Many new and old salsa dancers have different ideas about what salsa is vs. what salsa is not. Salsa is one of the best ways to lift your spirits when you are feeling blue. According to recent studies, dancing helps improve general mood, but, salsa is a whole new ballgame. Because salsa is a form of self-expression with dance, it is easy to let go of stress and pent up frustration as you sway and slide.
What salsa IS vs. what salsa is NOT
Dancing salsa is easy, but some people find it hard because they are bogged down by myths and suppositions. Below we’ll attempt to bust 7 myths about salsa dancing and hopefully reveal the true nature of our favourite rhythmic dance – Salsa!
1. Some people feel that they MUST have a partner when dancing salsa
While it’s fun to dance with a partner, the truth is that you don’t need a partner for salsa; in fact, this can sometimes be a hindrance when you are learning new steps. Because dancing is a social experience, you will meet different people that you can partner up with during dance classes. So don’t worry too much about a partner. With or without one, you can dance salsa and have fun while doing it.
2. Some say that salsa is too raunchy
The hip swaying and thrusting could be too much for some people. But, salsa is NOT a sexually explicit dance. On the contrary, it is a way to express yourself, and hip swaying is simply how salsa channels this expression. A clean salsa dance is not dirty dancing unless the dancer makes it all about sexual expression.
3. Some people feel that salsa is only for youthful and physically fit people
Nope! This particular myth hits at the core of why people dance in the first place. Let’s leave salsa aside for a moment. Dancing is about you, your body, your movement and the pleasure that you derive from it. So irrespective of your age or fitness level, it is all about you. Expert salsa dancers may have some seriously impressive moves, but don’t let that scare you because salsa is for everyone who wants to have fun.
4. Some feel that only Latin people dance salsa well
Even though the origins of salsa points to Latin cultures, it isn’t synonymous with Latin dancers alone. Your ethnicity or country of origin is not a determinant of whether or not you will be great at dancing salsa. If you truly enjoy it and put your mind to learning the dance steps, then you can dance salsa just as good as any other salsa dancer.
5. Some think that frilly, sexy outfits are a MUST
Salsa is a modern dance, and even though many movies and TV shows depict salsa dancers in fancy, sexy and frilly clothing, it really isn’t the norm. Many salsa dancers wear casual clothing when dancing and only dress up when attending socials. You cannot give your best if you’re concerned about your body parts being exposed for all to see. So please dress comfortably every time you dance salsa.
6. Some feel that salsa dancing is only for gay men
As far as myths go this one is plain terrible and obviously wrong. Once again salsa dancing involves self-expression, period! The question of your sexuality plays no part in how you express yourself. You can express your joy, sadness, frustration and many more emotions through dance. Many people dance salsa for reasons that range from staying active and fit, having fun, doing something with their partners and taking their minds of life’s worries. So no matter your sexual preferences, salsa is perfect for everyone.
7. Some people feel that salsa is for dance competitions
This myth exists because people confuse salsa with ballroom dancing. The Hollywood version of salsa is not what real salsa dancers ascribe to. Even though you can compete just like you would in any dance type you partake in, salsa dancing is not about competitions.
For many people, salsa is much more than just a past time activity. The passion and love that some dancers have for salsa dancing are truly inspiring. Salsa helps with fitness, confidence, stress relief and is a great way to spend your leisure time. Many lives have been positively affected by salsa dancing as long as people are not discouraged by these myths.