Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dating and Relationship Tips Learned From Salsa Dancing

Lately, I've been getting quite engaged with Salsa dancing. Why? Salsa dancing is fun, good exercise, healthy, and challenging! Second, I love the music. Cuban, Cha-Cha, Afro music is fun to dance to. I've lost 12 pounds in 6 weeks since embarking on my recent classes Salsa dancing, so it is also a good workout!

There is another benefit to Salsa dancing: gaining a better understanding of dating and relationships. By dancing Salsa, you can learn more about how to relate with the opposite sex, how to be a "healthy" partner, how to be a stronger man, and how to be a more complete woman.

This past year, a member of sent me the following list of dancing tips for Salsa dancers: "I'm sure that most of you have heard of the saying that ignorance is bliss. Therefore, by inference, the less I know, the happier I am. Of course, in the salsa dancing world this is pure rubbish. You may be happy, but your dancing partner may be secretly formulating a plan to gouge out your eyeballs. To avoid this situation, you absolutely need to know what works and what doesn't on the dance floor. As G.I. Joe proclaims, "Knowing is half the battle".

So in your battle to become that salsa stud or salsa diva on the dance floor, I managed to gather up a list of dance floor pet peeves and other things people actually love about their dance partner for your reading pleasure. These are in no particular order.

Dancing Pet Peeves

  1. Not looking at your partner or holding eye contact while dancing. In other words, you're easily distracted.
  2. Not dancing to the level of your partner. In other words, you're a showoff.
  3. Bad breath. Come on people, we sell mints for crying out loud!
  4. Really sweaty shirts. This one's subjective but it's always a good idea to keep an extra set of clothes handy.
  5. Loose arms. This one's for the ladies. They call it spaghetti arms for a reason.
  6. Ladies who come to a dance, but don't dance. I'm still trying to figure this one out.
  7. Instructors who don't dance with beginners. Those spoiled instructors.
  8. Couples who invade another couple's dance area. Not cool man!
  9. Followers who apologize too much.
  10. A guy who dances with the same lady more than twice in a row.
  11. Too strong of a lead. Guys: Know thy strength.
  12. Guys who think they are Salsa Heaven's gift to women. Guess what? You're not.
Alright, so let's not dwell too much on the negative. I'm sure you get the picture. Essentially, don't be an easily distracted showoff with bad breath and you should be fine. Now , let's dive into what people love about their partners.

I really love it when my dance partner....

  1. Makes conversation with me.
  2. Protects me on the dance floor.
  3. Does simple but elegant moves.
  4. Has engaging eyes.
  5. Isn't easily distracted by other happenings on the dance floor.
  6. Doesn't correct me on the dance floor.
  7. Smells good.
  8. Leads gently.
  9. Thanks me after the dance.
  10. Looks like she's having fun.
  11. Makes me feel like I'm the best dancer on the floor.
  12. Admits to their own mistakes and doesn't fault their partner.
  13. Does shines and arm styling.
  14. Encourages me.
  15. Twirls me a lot.
  16. Patient and helpful with a smile
  17. Is confident.
  18. Asks me to dance and isn't a wallflower.
  19. Smiles through perspiration.

So, what can we learn from this list, as dancing might improve our dating and relationships?

Dating and relationship qualities features I noticed include:

