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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Salseras and Snobs

My definition of a salsera is a female who loves to dance to salsa music (a salsero is a male salsa dancer).

I've been a salsa music lover since I was a teen growing up in New York City, the birthplace of salsa music. This was long before these salseras who show off on the dance floor and turn their noses up at those whom they perceive to not have the salsa dancing skills were born.

I really get a kick out of salseras who look at me and assume because I am a brother that I can't dance. People have such short memories. Were it not for men and women of African heritage, the music we know as salsa would be a totally different genre of music, minus the hot rhythm section and the call-and-response vocals.

When I, like a gentleman, would extend my hand and ask a woman to dance, she would sometimes look me right in the eyes for about 30 seconds to before shaking her head in refusal. Others would simply say no in such a mean-spirited way and having no sense of remorse.

I'll never forget one woman whom I asked to dance and how she looked at me with suspicion before declining. After moving on and enjoying myself with another dance partner, I noticed her watching me flow through fancy-fun dance patterns, only to appear sorry that she was so judgmental. I hope she learned her lesson, but I'll never know. My policy at the dance-club is to ask only once. If a woman turns me down and has a change-of-heart later, the burden will be on her to ask me to dance (not vice-versa). There are just too many down-to-earth woman who simply wanted to dance with a gentleman for me to worry about the snobs.
I noticed her watching me flow through fancy and fun dance patterns, only to appear sorry that she was so judgmental.
Speaking of snobs, many men (salseros) are just as snobbish with those who's dancing skills are not at a level that they would deem worthwhile. I was deeply touched when heard about a woman crying in the bathroom because men were not asking her to dance. I was so touched by the news that I made a commitment to ask any woman who seemed eager to dance regardless of looks. People forget that we are at the salsa club to have fun. If a dance partner is not on your level, what is so wrong with helping that partner out? For me, if a woman can count to three with her feet, she has enough rhythm by which she can follow and learn. By being open to all types of women on the dance floor, I've established solid friendships with those with sincere hearts of gold, and to me, they are more worth my while than hot, saucy dancers with an attitude. Snobs can certainly spoil the fun---if you let them.