Salsa Slump.

5 Jan

It is normal to go through cycles, highs and lows, in everyday life. In salsa, it is the same thing, sometimes high, sometimes not so high. Even a salsa gigolo will go through these cycles. I reflect on the reasons why I sometimes go through these cycles.

Inconsistency
Inconsistency can come in many forms. There can be inconsistency in myself, in my dance partners, in other dancers on the dance floor, in the music, or in the venue. Recently, I got a cold/ flu that took me out for about 2 weeks, which reminded me how important personal health is for a salsa gigolo.

Disconnection
Perhaps the most important thing for me in a dance, is connection. I would rather dance the basic all night with connection, than lead a bunch of moves without connection. I am guilty in this, that when there is no connection, I will lead a bunch of moves just to fill-up time and space.

No Heart, No Soul
This goes with connection, but unlike connection, this can be contagious. When I’m not dancing, I like to watch others dance. Above good technique, and independent of anyone’s level, what captivates me most is a salsa gigolo who dances with his heart and soul. When one dances without heart and soul, it can be contagious, and other dancers will dance without their heart and soul.

Limitations of Vocabulary
For salsa, there is music and there is dance. And there are dance lessons. Depending on the instructor, we learn certain dance vocabulary, rules and conditions. Syntax and pronunciation. Sometimes the music conveys something that I want to express, but I am limited by my vocabulary. Sometimes what I want to say is lost in translation. For salsa, there are rules and conditions, only if we insist there are rules and conditions. Salsa gigolos unite! You have nothing to lose but your turn patterns.

No Love
Alas, these days I feel like a wanderer. Searching, searching, for my perfect dance partner. For ‘The One’ with whom I shall dance all night, and for all nights to come. Sometimes I am lured by a salsa succubus, but it eventually becomes apparent that she wants me only for an aerobic workout. No love, just salsa. Sometimes I see fleeting glimpses of ‘The One’. She is out there.

No Friends, Just Salsa Friends
This is not so true. I enjoy the company of my fellow salsa gigolos, but in the end, we are all just salsa gigolos, probably each searching for our ‘One’. It has been just a little over a year, and strangely, none of my fellow salsa gigolos have found his ‘One’. Tempted by sumptuous salsa succubi, yes. Tied down, and settled down, no. Can a man and a woman just be friends? Yes, they can be salsa friends.

One of Many
I think every salsa gigolo must go through a salsa identity crisis, every now and then. Am I dancing salsa or am I dancing McSalsa? Does my salsa have anything to say, if it looks like everyone else’s salsa? If my salsa is different, is my salsa being understood? Is it any good? Is my salsa falling behind the Jones’s salsa? I find that these questions become irrelevant, and salsa identity becomes irrelevant, when one gets close to finding ‘The One’.

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3 Responses to “Salsa Slump.”

  1. El Tigre January 27, 2010 at 4:25 am #

    Loved this post as I’m in my first real salsa slump. I was wondering if you could impart some advise on how you overcome them?

  2. salsagigolo January 27, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Hi El Tigre,

    Thanks for your question. Asking myself this question was a useful exercise, and here are some thoughts:

    Who: I have the most pleasure dancing with novice salseras, so when I can, I do, no apologies. Fresh meet salsera is the best. Other salsa gigolos may prefer advanced salseras. Chacun à son goût. For me, I take particular pleasure in making a novice salsera look and feel good on the dance floor. Advice: dance with more fresh meet salsera.

    What: I don’t like some moves, so I don’t lead them, even if salseras might like them. I’ll let other salsa gigolos lead those moves. As much as the moves that one leads, it’s also those moves that one doesn’t lead that defines one’s style. I am comfortable in my style. Advice: lead the moves I like.

    When: I go out a lot less frequently than in my initial addiction phase. No more 6 days per week salsa for me. And when I’m out, if I feel my energy start to drain, I know then it’s time to leave. Or if I stay longer, I know that I shouldn’t expect much. Before, salsa was like a race, to quickly not suck. Now, salsa is not like a race at all. Advice: know when to leave, or to slow down.

    Where: I have my favourite places, so I go to those. Other places that I don’t like, I don’t go. It may be the location, the physical layout of the room, the music, the crowd, the angle of the dancefloor, whatever. Advice: go to places I like.

    Why: I dance salsa mainly for the salseras. Not for competing, not for performing, not for teaching, not for impressing other salsa gigolos. It’s just for the salseras. Give me a room full of salseras, and no other salsa gigolos, and I would be very happy. Or, give me one salsera, with whom I can dance all night, and I’d be just as happy. This is the ‘Why’ for me, but it might not be the ‘Why’ for another salsa gigolo. The ‘Why’ is probably the most important thing. Advice: know my ‘Why’, and be true to it.

    How: I like to approach each dance with Connection, Love, Openness, Sincerity, and Energy. CLOSE-embrace salsa. Advice: dance CLOSE-embrace salsa, or at the very least, dance with Sincerity.

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