Why You Should Meet Your Future Partner Through Dance

If you are like most single people these days, you have a profile on Plenty of Fish and have gone on a few dates to meet a stranger whose online profile did not reflect reality.  Among all the ways to meet people, partner dancing is, by far, the best.
First, the risks are low.  With dance, you are meeting that stranger in a bar like On The Rocks where bouncers are ready to help out any young lady or gentleman with an unruly patron.  There is also no social stigmatism if, when asked to dance, you say no.  Compare that to a scene in a cafe if your dear date is, at first glance, clearly undate-able and you decide to walk out seconds after walking in, having wasted all that time getting ready, driving to the cafe, paying for a drink etc. and now have to deal with the online aftermath.  In a dance situation, you just turn around and ask someone else if they would like to dance.
Second, information about your dance partner is readily available and clear.  Unlike a coffee date where both parties show only their best side, partner dance weeds out those, especially men, who don’t have a tolerance for failure, over-estimate their abilities or take themselves too seriously.  As I have written about before, men have a steeper learning curve and if that man doesn’t show up week to week, then you have learned a lot about them.  If their attendance is inconsistent then maybe he travels a lot, has kids, multiple girlfriends, takes the easy way out, or is resistant to learning new things, whatever it is, it’s a sign.  You can also ask other follows about them. A mark in favour of a dance partner is one that shows up consistently, and dances with a wide variety of people at all levels and body types.
You can also see how they interact with other people:
  • Do they flirt incessantly?
  • Are they courteous to the house staff?  Other dancers?
  • How do they treat their friends?
  • Are they inclusive or only talk and dance with the same people?
Trying to talk to someone in a loud bar where you can barely hear them is, although counter-intuitive, a perfect setup:
  • Instant privacy – because the music is loud, nobody can hear the conversation
  • Smell – to be heard, you have to lean close.
  • Something to do – If you like the person you can ask them to dance, and if you don’t, pretend to get water or go to the bathroom.
Once you end up dancing with someone, how they dance with you is a message full of information about their personality.
  • Do they take care of themselves?
    • How fit are they?  Did they put effort into their appearance?
  • Are they thoughtful?
    • Did they change their shirt after soaking the first one through?  Are they into the dance with you, or just looking around for the next one?  Do they try to protect you from other dancers?  Do they walk you off the dance floor after, helping you down over that step?  Do they give you an opportunity to shine as well as show off their stuff?
  • Are they respectful?
    • If they are too close and you give a gentle sign you want more space, do they listen?  Or even better, do they give you lots of space first and then slowly gauge your resistance to getting closer?
  • Do they have a sense of humor?
    • Do they laugh off mistakes, or take it personally?
  • Are they elitist and non-inclusive?
    • Do they only ever dance with the pretty young ones? Or the people from the dance company they favour?
  • What do they say to you during your dance?
    • Are they the non-communicative type?  Or endlessly shallow with comments about how “You are so hot looking!” or worse “Isn’t she hot looking?”  Are they pushy?  Complain endlessly?  Constantly correct you?
Third, there is a constant influx of new people, for example, just attend a few of the introductory dance lessons at On The Rocks for a few Thursdays and the fifty people who show up are almost always different.  Better yet, I have found that each dance type has an almost completely different community.  If you don’t like the salsa crowd, try the swing/blues crowd, or the tango crowd.  There are a few people who cross into multiple communities, but they are rare.
There are negatives to meeting people through dance and it mostly has to do with crappy leads.  Many leads are off beat, too rough, don’t take personal hygiene seriously, drink too much, assume that dancing close is a right and think they know better.  Male leads noticeably prefer younger women and even great female dancers over forty can be left waiting for a dance.  The ratio of leads to follows is also usually in the favor of the leads.  Another negative is that the dance world is pretty small and if you break up with a partner who is also a dancer, you are going to run into them again and again.  Getting stepped on with heals is a hazard, especially in Salsa, and if you are short, getting bumped is a problem.
To summarize, risks are low, information about the person is readily on display, different dance types have dance communities largely made up of different people and the negatives can be mitigated.
To give this article balance, in the comments section, leave a description of the worst dance you have ever had!
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Where’s The Music At?

September Playlist Highlights

Song (iTunes)

Artist

Category

Origin

Un Loco Con Una Moto

Ralph Irizarry & Los Viejos De La Salsa

Salsa

USA

La Clave

Ralph Irizarry & Los Viejos De La Salsa

Salsa

USA

Rumba en Mi Barrio

Grupo Arcano

Salsa

USA

Lluvia Viene

Grupo Arcano

Salsa

USA

La Ambicion

Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Salsa

USA

Latin Soul Stew

Spanglish Fly

Boogaloo

USA

Adonde Va el Amor?

Daniel Santacruz

Bachata

Dominican Rep.

Sacudete Nena (Merengue Mix)

Zacarias Ferreira

Merengue

Dominican Rep.

Angolanamente Sensual

Don Kikas

Kizomba

Angola

Ça ne te convient pas

Slaï

Zouk

France

Where did you get that song from?

A question dj’s get asked all the time is “where do you get your music?”. I too have asked other dj’s the same question and the answer I get and the answer I give is “wherever I can find it”. As much as that answer is true it’s not very useful to whoever was asking the question. The fact of the matter is that dj’s can be secretive about where they get their music because on some level the value of a dj is his or her ability to find really good music that others don’t know about. If everyone went to the same places for their music the whole ‘crate digging’ aspect of dj’ing would be lost. However, on the flip side dj’s can often be quite willing to share the source of their music with you. To them it’s important that you are familiar with the music and thus more likely to dance to it. Also, besides playing music dj’s also act as music promoters especially for lesser known artists whose great music gets little media attention. As that is one of the main purposes of this blog I am going to share with you one of my favourite sources for great music by relatively unknown artists.

Up until recently, it was really hard for small independent groups to expand their fan base by getting their music to markets outside of their hometown. However, the recent explosion of social media and crowd funding has enabled small bands to raise awareness about and money to support their music and musical projects. One of the most popular places to do this is a website called Kickstarter.com. This website and those that are similar to it are a god-send for small, independent artists who want to breakaway from being funded and controlled by record labels.

Not only do relatively unknown bands turn to crowd funding to raise money but so do well established artists.  One of the amazing projects I found on Kickstarter was called Los Viejos de la Salsa created by the timbales player from Ruben Blades’ band Seis de Solar, Ralph Irizarry.  It should come as no surprise that the music on the Viejos del La Salsa album is top notch (there are a couple of their songs in this months playlist).  Another really cool music project I found was set up by Brooklyn based George Vélez Jr.   According to the promo video associated with the project he and his father really enjoyed making salsa music for fun and decided to take that hobby and passion and turn their music into an album.  The result is a killer disk called Desde El Otro Lado Del East River.   And yet another group that caught my attention was a project by the self-proclaimed premier Latin big-band in the San Francisco Bay area called Pacific Mambo Orchestra.  This is one of those cases where an amazing band has a huge following locally but just hasn’t been able to raise the money or awareness to prompt and distribute their music outside of their hometown.  Apparently, the band is a local favourite packing dance halls with their unique blend of salsa, cha cha cha, mambo and latin jazz.  Like the other two projects we just mentioned, the Pacific Mambo Orchestra’s project managed to raise the money it needed via Kickstart to enable them to release their first album.

Those are just a small sample of the great music projects you can find on Kickstart and there are a bunch more  (like the Motown tribute to Nickleback) but I will let you discover those on your own.

That’s it for this month. Questions, comments, requests?Send me an email

Hasta la próxima

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