Becoming a Salsero

Learning to dance Salsa !

About me

I remember the first time I saw a salsa performance. The dance was mesmerizing and I decided that becoming a Salsero would be my new goal.

Just getting started took a lot longer than planned but I still haven't regretted a single moment of learning to dance salsa. Why don't you join me and become a salsero / salsera as well?.

About this site

This is where I share my experiences and thoughts on dancing salsa.

If you have any questions or remarks please leave a comment or send an email to becomingasalsero@gmail.com.

Additional ways to contact me can be found on my contact page.

You are one of the world's best dancers !

Really you are!

I know that may sound hard to believe but you know what?
I am one of the world's best dancers as well !

Yes, I will be the first to admit it. That is even harder to believe.
After all, when you read this you will most likely have been dancing longer than I have. You know you are a much better dancer than I am and you don't think that you are that great.

So what makes me so arrogant?
How can I claim to be one of the world's best dancers?

Well, not to long ago I had an awful time on the dance floor.
Not only did I have a hard time finding the beat but when I did it slipped away again so quickly that I could not help but wonder if I had ever found it at all.

Aside from that I could barely remember how to do anything else than a cross body lead. I did managed to pull off a couple of turns but that was about it.

The lady I was dancing with was kind enough to say that she was having the same problem but I am sure that was because my lead was horrible that night as well.

To make things worse, we were the only couple dancing. There were no other couples for people to focus on. We could not hide between the other couples, trying to stay out of sight.

When the song ended we walked back to our table, pretty embarrassed, and we prepared ourself for criticism. We half expected people to be laughing at us. We had prepared our defenses though.

My excuses were going to range from 'I guess I am having an off day' and 'The sounds system is terrible, I could not make out half the music' to the even more ridiculous 'I must have eaten something wrong. I feel horrible'.

All in all it was one of those times that I would try to forget as quickly as possible.

And, as we expected, as soon as we had sat down people started to turn to us.
Except that, instead of criticizing us, they started complimenting us!

They told us how they had enjoyed watching the show and how great it was.
Some even asked us if we could recommend instructors.

For a second I was completely confused.

Were they being sarcastic? We were in the Netherlands after all and as dutch people tend to enjoy sarcasm it would not be unlikely at all.

But then it hit me. 99.9% Of the people you meet in your life will never have danced salsa. Actually, a large percentage of people you meet in your daily life will not even have seen a couple dancing salsa.

When you are on the floor and they see you do a cross body lead followed by a couple of spins they think you are a star. Like a popular dutch saying goes 'In the land of the blind the man with one eye is king'.

And this was the situation that night. We were the only couple in that bar that knew how to dance salsa. We looked amazing to the uninitiated.

So next time that have a bad day and you are wondering whether you are ever going to learn to dance at all, just keep this in mind.

You are already part of the 0.01% of people that know how to dance salsa. That alone makes you one of the world's best dancers!

9 comments:

  1. Jan said...
     

    dude--this blog rocks. i wish i were able to focus on dancing salsa as a real pastime. maybe one day...

  2. Walter de Rooij said...
     

    Hi Jan,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    As you are probably well aware of by now, Paris has a great salsa scene as well. Even if you only want to go out occasionally there are lots of places to choose from

    If you want some addresses I can have some of my friends in Paris put together a list for you.

  3. Jan said...
     

    actually, i found them my first week on the quai saint bernard, salsa'ing by the river in the open air. tons of people. it was great...for them, i mean. as for me, i didn't even try because it immediately dawned on me that i CANNOT dance salsa without a preface conversation. because i can't speak french, i am unable to explain that i'm a beginner and such. so even though a friend gave me the name of a great salsa club...i shan't go. alas, paris and i just weren't meant to be.

  4. Walter de Rooij said...
     

    "Je suis une debutante" - I am a beginner.
    That's all you need to know ;)

    Plus, in the clubs apparently a lot of people speak English.

    I say apparently because even though my ex-girlfriend met lots of people that spoke English, I didn't meet any.

    Then again, she is cuter than I am so I guess that helped.

    Also, often the clubs have a free class before the party start. That would be a great way to get to know the people a bit beforehand.

    Even if you can't talk to them they will know you are a beginner before the real dancing begins.

    As for you and Paris not being meant to be... C'est la vie. I'm sure you'll have great memories anyway.

  5. Jan said...
     

    oh! the class beforehand! that's a GREAT idea! perhaps i can trouble you after all for a recommendation? i've only got one shot at this (one week left in paris), so i'd hate to blow it on a not-so-good venue.

  6. Walter de Rooij said...
     

    Jan,

    Normally I'd offer to introduce you to my friends but they are on holiday as half of Paris seems to be in August.

    Below is a list of clubs that were recommended by them though.

    I hope you have a great time.


    Diablitho - 45 Rue St S├ębastien - Metro Richard Lenoir
    Tel: 01 43 55 18 78
    Friday
    8 euro
    classes start at 8:30pm

    La Pachanga - 8, rue Vandamme - Metro Gaite
    Tel: 01 56 80 11 40
    Saturday
    10 euro on Saturday
    Don't know when the class starts.
    I said Saturday as I remember going there on saturday in a group class.
    However, I think they're open every day, or at least almost every day of the week.

    Barrio Latino - 46-48 Faubourg St Antoine - Metro Bastille
    Tel: 01 55 78 84 75
    Sunday
    5 euro
    Classes start at 1pm, party at 3pm, party ends at 7:30pm
    Tuesday - 10 euro
    Classes start at 8pm

    O'Sullivan's - 92, Boulevard de Clichy - Metro Blanche
    Tel: 01 40 26 73 41
    Sunday
    10 euro
    Classes start at 8pm

    WAGG 10 euro - 62 rue Mazarine - Metro Odeon
    Tel: 01 55 42 22 01
    Thursday
    Don't know what time the classes start though.

    Le Prestige - 24, Rue Tilsitt - Metro Charles de Gaulle Etoile
    Tuesday
    10 euro
    Classes start at 7:30pm

    le Balajo - 9 rue de Lappe - Metro Bastille
    Tel: 01 47 00 07 87
    Thursday
    10 euros
    Classes start 7:30pm party at 10pm

  7. Jan said...
     

    awesomeness! thanks so very much! ("o'sullivan's," though? strange name for a salsa spot in paris--or anywhere, for that matter.)

  8. Walter de Rooij said...
     

    No problem at all. I'm glad I could help.

    As for O'Sullivan's being a strange name for a salsa place... I could not have said it better.

    Apparently it has a good reputation though. I will wait for you to find out ;-)

  9. speed up my pc said...
     

    This was a great sight thanks for all the information.

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