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.


  1. Well said. I'm completely rusty after a hockey hit to the knee, but when I go out, pick who looks like they want to dance. Sadly, nothing is more motivating than a salsera snob turning you down for no good reason... grab the first beginner you see and make them look fantastic on the floor.

  2. I agree! I think a good dancer is someone who is willing to dance with ANYONE and enjoy the music and the moment. The basic moves are foundational or "cake" and the fancy moves are the "icing on the cake". :)

  3. I came across your blog and enjoyed reading it!

    I been dancing salsa on and off for 5 years now but my salsa is not going anywhere so far more than beginner level... I recalled a few years back when my salsa is still a mini beginner how mean and how ridiculous some salseras and salseros can be so judgmental and how they act like salsa is the only world that exist.... I practiced harder but constantly got brought down by some mean words and attitude even the salsa instructor onced told me to my face after we finished dancing that he can not understand how i can dance salsa when i cant even do a proper cross body lead.... wow my tears ran down.... he'd better said my salsa suck i would not feel so bad.... But after all i realized the first impression and what drawn me into Latin dancing is to enjoy it not to compete or to show off on the dance floor.... and that was when I decided to be a happily permanent beginner :)


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