Do you ever go for a night out Salsa dancing and return home feeling…well…a little disappointed or even deflated.Go on and admit it- you’re among friends here. You find that recently dancing just doesn’t feel the same as it used to. To be honest, you are wondering whether to bother at all anymore and just staying at home in front of the TV instead. You just aren’t feeling it. Sounding familiar to any dancers out there?
So what should we do? Do we just give up one of the best things for breathing a passion and fun into our lives? Do we wipe our hands, walk away and try to think no more about it?
NO! Here’s what you should do when you’ve fallen out of love with Salsa
What’s the problem?
There’s a reason that you are feeling this way. What is the official reason? You know, the one you would tell your best dancing chum next time they ask you about your night out..I’ll give you a few clues here; it could be the lack of decent dancers, the sticky or ultra-slippery floor, the rubbish DJ, the boring music, the same old tunes every week, sore feet, a headache and so on. Hopefully you have now identified the problem and we can work out what to do.
WAIT! What’s really the problem?
But before we get to solutions, tell me, is this really the problem? Is it really the sticky floor, or the lack of decent dancers, or this rubbish DJ or whatever else you’ve told yourself. Because sometimes the things we complain about are simply a mask for other things going on in our lives which can often spill over into our dancing. It could be sadness, illness, a recent break up, disappointment, or character traits like shyness or competitiveness or something else, feel free to add your own to the list.
Your emotions and your mood affect how you view the world, whether that’s work, your relationships or your leisure time and they might be affecting your Salsa too. Often the weight lies in how you view a situation and not the situation itself. Yes there are good weeks and bad weeks, good music and bad but it’s highly likely that Salsa doesn’t drastically change from week to week. Awareness of the problem is the first step to cracking it. But anyway, let’s find our what you can do about it…
What can we do about it?
Of course, the solution depends on the problem itself. You and only you know the real reason. Try some of the following options;
The first thing that you can do to bring back the Salsa love is simple and effective but I know you’re going to roll your eyes when you hear it. Yes, you’ve got to fake-it-’til-you-make-it. No matter how your night is going, no matter how you are feeling inside, smile and look like you are having fun even if it’s all an act. Before you know it, the smile will become genuine and you will be having a fabulous time
Relax! Salsa is súpposed to be fun so stop taking it all so seriously. Do you remember the reasons you learnt to dance Salsa in the first place? And the reasons that keep you going? I can bet that there are many many reasons that you dance and they are all brilliant ones. Salsa dancing isn’t a competition or a race- it’s recreation, play, FUN. So go on and have some fun, no matter what that looks like to you. If you’re really stuck for ideas and faking the smile isn’t working for you, try turning it into a game. I like to set up fun challenges like ask the 5 best dancers in the room to dance, or set up a fun Rueda or two to brighten your spirits.
Feel the benefits
Are there other things going on in your life right now and they are invading your every thought and spilling into your dancing too?
On a very simple level, dancing is a great way to take your mind off certain things, so it’s worth persevering and attempting to leave your problems at home if you can.
There is also no need to suffer if things are bad- you can take the power back into your own hands in a really easy way and Salsa will help you do it. Dancing is a kind of moving meditation- when you dance you are fully grounded in the moment and not worrying about the events of yesterday or what is to come tomorrow- you are right here right now. It feels amazing and explains how for some, learning to dance can be a life-changing experience.
Shake things up a little
Is it possible that you’re stuck in a kind of dancing rut? Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing with the same people on the same nights for months on end? It’’s perfectly natural to get a little tired of it after a while, I certainly would. You need to dig yourself out of that hole and add a little variety into your life.
There are several ways that you can do this. You could explore the other options around you or instead venture a little further afield than you usually do. In most towns and cities around the UK there is more than one Salsa class, club or style- go ahead and try it out. There is no harm in experimenting a little and you may discover something new that you never knew you loved so much. Perhaps you love Cross body, or Cuban or Colombian after all.
Treat yourself to a ticket to that event you always meant to go to, experience live Salsa music, or go full on to a European Salsa Congress or Salsa holiday. This might be all it takes to inject a little excitement into your jaded routine.
Have a break and do something else
Although utterly sad, it’s possible that you’ve come to the end of the road with Salsa for now. It has been fantastic, energetic and fun but you now have other things in your life that take priority, or other things that you’d like to try instead. Take a break, have a breather, and hang up your dancing shoes for now if you need to. Nothing will be lost and the time you spend away from the dance floor may just revive your passion. Salsa is like a long-lost friend- you will always be welcome back.
Sometimes you have better nights than others and that is completely normal and fantastic. It’s like the old saying ‘If every day were Christmas day….” You need a few average nights to counterbalance the completely brilliant don’t-want-to-go-home ones. Get to the root of the problem and do something about it if you can. Don’t give up on what you truly love– you’ll soon find your groove again.
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What tricks do you have to get back in the Salsa groove? What makes a difference to how you feel about dancing? Share it all in the comments below.
Image © Ryan