Partner Selection.

13 Apr

Here is a clip from the movie, “My Boyfriend is Type B” ». Salsa begins from about 1:59:

At 2:18 and 2:48, we see this guy … let’s call him Bob … in a salsa club group lesson, wistfully looking at this girl … let’s call her Jane … hoping to ask her to be his dance partner. Bob is too slow, and he is intercepted by another girl. Meanwhile, Jane is intercepted by an intrepid salsa gigolo!

You would think, with this set-up, that Bob is the hero of this scenario. Nay, the true hero in this scenario is the salsa gigolo. Ok, the salsa gigolo in this clip is not necessarily one, by whom we fellow salsa gigolos should model ourselves. For one, it’s hard to tell whether he’s leading or following, and later in the clip, we actually see Jane run away from the salsa gigolo, when she sees him walking on the street. Not good. Nevertheless, there are a few points to this salsa gigolo’s credit:

First, this salsa gigolo is trying to be thoughtful. We can tell that he’s not a complete beginner, and he’s presumably taking this beginner group lesson to help even-out the numbers. It is often the case that there are more women then men in beginner lessons, and if this salsa gigolo didn’t step-up, Jane might have had to dance by herself, or sit-out. If there are not enough guys, salsa gigolos step-up! There’s nothing sadder than beginner salseras having to sit-out a lesson, for lack of men. If this is her first time in a salsa club, it might also be her last. A rising tide of salseras lifts all salsa gigolos’s boats.

Aside: A thoughtful salsa gigolo will do a headcount before joining any beginner salsa group lesson. If there are already enough guys, it’s best to sit-out the lesson, to give budding salsa gigolos a chance to develop their skills. Salsa is not a zero-sum game.

Second, this salsa gigolo has some style. His style may be a bit questionable, but he is at least trying to look and dress the part of a salsa gigolo. If the clothes make the man, salsa clothes make the salsa gigolo. I appreciate it when a salsera wears something in a club, that she might not normally wear outside of a club. Shoes that sparkle. Skirts that flare. Blouses that cleave. You can tell she is aspiring to be a sensual, sexy salsera. I aspire to be a sensual, sensitive salsa gigolo, who enjoys giving on the dance floor, thus I try to look and dress the part.

Third, this salsa gigolo is impervious to rejection. From Jane’s initial recoil, to her running away from him on the street, you can still bet that this salsa gigolo will be in the club the following week, asking the next cute beginner salsera to dance. Jane’s initial recoil was pretty extreme, and impossible to miss. This salsa gigolo doesn’t shrivel-up and hide, but rather, he steps-up and shines! Yes, the first impression he gives-off may send a salsera running, but surely his salsa will soon have her swooning in his frame. No? Maybe his bachata will save the day. No? His merengue?

Ultimately, a salsa gigolo should have some salsa skills, to go along with (or compensate for) his thoughtfulness and his style. Along the way, like a good salesman, a salsa gigolo would do well to learn how to overcome rejection.

Aside: There are no other salsa scenes in this movie, so only watch if you like subtitles.


One Response to “Partner Selection.”


  1. Partner Selection (2). « Salsa Gigolo in TO - May 7, 2008

    […] under bachata, salsa   I have been thinking about how Ladder Theory » applies to salsa partner selection ». Ladder Theory starts by stating that every time you meet someone, you give them a quick mental […]

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