I’ve had quite a few amazing moments during my Salsa Dancing journey where I’ve experienced a complete revelation. You know, one of those flashes where you suddenly realise something and think yeah, THAT’S why I’m doing this…
One those earliest memories was when I very first started venturing out to party nights at other clubs. I was still pretty rubbish back in those days – very stiff in the arms and wobbly on my feet. But I was just developing the confidence and attitude to go up to guys and ask them to dance rather than waiting for them. I went into clubs like a sniper…I’d scan the area for potential targets, choose my marks and then pick them off one by one.
It worked! I was on the floor for back to back dances, whilst my female companions were standing around, enviously watching.
This particular night I was at a predominantly Cuban club. It was run by a guy who taught his male leads extremely well…most of the guys were great to dance with – patient and lots of fun.
There was this one guy who looked quieter and a little intense, but the body language wasn’t too aloof, so I made my way over. We started to dance. I found him easy to follow…without being able to name any of the Cuban figures we were dancing, I was effortlessly moving around him, our arms snaking around each other’s bodies as we twisted and turned.
It was the first experience I ever had of feeling really connected to both my partner and the music. All three of us merging into one…the perfect ménage a trois.
We never spoke a word, other than to thank each other after the dance. I saw the corner of his lips turn up into a faint smile, and knew he had enjoyed it equally.
It was the most extraordinary feeling for someone who hadn’t experienced it before, and quite overwhelming. Sometimes dance partners genuinely surprise you…you can pick up an incredible amount of information about them in the 4-5 mins you spend together on the dancefloor and it’s not always what you’re expecting.
I knew right then what I was searching for…the whole reason for dancing Salsa was really a mission to explore connection; with other human beings, with the music, and with my own body. As I’ve improved, these moments definitely happen more often, but they never ever lose their power to thrill and move me.