The inspiration for this came from the first time I heard DP give this “talk”. I’m using quotations because all he said was the very first sentence of this post. It was during a salsa group class. DP was teaching how dancers in the Latin clubs like to play with each other’s arms. It’s slightly flirtatious, but mostly, it’s how the dance is done. We began practicing and all that jazz when he suddenly stopped counting. Some of the men and women were afraid to engage. Cue his “talk”.
I’ve already addressed that dancing is an acting job several times. Pleasing the audience is one thing, but why not just have fun? If you dance socially but are constrained by a “this-isn’t-proper” perspective, you’re holding yourself back from something wonderful. That being said, let me backpedal and make myself clear: Don’t go crazy. As with everything, there’s a fine line between spicing it up and overdoing it. If your partner does anything that makes you uncomfortable, let him or her know. A respectable dancer will apologize and stop. Any terpsichorean worth his or her salt wants to do well by this craft. And yes, doing well does include pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone.
From personal experience, I’ve gotten to express and hone my femininity. Yep, I’m talking about flirting. I can talk and tease, but getting into the physicality was more difficult because I’m physically reticent. But, when I put on a dance skirt, form-fitting shirt, red lipstick, and a dab of eye glitter, I become entirely different. Look out world, ’cause this chica is ready to dance! One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received about my dancing was a simple, “I like the way you shake.” It wasn’t said lecherously. It was just a statement. I was dancing bachata with a rather handsome man when he told me. I was just making a figure eight my hips and putting those lessons to good use. So don’t hold back. Go to a country or salsa club when you feel ready, and strut your stuff. You’ll be glad you did.