  • Confident: Confidence is sexy in men AND women. Know what you want to do, why you want to do it, and approach it with inner strength.
  • Good eye contact: The eyes have it - we can always improve our dating and relationships by using "engaging eye contact" and not letting our eyeballs strain to other people, events, or distractions. Be present with your eyes, and you'll improve your relationships.
  • Men - protect your women: Women like strong men because they enjoy being protected. This doesn't mean being a jerk to other people, just protect your partner's space. In addition, don't invade other people's space. This could go for people who cheat with their partner's friends, family members, or associates. Don't do it!
  • Women - engage your men: show up, be excited, invite him, and respond to his requests. Be involved with style: Show-up, get involved, be simple, elegant, and restrained (no need to show off).
  • Deal with mistakes politely: Correct in private, praise in public. Good advice from Dale Carnegie applies everywhere! Admitting to mistakes easily without blame is a good policy for dating and relationships, too. Have patience with each other and encourage when you experience something good together.
  • Have fun: Twirls? I relate this to having fun. How often do you take your woman out and keep her active? Have fun with each other, surprise each other, make love often, kiss each other, and let your partner shine. Have fun and act like you're having fun. Have you ever been around someone who forgets to laugh, shake their hips a little, and greet you in a happy way? Remember to do this dancing AND in relationships!
  • Be a good conversationalist: I've always felt there is a natural lead and follow in conversation, much like in dancing. Be open to your partner's thoughts and ideas and you'll have better relationships. Be encouraging, open, supportive.
  • Look good, smell good: Practice good hygiene and nice dress. These things are basics but you'd be surprised how many people date looking like a slob or let themselves go in relationship. If you're finding yourself in sweats together hanging out on the couch, dress up, get out, and do something fun together! If you have bad breath, do something about it...maintain good hygiene and you'll likely keep your partner interested.
  • Smile and be nice even through adversity: You'll notice from the dancing tips they suggest to smile through perspiration. Even when things are tough, don't stress on each other, keep it light, keep it fun, keep smiling and loving each other.
  • Make each other feel special: Both men and women must make each other feel special. Men ought to make their woman feel like she's the only woman that matters to him, and women must act as their man is someone they enjoy and have fun with, as well as encouraging him.
  • Show gratitude: Are you showing gratitude? Do you say "thank you" and write thank you notes frequently? Gratitude is a way of showing appreciation. Say thank you. Show you are into it, and initiate on your own, too.

As you see, you can improve your dating and relationship success by dancing Salsa (and probably West-Coast Swing, Argentine Tango, Rumba, Ballroom, East-Coast Swing, Night Club 2-Step, and other dancing styles). Use what you learn about dancing to gain insights into how to relate with the opposite sex, how to be a "healthy" partner, how to be a more dynamic, confident, and fun person to be with.

Use these tips in your own dating and relationships to increase your success with love and happiness.

Want to learn more about Salsa Dancing? (Read on!)

Salsa can even be fun for kids to improve their interdynamic relationships. You'll notice all the fun group interaction when you check this out:

This is where salsa usually starts:

This is how partner dance moves develop:

Aren't these instructors awesome?

Notice the fun dynamic happening with the dancers in this group class:

And this is where you might end up if you get totally into it:

The Pros make it look so easy!

If you think you can't spin fast, watch these two:

As you can see, this can get a little crazy. I'm just starting with the basics and having fun with it.

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Susan Kledzik said...

I have to say that it is so awesome that you are taking salsa!! That's great!

Seriously Fun Self-help! said...

Oh - yeah, salsa lessons are the BOMB! I was nervous at first but now getting in the groove. The advanced dancers are so intimidating to watch but I'm learning - the cool thing is they are really open, friendly, and even cool dancing with me and helping me learn how to lead them better!

I went on the salsa cruise Saturday night and had the time of my life! Great fun, good food, great new friends, and a *hot* time dancing on a double-decker boat on Morro Bay for 5 1/2 hours...does it get any better than that? :)

Susan Kledzik said...

That is so amazing...and wonderful! :)

I think that it is great that you are letting loose and enjoying life!

It is such a catchy feeling!

Good luck! If ever you go on tour to the Midwest, let me know:)

Seriously Fun Self-help! said...

Salsa is a blast, but you definitely have to find the right group for it to take off. The other class is more "couple" oriented and hasn't been as fun, but I learn a lot there. The Cal Poly Salsa group is really dynamic - they're all friends and it is a healthy scene. The dancing is something I'll need a lot more lessons to get good at, but it's better than being out in a bar, for sure! I love it.

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