Why Anyone Can Dance Salsa

And Why You Should Too!

I Really Do Believe Anyone Can Dance

If you still have those wistful “if only” feelings when you watch Strictly or Dirty Dancing, then I expect at some time you’ve imagined what it would be like if you could dance like that.

Or even just dance a bit…

To feel that chemistry and connection to your partner, moving fluidly around the floor together.

Then you’ve dismissed the thought, chastising yourself for being ridiculous.

You may be forgiven for thinking that you’ve left it too late in life…many people think that Salsa dancing is for the young.

That you’re stuck with no co-ordination and those two left feet.

That you have no one in your life who shares that desire to come on a dancing journey with you.

Too little time and too many inhibitions.

Or that you just have no rhythm and no hope.

I want to show you that all is not lost.

It isn’t over for you yet.

Because I believe anyone can – and should – dance.

That the only thing stopping you from dancing is you, by believing the stories you’ve told yourself about why you can’t.

Here’s why you shouldn’t listen to those stories:

The Story of No Rhythm

Everyone has rhythm.

The human body is run on rhythm – heartbeat, menstruation, sleeping and waking, breathing, digestion.

Your brain loves rhythm and pattern.

It looks for it all the time…in everything!

Rhythm makes life easier for your brain – it can predict what’s going to happen next.

But if you’re in the habit of telling yourself you have no rhythm, then your brain is also very good at believing those rogue thoughts without even questioning them to see if they’re true (they rarely are).

It’s just easier to follow the line of least resistance and go with them and make excuses rather than go with what you really want.

Often those thoughts were put in place by other people or past experiences and don’t represent a real “truth”.

You can change your thoughts and beliefs very quickly if you choose.

Just look for evidence that supports another story.

Start looking for your rhythm, with the help of a good dance teacher, and you’ll find it.

The Story of Two Left Feet

Two left feet is not a real reason for not dancing.

It’s a phrase people use when they can’t actually think of a real reason.

What they often mean is “I think I’m going to be rubbish” or “I’m not sure I’m really that bothered”, or “I’m too scared to try.”

Salsa moves are mostly based on stepping – simply transferring your weight from one foot to the other.

Just like walking…and your two left feet haven’t stopped you doing that, have they?

If you can step, you can dance Salsa.

And for some people, being unable to step still hasn’t stopped them dancing.

There are videos out there of people dancing and playing sport from wheelchairs.

People who have lost limbs, or the full use of their bodies.

Those people have a true desire…having lost the ability to move freely, they are fully committed to enjoying the movement they have left.

What was your excuse again?

The Story of I’m Too Old

What exactly are you too old for?

Enjoying music?

Moving your body?

Staying active and mobile?

Keeping your mind engaged with exciting challenges?

Having fun?

Symptoms of being “old” come from replicating habits that old people have…like moving less and staying in more.

Like getting set in your routines and stuck in your ways.

Habits that make you feel stiff, lethargic and bored.

Start thinking and acting the way younger people do – realise that you have the freedom to choose for yourself, and you’ll soon feel younger than you do right now.

The Story of No Partner

You don’t need your own partner to start Salsa dancing.

Yes it’s nice to have someone to tag along with.

A husband, wife or friend.

But it’s also nice meeting other people.

Dancing with strangers.

Expanding your social horizons.

If you get in the habit of relying on someone else and only going with them, then if they stop or lose interest, it may be harder for you to keep the habit going.

Salsa is a social dance.

You mix in and dance with lots of different people.

Salsa classes always rotate partners so you get a chance to dance with everyone.

And on the social dance floor you’ll find that precious chemistry with people you least expect.

The Story of No Coordination

Some people learn new movements faster than others.

Some of those people may have a history of physical exercise or sport, but not always.

Very often they just believe in themselves more and don’t beat themselves up if they get things wrong.

They just laugh and keep trying until they get it right.

Those people who pick new dance movements up quickly often have muscle cells which are sheathed in a protein called myelin.

The more myelin you have, the better you are at learning movement.

Myelin is partly responsible for what we call “muscle memory” – the ability to learn, groove and repeat specific movements to a point where they become almost automatic.

The good news is, when you go to Salsa classes, you will be building new myelin around your muscle cells.

The more often you go Salsa dancing, practice and take lessons, the more myelin you will have and the less time it will take for you to become a really good dancer.

The Story of No Time

The happiest and most successful people are usually the ones who invest time in themselves and schedule time for doing things that they love.

They don’t run around after everyone else and then get sad or resentful when there’s no time left to do what they want.

They don’t martyr themselves continually to meet the demands and expectations of their friends, family, clients or colleagues.

They take care of themselves first and get more done as a result BECAUSE they’re happier.

How you divide up your time is your decision, and if your current employment or lifestyle is so demanding that there really is no time left for you, then maybe you should start by asking yourself if that’s what you really want from your life.

But when you do have time out, make it count and do something worthwhile…something that you love.

Hi! I'm Shulagh

“I really do believe anyone can dance with the right teacher…”

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The Real Reason You’re Not Dancing

It’s easy to blame other people or a set of circumstances.

I did for many years.

But then I realised all I had to do was make a choice.

Decide on what I wanted for myself, and take the action to make it happen.

So if you’re not dancing but secretly you’d love to, the ball really is in your court.

Ask yourself what’s really stopping you, and be honest with yourself.

Because one day it will be too late.

Game over.

Time up.

You’ll never know how good a dancer you could be.

You’ll never meet those people, or experience the pure joy that comes from shared magic moments on the dance floor.

What if you never gave yourself the chance to experience that for yourself?

Why You Most Definitely Should Dance

It’s easy to get fixated on the end result – being able to dance well is an amazing thing.

But then it’s easy to scare yourself with the enormity of the task and the amount of time you think it will take.

But you need to realise this:

The process of getting there is pretty awesome too.

The people you meet, the sense of achievement, the feeling of overcoming every challenge along the way.

The growth and evolution into a happier and more fulfilled version of you.

Learning to dance is a transformation – not just an end in itself.

As you gain more confidence in your abilities this starts to spill over into other areas of your life as well.

You take more risks, stretch yourself further and achieve more as a result.

You feel better about yourself which means you are less likely to tolerate negativity from others.

Your relationships with friends, family and colleagues improve.

You attract people who bring fun and positivity into your life because you’ve made fun and positivity a priority for yourself.

People want to be around you because you have something they want for themselves.

And it all starts with learning to dance!

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