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The Shy Salsero


  • The Shy Salsero

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    "Dear Edie,
    I need some advice. I am at what I consider the practice level. I go to a club to learn and have fun. I have no problem asking women of the same attitude to dance with me. But when I go to a club and everyone is at the "show off and have fun" level, I get real shy. You may have noticed when we went dancing, I watched rather than participated.

    How do women who are really good respond to dancing with someone who isn't? First impressions really count, and I don't want the good dancers thinking I suck because then they won't dance with me in the future, when I will be (hopefully) good.

    I realize that everyone responds differently, and that some will be helpful and some will be rude, but in general what do you see happening to new males in the clubs who try to dance with the very skilled women?
    - Very Shy, Practice Level Beginner

    Dear Very Shy, Practice Level Beginner,
    You know, as well as I do, that the ONLY way you're going to be good at ANYTHING in life is simply by diving in, head first, and DOING IT!!! Sure, you will fall on your face a couple of times, but pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start over! Most women will not think anything less of a man who is really trying. Those that do, well my friend, revenge is sweet, once you become AWESOME, and they're DYING to dance with you, but you remember how they treated you when you were you just leave them.... standing there... drooling...

    As far as answering your question about "new males in the clubs who try to dance with the very skilled women", I don't see it very often... but when I do, it's sometimes sad, because the woman is being such a snob and has a long face during the whole song. I hate seeing that. Not every woman is that way however. Some women try to help the beginner during the dance. I'll even see some women stop and pull the guy to the edge of the floor or back of the room, and start practicing basics with them. This is rare, but it does happen.

    What you need to do is find at least two to three beginners as well, and practice all night with them. Then, every 5th song, dance with a real good dancer. Tell her up front you're just learning, and you need to feel what it's like to dance with an excellent dancer such as herself. You will not only flatter her, but you will also get to feel what it's like to lead like a pro. These women turn like butter, and spin like a top.... You barely even need to touch them - or lift your arm for a turn, and they instinctively know where you want them. These gals are good...set your goal my friend...

    Just keep going out, as often as you can 4,5,6 days a week, and within a month or so, you will become one of the best dancers in the city. I've seen men skyrocket once they're addicted. In fact, I purposely go out of my way to encourage a beginner to take more lessons or a private with the instructor. I will help him with his turns, or whatever he needs help with, because frankly I get sick and tired of always dancing with the same guys every week! We need some new Salsero blood on that floor! New generations of men! HOW WONDERFUL! I get all hot and bothered just thinking about it! Whew! Gotta go take a cold shower.....!

    You can reaad about how I started in my story here on SalsaWeb... It talks about how I started...stumbling, falling, my embarrassments... everything! It's kind of like you're at, right now.

    Happy Dancing!
    - Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!

    • ediester
      ediester commented
      Editing a comment
      I just read the new letter at your Beginner's Corner from the guy who's a beginner and wants to dance with women above his skill level. Let me add a different perspective into the mix:

      I agree that the more advanced dancers have a "duty" of sorts to spend a portion of the evening dancing with beginners. People did that for me, especially Errol, and for that I am truly grateful. So now I do the same. BUT, there's an issue involved here that you left out of your response to the letter:

      Some beginner guys don't know their limits. They see the advanced people doing all kinds of cool moves and they think, "how hard can it
      be? I'll just experiment on this woman righ here. Lesson? Who needs a lesson! Dips are self-explanatory.... oops, I just dropped her on her head.... uh oh, her head is gushing blood where I smacked her into that table.... oh well, I'll just sit her down and grab another girl!"

      Please don't go dipping women when you haven't been trained to do it right. And please don't try to send me into a series of continuous turns without looking around to see where there's an obstruction-free path. And don't forcefully throw me out into another couple and then
      sheepishly say, "oops", leaving me to apologize to them.

      I don't mean to mischaracterize genuine enthusiasm for dance- I really think that some of these guys just don't give a **** b/c they're so egotistically intent on showing off skills that they don't yet have. As a side note, I think it's interesting that some beginner guys complain that the more advanced ladies snub them be declining invitations to dance. Well, I've seen these same guys turn around and snub a beginner lady.

      Further, I personally will dance with just about anyone once, especially at the beginning of the evening. But often you give a guy an inch and he tries to take a mile. A guy asks me to dance- he's a beginner- and I work hard to make it all look good. So he, thinking he's suddenly become some kind of dancing stud, now wants to dance every song with ME for the rest of the night. To insure this, he stakes out a spot at my table, uninvited, and harrasses a few more dances out of me until I finally signal to one of my male friends to make this guy bug off. I don't want to have to do that. It makes me feel bad.

      I apologize for the seemingly harsh tone of this letter, but having been embarrassed, harassed, almost seriously injured by beginner guys, I feel these issues need to be mentioned. It'll make the world a better place. And I'll be much more likely to dance with a beginner guy in the future, having now aired these issues.
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