I enjoy your column. Insightful, humorous and true in many respects. However, I must qualify your statement about Take a Private Lesson to Get Better...when women say no.
I believe you are being a bit simplistic in your explanation of what constitutes a no. As in any situation, prejudices abound in some form or another and there may well be other forces at work against you. I know quite a few friends who have been turned down because of the way they look. To some, appearances are the primary judgment tool. Sure, it is not fair, and it sure feels horrible to be prejudged by how you look. But, it does happen. Some people just do not progress beyond that level of awareness. God forbid should you look Asian. Mire que los chinos no saben bailar. That seems to be lurking in almost every Salsa club I have been to. So... I just thought that it might be important to qualify that statement. From what I have seen, it can be tough to be a Salsero and Asian.
- Mr. Asian
Dear Mr. Asian,
It took me a while to think about this one. At first I wanted to say, "Oh, but that's not true, and oh, no, it's how well you dance, how you hold the woman, how you ask her for a dance, how you handle her, how soft or how hard you lead, bla, bla, bla....etc, etc. I even asked some of my closest Salsa buds this question. They all agreed that you are TOTALLY off-base and you are just using that as excuse not to get better....
Then, I thought about your question some more...
What kind of world is this that we live in? It really depends on how we look at it. If we view the world as prejudice and unjust, and people are basically mean and that's to be expected, then indeed we attract into our lives what we think about all day long. We become what we think about.
Let me explain. I know that if I go into a club feeling gross, fat, and ugly, I never get asked to dance. It shows all over my facial and bodily expressions. If I go feeling fat and ugly, then I expect people will look at me in the same light - and I see them viewing me this way as well. I never dance well when I feel fat and ugly. That's why I PURPOSELY go out of my way to dress to the hilt, put on tons of makeup, ravish my hair, stay on a strict diet and workout plan, and try my damnedest to look like the sexiest bombshell that ever walked the face of this planet. When I walk into a club feeling that way, you can just imagine how I think people look at me, and how I dance...
I am EXPECTING 2nd looks from men, I am EXPECTING to be asked to dance, I am EXPECTING to dance well and have a GREAT TIME doing it. It ALWAYS works. The truth is, people really don't care. Most don't give a damn. THEY COULD REALLY CARE LESS WHAT I LOOK LIKE. They're just there to dance with ANYONE half-way decent, and willing to share in the release of the day's tensions and frustrations - like everyone else!
If you truly believe that people are prejudice, you are right. Some people will not say "yes" to a dance with an Asian - or any other race besides their own. If you believe this, then you'll start planting that idea into other's heads, then THEY will start believing it too. It's kind of like that "rash" that mysteriously went around in grade school... remember that? One person started itching, then everybody started itching, then we all got to go home!! Yea!! It was a dirty trick then, but after I participated, I REALLY STARTED TO ITCH! I'm not kidding! I was itching here, itching there, getting welts ... it was awful!
IT WAS ALSO ALL IN MY MIND.
I created my own reality by BELIEVING this, and it became true.
Mr. Asian, if you truly believe this in your heart, than I'm sad to say, it's true. They will ALL turn you down, so just expect it. Don't even bother to improve, or be persistent. Don't bother taking classes and smiling and showing off in front of them. You're Asian, so what' the use, right? You are right.
On the other hand, if you start believing that you are AWESOME and the baddest dancer on the planet - with a body and looks to match, you WILL BECOME THAT so fast it will make your head spin - and the Latina ladies too! Latina women are picky about their men - but they'll NEVER turn down a dance with an AWESOME dancer - no matter what color they are. They go simply to get a workout and have fun - not to analyze. If a girl keeps telling you "no", then stop asking her. Go on to the next. I usually give up on a man when he turns me down twice. I figure, turn me down once, shame on you, turn me down twice, shame shame on me.
There is a Korean gentleman named "Spin Lee"
- who is an AWESOME Salsero. Not only does he "look good" dancing, he FEELS GOOD. He has one of the most incredible leads in the world. I've been dying to do a "World's Best Leads" DVD with him! Women of ALL RACES STAND IN LINE to dance with that man. Every man should wrap their mind around the way he moves. He can take women to places THEY'VE NEVER BEEN out on that dance floor. His picture is at the top of this article. To put it simply, Spin can give ANY Salsero a run for his money!!! The guy is "bad-ass".
Some of the best Latin dancers are Asian. In fact there are two I can think of right away that just blow me away when I dance Salsa with them - you may be one of them, I don't know who you are yet...
And don't forget that Orquesta de la Luze is a wonderful example of a group of talented individuals tearing down the Asian / Latina barrier. They are a phenomenal Salsa Band, they are incredible dancers, and they are LOVED and ACCEPTED by the entire Latina world. You would never know they were Asian until you actually saw them. They have blown EVERYONE away with their incredible success, because they didn't know their limitations. Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they will be yours (quote from Richard Bach).
ANYWAY, don't use your race as an excuse for women's judgment. If it's true in your eyes, these gals aren't worth it and don't even bother, nor go there. Go find the "quality" dancer types - the ones that are just there for the good time and fun of it. Remember that some of them will not dance with people they don't know because some may have very jealous boyfriends watching their every move. Just keep dancing, take privates, have fun, and never, ever think twice about what God decided you to look like. You're stuck with it - whether you like it or not, you've GOT to bloom where you're planted my friend. Others have, and have succeeded, why not you?
One of my favorite quotes of all time:
"People blame circumstances for where they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this life are the people who go out and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them. " - George Bernard Shaw
- Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!