You could be forgiven in thinking that because the man leads the dance in Salsa, it’s all about him.
Yes on the surface it definitely appears that way. The man decides what moves he’s going to lead, and gets a lot more room to play around with his footwork and styling. But, in Cross Body Salsa, it really is all about the lady.
The man’s main job is to lead your footwork. His second job is to get out of your way so you can execute your footwork, stay on the line, and perform the moves. His third job is to look cool whilst taking care of numbers one and two, without detracting from the quality of his lead.
So it’s all about giving you what you need to look awesome for the duration of the dance, which of course makes him look awesome, so it’s win win for both of you 🙂
Men and women actually face an entirely different set of problems when they learn Salsa. For the lady, it’s mostly about learning to negotiate footwork on time and on balance, and staying connected to the lead but at the same time relaxed enough to trust that the guy won’t lead her into trouble… And trouble has many different faces on the dancefloor for a lady!
Being flung at breakneck speed into another couple; being pushed off balance; ambiguous leads; arms and shoulders being forced where they aren’t biomechanically designed to go.
This creates a very unpredictable environment, and one that can raise the threat level of the nervous system into a state of blind panic which results in more tension.
Men’s problems are pretty self-centred to begin with as you might expect. Trying to marry up the footwork whilst working out how to get the lady from A to B without breaking an arm (yours or hers).
Salsa Amnesia, where they temporarily forget every lead and move they ever learned apart from basic step and cross body…guys seriously don’t panic, it’s normal, again just a result of brain overload!
Worrying about what the lady is thinking about his lack of moves/less than perfect leads.
Wondering if the encounter is looking more like a fight than a dance.
The thing is, everyone goes through the uncomfortable “L” plate phase, and whilst it’s not easy, you can smooth the passage for the people you are dancing with by understanding what your respective roles are in the dance, relaxing, and taking care of your own business first.
It doesn’t have to be a battle!