How not to salsa

I go to salsa most Wednesday nights. There are salsa and bachata classes early in the evening, and straight after the classes, there is a free social salsa night where everyone goes to dance.

Last week, for some reason, I was just on a roll. Everyone wanted to dance with me. Normally I take my place in the corner and wait for a friend to arrive who I can dance with, instead of dancing with a stranger (although I’ve been going for so long now, I know a lot of their faces and have danced with them before, but never really caught their names or stopped to chat with them…shall we call them salsa-not-so-strangers?, because I feel like I kind of know them).

But last week, salsa-not-so-stranger after salsa-not-so-stranger just kept asking to dance with me. I finished one dance and as I ran back to hide in my corner, someone else would invite me to dance, it was so surreal…did this mean I was actually getting good?

Anyway, this guy asked me to dance probably my fourth dance in a row, after a few seconds, the volume of the music went up (as often happens) and I got a really bad headache, I wasn’t concentrating and our dance really did not go well.

He was a better dancer than me (not hard, but still, it’s best to state that), and I just had a lot of trouble reading his dancing signals. He held his hands in the air and actually sighed when I spun and missed the cue to take his hand again. He purposely left his hand there on several occasions and at one point rolled his eyes at me.

After about 20 seconds, when he realised he’d made a bad choice in choosing me as his dance partner, he was actively looking around at other women, deciding who he would dance with next, like he had zero focus on me and was looking for the next one. Fine, alright, cool.

As he was looking around, I decided not to look at him any longer. I wasn’t looking for my next dance partner, I was looking for a place in the room where I could sit down and take a rest. As I spun (probably in the wrong direction) I scratched the poor guy’s arm. It wasn’t even just a little scratch, it was like elbow to wrist in length, and then he made eye contact with me, and his eyes just shouted out so now you scratch me, for real?

Add all that to me stepping on his toes and generally not dancing well in his company, I think it’s safe to say we won’t dance with each other again. At the end, he didn’t even say thank you, which is standard dancing etiquette, no? I usually dance alright, it was just at that point I was tired, I had a headache and wasn’t concentrating. Maybe we should have ended the dance early and evacuated the dancefloor*.

*I tried to find a salsa version of this song but couldn’t find one

More salsa stories to come…

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