If Confucius Danced Salsa (3).

25 Apr

The following references are from “The Analects” » of Confucius, translated by Arthur Waley:

Book VIII, Par. 17:
The Master said, Learn as if you were following someone whom you could not catch up, as though it were someone you were frightened of losing.

Book VIII, Par. 17

When I first started learning salsa, 6 out of 7 days in a week, I was taking some sort of lesson. I had this burning desire to quickly not-suck. Now, I only occasionally take the offered club lesson, for warm-up, or when there are not enough leads. There is still much for me to learn, but I no longer feel frightened that I will be left behind. I feel that salsa is now a part of me, for better or worse.

Book IX, Par. 22:
The Master said, Respect the young. How do you know that they will not one day be all that you are now? But if a man has reached forty or fifty and nothing has been heard of him, then I grant there is no need to respect him.

Book IX, Par. 22

It is interesting to see how fellow salsa gigolos have progressed, over a long period of time. I reflect on when I started, and how I sucked all the time, and marvel that my ego survived beginner’s hell. Now, I don’t suck quite as bad, quite as often. When I see a fellow salsa gigolo dancing sucky salsa, I usually look away, but for a brief millisecond, I wonder what he’ll be like in a year or so. After dancing with a salsera, I reflect on what I need to work on for my own salsa to be good enough to bring the best out of her, for clearly I know when I suck. My merengue sucks.

Book XII, Par. 16:
The Master said, The gentleman calls attention to the good points in others; he does not call attention to their defects. The small man does just the reverse of this.

Book XII, Par. 16

I am not interested in watching or commenting on sucky salsa. As a salsa gigolo, what’s the point? Now, if I were a salsera, I could understand the need to watch sucky salsa, to know which salsa gigolos to avoid, for isn’t salsa suckiness usually the domain of the salsa gigolo? Really, I think salsa gigolos have a choice, whether to make a dance feel as good as possible for a salsera, or not. It is a beautiful thing, to gain the trust of a salsera.

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