What are the biggest fails you have gone through on the dance floor when dancing with a man as partner? I thought this was a hard one to write about, since I prefer to try to focus on positive vibes when dancing, plus I wouldn’t want any of the men becoming too nervous to ask me for a dance out of fear I would write a novel about their shortcomings. However since we all (we may as well admit it) have had a less than unsatisfactory dance from time to time (for many different reasons), here is a top 10 of things that bothers me the most.
1. The Physical Assault. Guys, we know you have the world’s most awesome moves, but there’s no need to break arms to get through them. Of course accidents happen, but please don’t get carried away in your awesomeness and give your partner a beating as you go along. Personally, I enjoy a nice and easy dance a lot more than being thrown around the dance floor like a lasso.
2. The Stink. We know you guys sweat (and so do we), and that’s absolutely okay. However, dancing with a guy who smells like rotten eggs is less of a pleasure. Please, try the best you can to keep the smelling to a minimum. Shower before going to a party or class and bring deodorant, chewing gum and possibly a clean shirt.
3. The Molester. This is an important one. Of course it’s hard to know exactly where someone draws a line regarding their personal space if you haven’t danced with them before. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Dancing Salsa is a physical and intimate matter and you get close to the person you’re dancing with, sometimes without really knowing them. So be polite and save the ass slaps, the dry humping, the lip biting and the pelvic thrusts until you’re sure they are appreciated
4. The Phone Addict. Checking your phone in the middle of a dance is rude, guys! A dance only lasts a few minutes and during those few minutes your attention should be focused towards your partner. Leave the cell in your pocket and check it after the dance.
5. The Angry Reject. Most of the times we would love to dance with you, but we’re only human. There are moments when our feet hurt, when we’re too hot, when we would like to get a drink, when we’ve been sweating so much the mascara has run into our eyes… And when we do say no, please do not take it personal.
6. The Show Off. There is nothing wrong with showing off, but don’t forget you’re dancing with a partner. Women oddly value it when you look at them once or twice during a dance. Connect with your partner and adjust to their level. Don’t start a dance of by testing how many spins you can get her to do. And if you happen to be doing your shines next to a mirror, ignore it (or at least try to be subtle).
7. The Teacher. Gentlemen, we know we will always need classes. Classes are necessary and wonderful and we appreciate your expertise, but not during a social dance. If we would like to take lessons with you, we will ask. If we don’t ask, we would just like to enjoy the dance and not be stopped every other beat for tips.
8. The Drunk. When you’re too drunk to touch your own toes properly, frankly we don’t want to be dancing with you.
9. The Fighter. We love a protective guy on the dance floor, but picking a fight because someone stepped on your toe is not necessary. There is limited space on a floor and a lot of times too many people that would like to dance, so accidents happen. Be nice about it, apologize to each other and leave it at that.
10. The Impossible, but Beautiful Outfit. This one is not the guy’s fault, it’s our own but we can’t help ourselves. All girls will know what I mean. We’ve all bought that one amazing dress and have tried to dance in it. It usually means only being able to dance with one hand, because the other is busy trying to either keep your dress down or up, or both. Dresses that look good and are suitable for dancing are hard to come by, unfortunately.
Now, to be clear: obviously I know that some of these things can’t be helped in some cases (you may have an illness that makes you smell terrible, you have a sick relative which is why you check your phone, you may be a long lost relative of Popeye and just can’t help your own strength). I am not talking about the exceptions, of which there are many. And obviously, we women aren’t perfect either. I haven’t danced with many, so I encourage the men to share their experiences here. Let’s laugh about our irritations and share them with friends and for Salsa’s sake, let’s please learn from them and try to use them to improve on our own dancing and the way we treat our dance partners. And above all, let’s be kind to each other and respectful towards one another on the dance floor.
Written by: Nina Dani
Blog Serie: Salsa and the City