the ladies can really dress and move. One gal was stuck in my head for months with the way she moved in her heels, so with that said, It does make a difference how you dress. You're right, some of the other guys there dressed like the usual, jeans and T- shirt, uff. Thanks and Hope to keep in touch.
All the best to you in the New Year :)

Lee N
 
#44
Congrats on your return!!! As an instructor, it drives me nuts when people are not welcoming or exclude others. I wish everybody would could enjoy dancing on the same level.

Even as an instructor, I've always been an outsider...but more so on my own terms. Unlike many seasoned dancers who only dance with the best, I make it a point to dance with everybody. This keeps me out of circles and clicks. Also, since I try not to approach the same woman twice, that means if someone really enjoys dancing with me the first time, it's up to them to make the effort to come up for the 2nd dance. What this does for me is it shows me which people I want to surround myself with. Once I find my people, those are the ones I ask for more dances.

I went through a phase one time that I think most dancers go through where certain songs pulled the "snob strings" a bit where I wanted to find the best dancer and just throw down, but now I've realized that I would prefer to dance those songs with someone whom I connect more with than a really great dancer.

So dance with everybody, get to know more people....maybe get to know them outside of dance. One you are around the right people, you will be back and better than ever.

Note: This applies to social life in general. I could be at the crappiest event, bar, party.....but when you are in great company, none of that matters.

I hope this helps Austin. :) And Happy Holidays.

Thanks it does help. Especially the social aspects of life. One point you made, "but now I've realized that I would prefer to dance those songs with someone whom I connect more with than a really great dancer" really struck out at me when I attended a dance ball room to widen my scope. I noticed the difference between a couple who really knew how to do bachata and ones who were just having a dance. The ones who were really into it, moved like they were meant to be connecting soul, and that stood out to me for ....even up to til now :)

Thanks for the positive feed back and energy. Happy Holidays and a wishful hopeful new year to you as well :)

Lee N
 
#45
Hi Austin,

I guess it's like a mirror sort of in that you take in what you give out. but sometimes that mirror is a bit murky and has nothing to do with you because of some bad eggs with egotism problems. when I first started salsa there were a bunch of snobs who took things so seriously and ruin it for the new people. I figure it has something to do with the type of crowd and venue and the types of characters it attacts. I began to realise that hanging out with the best teachers from the biggest schools and some of the snobs wasn't a happy environment, So i started hanging out with smaller schools and geniune people. Now I have a whole heap of geniune friends that make up for all the snobbery.

You just gotta persist through and find the diamonds within the soot.
 
#46
Beginner guys go through a stage I call the salsa limbo.

A kind of purgatory defined by the catch-22 situation: girls like to dance with guys who are good, but in order to get good in the first place a newbie guy needs to get dances.

A lot of attrition in this stage, guys drop out like flies especially without the support of their own dance classmates.
 

Jag75

Active Member
#47
Your biggest enemy is fear.

Some people are great personalities, others are not. That's true everywhere. It's human psychology to magnify negative experiences in your mind, and ultimately that comes from your own ego. This is simply stating a fact.

Now, I'm not saying you're egotistical. Ego exists in everyone, and can alter your perceptions.

I have had the same experiences but I look past it, and I only hang out with good people. Problem solved. My dancing is improving measurably every month, and this is because despite some bad experiences, I still push on, and I still love it. The minimum I get out of it is a social life and exercise.

People are people, there will always be good and bad apples. This is reality and it shouldn't affect your desire to dance.
 
#48
I know exactly what your're saying, Austin. In my experience there are more advanced female dancers and some of them are real dance snobs. They will not talk to you, they'll give a vibe of them being frustrated or even worse - leave you in the middle of the song. And then there are beginner dancers who are really happy you dancing with them, think and tell you "wow, you're so good" etc. And then there are girls who come to salsa clubs and just stand there turning down all guys asking them to dance.
I know exactly what you are talking about! But I have to say - I am female, and I am a dance instructor, so I have heard it all from both viewpoints. It seems to me that people (especially I am sad to say female dancers) complain about their partners the most when they can't dance well themselves. Usually, a really advanced dancer will either find a way to avoid being asked by someone she doesn't want to dance with, or will dance the entire song, say 'Thank you' at the end, and that'll be the end of it. But those dancers who consider themselves advanced, but are maybe so only because their teacher tells them so, are the ones who will roll their eyes, and complain, and walk off in the middle of the dance. In my opinion, they do this because subconsciously they know they aren't that good. Just ignore the snobs.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#49
themselves advanced, but are maybe so only because their teacher tells them so, are the ones who will roll their eyes, and complain, and walk off in the middle of the dance. In my opinion, they do this because subconsciously they know they aren't that good. Just ignore the snobs.
Not in all cases. I have a lady friend ( PR ) who in the past, walked off the floor, in the middle of a dance, I asked her why ? she replied " I got tired of being thrown around ".
The person in question ( also latino ), had been taught by a friend of mine, and had not yet learned, that less is more, with someone "new".

