Most of us begin salsa dancing because we enjoy dancing in general and like latin music. We prefer getting down and dirty on the dance floor than getting drunk, drugged and dizzy in a nightclub. We don’t always want to go out to have deep and meaningful chats, especially after a long day at work. We rather dance our hearts out, have a drink and come back home, without the need and pressure to be ‘verbally social’.
All this is quite contrary to the nature of salsa dancing. It is such a super ice-breaker. When someone asks to you dance, within less than a minute of knowing him, you land up spending the next 5 minutes or so locked in his arms, your body an inch away from his. Before you ask, there is an unsaid code between dancers. If you are a dancer, unless you are a snobbish, good for nothing asshole, you dance with everyone who asks you to, especially the first time anyway. (Things may not be so straightforward the next time around).
Apart from the above reasons, I started dancing because I needed a stress buster and I love going out and dancing. Had/have no particular interest in making close buddies on the dance floor, or talking about love and life as a means to get to know someone better. I go to dance. We are in the same place because we share the hobby. Punto. IF we talk, and IF we become friends, it would be unforced and yes, a bonus. But otherwise, I am happy just dancing. There is nothing more annoying than you dancing bachata with someone unfamiliar and they decide they want to get to know everything about you in those 5 minutes, after all – his mouth is millimetres away from your ear. It is such a turn off. Talk to me post dance mate.
Anyway…coming to my point. It is amazing to realise how many people you have not spoken to, or don’t know their name when you have been physically closer to them than perhaps any of your non-dancing friends, and you see them alot more than your non-dancing friends. I remember a time when I had grown very fond of someone on the dance floor. We shared some great dances and yes had the odd conversations; and for about a year – I didn’t know his name, where he was from, what he did, nothing. But everytime I saw him, I would be happier to see him than to see say a colleague from work. It didn’t matter what I knew or didn’t know about him. How can that be?
I think it’s the no-obligations virus. I don’t have to talk to him, but I can if I want to. Nothing will change the way we dance together, or whatever the hell we have together. Such relationship’s are so unique.
Same thing in Spain. Yesterday, after 5 months of dancing atleast twice a night, 3 nights a row with …..ummm…..no idea what his name is…..he realised I don’t speak Spanish too well, and that I’m not Spanish.
What lands up happening when you dance as much as a lunatic like me, is that you land up having a large number of acquaintances who are super dancers and you know them just enough to be comfortable and feel part of things. Life problems, work problems, relationship issues, need to compromise, partner problems, bombs in Iraq, floods in India, hunger in Ethiopia, everything is forgotten for those few hours out dancing. Such bliss! Isn’t that the true essence of having fun? Do we really need close friends to go out and have a great time? Well, dancers don’t anyway. You may say that we are escapists and that it’s a bit pathetic; that we are loners afraid of admitting it. But it’s quite the contrary. Not sure what I’d do if I didn’t dance.