Seven Heavenly Salsa Virtues.

22 Mar

Along with the Seven Deadly Salsa Sins », here are the Seven Heavenly Virtues », as they apply to salsa:

Chastity
Abstaining from sexual conduct according to one’s state in life. Embracing of moral wholesomeness and achieving purity of thought through education and betterment. This one is tough, if not impossible. Too much temptation, too many succulent salsera succubi, too much forbidden fruit. I think, deep down, anyone who dances salsa wants to be a little unchaste, to embrace all that is not chastity. I’ll have to give this one more thought.

Temperance
Constant mindfulness of others and one’s surroundings; practicing self-control, abstention, and moderation. This one is surprisingly easy. Given enough time, a salsa gigolo eventually learns that the basics for keeping a salsera from feeling unhappy, is to make sure she doesn’t get stepped on, or worse. This is probably the golden rule for the dancefloor. Over time, a salsa gigolo also learns moderation in his salsa consumption, and that more salsera is not necessarily better. A little salsera can go a long way.

Charity
Generosity. Willingness to give. A nobility of thought or actions. First there is the asking and the accepting. In the asking, I tend not to ask if I think my motive is purely out of charity. I think that would be dancing for all the wrong reasons. There should be something in it for me. In the accepting, this is an easy one, I never say no. In the dancing, I try to give as much of myself as I can, while being mindful of a salsera’s boundaries. Less is more. More can sometimes be too much.

Diligence
A zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work. Decisive work ethic. Budgeting one’s time; monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness. With time, I’ve noticed the tapering-off of my zeal for learning new salsa moves. This has been replaced by a zeal for developing situational fluency when it comes to dancing with novice salseras. Covering and recovering quickly. Adjusting to the situation. Intuition.

Patience
Forbearance and endurance through moderation. Resolving conflicts peacefully, as opposed to resorting to violence. The ability to forgive; to show mercy to sinners. I think the basics of patience is to dance without talking. Imagine, if there was no talking, there’d be no teaching on the dancefloor! Salseras, I think, must take the prize for patience. For a salsa gigolo, the supreme demonstration of patience must be in being patient with oneself, in being patient with one’s level and knowing that with time and patience, he will improve. It’s very easy to be critical and hard on oneself. It takes maturity to be patient, to forgive oneself first.

Kindness
Charity, compassion, friendship, and empathy without prejudice and for its own sake. No salsa gigolo is an island. I have to admit, though, that the concept of community » is sometimes foreign to me. I used to be very connected to the local salsa social grid, maybe not always giving, but definitely drawing from the non-dance social aspects of being connected to the grid. Now, having mostly taken myself off the grid, the difference is profound. Why did I take myself off the grid? I think it had something to do with rediscovering purity in my intent, clearing my mind, removing pollution from my salsa. I have to give this some more thought.

Humility
Modest behavior, selflessness, and the giving of respect. Giving credit where credit is due; not unfairly glorifying one’s own self. In the past, I’ve mentioned that I don’t perform, but that’s not entirely true. If I’m dancing with a salsera, and her older sister is watching, I like to treat the dance like a performance for the older sister. Or if I’m dancing with a salsera, and her girlfriends are watching, I like to perform for the girlfriends. Naughty, but nice. Dance just a bit naughty, but then smile for the audience to show that I’m really a nice guy, and not a wolf in salsa clothing.

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