By the way, the lady is an excellent dancer .
 
#50
Not in all cases. I have a lady friend ( PR ) who in the past, walked off the floor, in the middle of a dance, I asked her why ? she replied " I got tired of being thrown around ".

Yes, I've been in situations like this! I still think it is incredibly rude to walk off the dance floor. I usually try to tell the offender politely that I don't need such a strong lead, or make a joke, like "Hey! Pick on someone your own size!" I've even said that my shoulder was bothering me, so could the leader take extra care not to push and pull. In most cases this works, but if it doesn't, I finish the dance anyway. I just think it is incredibly rude to walk off and leave someone standing in the middle of the dance floor. I know I would feel horrible if it was me.
 

SDsalsaguy

Administrator
Staff member
#51
Yes, I've been in situations like this! I still think it is incredibly rude to walk off the dance floor. I usually try to tell the offender politely that I don't need such a strong lead, or make a joke, like "Hey! Pick on someone your own size!" I've even said that my shoulder was bothering me, so could the leader take extra care not to push and pull. In most cases this works, but if it doesn't, I finish the dance anyway. I just think it is incredibly rude to walk off and leave someone standing in the middle of the dance floor. I know I would feel horrible if it was me.
That's all well and good DR, but no one owes it to anyone else to let themselves be injured. I recently had to point this out to a follow who felt so queasy after being thrown around on the floor that she stopped dancing and went home early for the night. Likewise, as someone with a lasting shoulder injury (from a car accident that kept me off the floor for 2+ years), I am not going to let someone do permanent physical damage to me just to spare their feelings. In my case, as a leader, I do of course have far more control and options as far as how I connect with my partner and what I lead... but again, no one owes their physical well being to anyone else.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#52
Yes, I've been in situations like this! I still think it is incredibly rude to walk off the dance floor. I usually try to tell the offender politely that I don't need such a strong lead, or make a joke, like "Hey! Pick on someone your own size!" I've even said that my shoulder was bothering me, so could the leader take extra care not to push and pull. In most cases this works, but if it doesn't, I finish the dance anyway. I just think it is incredibly rude to walk off and leave someone standing in the middle of the dance floor. I know I would feel horrible if it was me.
Apparently. you do not know P.R .women ,very well !!:rolleyes:.

By the way, this was a very mature lady,(dancing with a very young guy), who held a very high Govt.position in DC ,and I guess, she doesnt suffer fools gladly.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#53
That's all well and good DR, but no one owes it to anyone else to let themselves be injured. I recently had to point this out to a follow who felt so queasy after being thrown around on the floor that she stopped dancing and went home early for the night. Likewise, as someone with a lasting shoulder injury (from a car accident that kept me off the floor for 2+ years), I am not going to let someone do permanent physical damage to me just to spare their feelings. In my case, as a leader, I do of course have far more control and options as far as how I connect with my partner and what I lead... but again, no one owes their physical well being to anyone else.
There comes a point where, good manners and safety, collide. I always opt for the 2nd one .
 

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
#55
I have a bad left shoulder from a bicycle accident over ten years ago. I will also not suffer fools gladly who yank at me. I will tell them first though and if they cannot help themselves I will stop dancing with them, even in mid-dance. But, I will walk them off the dance floor and chat with them until the end of the song. i will not just drop the person whom I am dancing with and walk off.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#56
I have a bad left shoulder from a bicycle accident over ten years ago. I will also not suffer fools gladly who yank at me. I will tell them first though and if they cannot help themselves I will stop dancing with them, even in mid-dance. But, I will walk them off the dance floor and chat with them until the end of the song. i will not just drop the person whom I am dancing with and walk off.
Nicely done...
 

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