Dating, Love...and Salsa

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by Kindra, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. Kindra

    Kindra New Member

    As not to "hijack" another topic...I'll post this here.

    cierre boca y baile just wrote in the "In Love with Salsa, Help, Post":

    "The last girl I was dating I am no longer, because I couldn't get her to go dancing enough (I thought once a week wasn't too much to expect) and there was basically nothing else wrong with her."

    This post brought up a few thoughts/questions for me, maybe because it's Valentines Day....who knows..

    Given that I'm fairly new to the "social" dance world, specifically the salsa world, and fresh out of a divorce....I find that I have no desire to really date anyone within my local scene, as not to cause any drama that could hinder my future dance experiences or friendships.
    However I see a dilemma in that, especially if one day (a day far, far away) I want to share that passion/love for music and dance with someone.

    So,I wonder...Who makes it a practice to date within their local salsa scene?? What obstacles have you had to overcome, to keep fulfilling your need for dancing? If you both love the "experience", how do you keep the scene from interfering with your relationship, etc?

    For those who date non-dancers, what do you feel is a healthy dance expectation of the person you are dating (who doesn't NEED to dance as much as you)? And when trying to incorporate your non-dancer love into your world, do you feel limited by them...wishing they could just dance as well as you, etc??

    Anyone know of a married/exclusive couple that maintain a healthy relationship, while still taking advantage of the excitement and diversity the salsa world offers?
  2. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I do not really worry about this... I worry more about gossip in the scene... :)

    I only go out dancing or with my Salsa buddies and friends... what do you mean "date someone not from the scene"? I don't know many people who don't dance...I used to know such people... but... I only know those from my office... bad idea... :)

    I hava had problems in my dance scene... I quit dancing for 3 months because of a guy... :) So what? The Salsa scene is very similar to life in general... it has its little (or huge) dramas and there are nice people and bastards and lies and "naked truths"... there are good days and bad days...

    Why would I want a "safe" Salsa world? Salsa is about passion and love and trust and hurting... Salsa is not just music or dance, it is a way of life... Latinos are hot blooded... they love and hate and build and destroy... why should we make the Salsa scene a pure and safe place?

    Sorry, but I have always thought Salsa is my refuge from the real world... but it is similar to the real world... it is my real world... and it is filled with life and emotion... :) Love and sex are part of it... arent't they?

    My 2 cents...
  3. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    My comments come from observations of the tango world, but from the discussions on this forum, I'm pretty sure that the inherent conflicts in trying to balance love of dance with love of another peron are fairly universal and common to all dance forms.

    Dancing can be a double edged sword as far as romance is concerned. It can be a powerful glue that can really bond you together, as you share a common interest and passion that you both share that supplements and transcends any sexual bond between you.

    However, that same passion for dance can also come between you, especially if one person's devotion to their art exceeds the other, or if passion for art takes precedence over passion for the relationship.

    It's as comical (and heartbreaking) as having a lover whose interest in sex is not at the same level as yours. What do you do when you have an unquenchable, voracious appetite for dancing (5-7 nights a week), and really want to dance with as many partners as possible in a night, and spend every available cent on dance lessons, and your partner is content with 1-2 nights of dance per week, would rather dance only with you when you are out dancing, and is happy with their level of dance ability and doesn't want to take further lessons, and would rather spend the money for something else (like travel, or buying a house). It can break the relationship in half. In another thread, I likened it to trying to worship both Aphrodite and Dionysus at the same time. Both are extremely jealous Divinities, and aren't exactly inclined to share a disciple with the other. You can wind up annoying both and have the favor of neither.

    That being said, I've seen several (not a lot, but several) dance romances that have grown into deep, strong relationship during the two and a half years I've been dancing. So, it can be done. Since you say you're pretty new to the dancing scene, and to the "singles scene," I'd recommend that you keep your eyes open, and as you make friends and get to know people, when you meet someone who seems to have a solid successful relationship going, ask them for their advice and to talk about their experiences. That's probably the best way for you to find out what you would like to know.

    amor vincit omnia
  4. Kindra

    Kindra New Member

    For now, I dance for me, and in a safe haven it shall be...

    I'm discovering who I am again...and I'm just not in a place to let other aspects of "the real world" (whether that's inside or outside of salsa) interfere with that. Someday I expect I will be ready to take on all that you have described.....
  5. Vin

    Vin New Member

    For some salsa is like sex,(i am not saying this is the case for me, it is simply the case for some)

    Anyways if I was dating someone that didn't want sex nearly as much as I do than I would consider our relationship imcompatible.

    Maybe at some point in my life either
    1) I will be ready to move on to where salsa is not a major part of my life
    2) I will meet a woman who I will be willing to give up salsa for.

    Until that happens though I think I would only want to date a woman who could at least enjoy salsa as much as I do. She doesn't have to be an incredible dancer but if she would enjoy it that would be enough for me(as long as I liked alot of other things about her as well).
  6. tj

    tj New Member

    When you've got a hobby that you're passionate about such as salsa, it's important to state your expectations upfront.

    If not, then you'll quickly find that everyone has different expectations and are likely to impose their ruleset as far as what is fair/expected, etc. This way, if you disagree, you can at least find that out early, rather than later.
  7. aimerrouge

    aimerrouge New Member

    I didn't start taking lessons to meet someone, however, salsa has become a large part of my life. I didn't plan on enjoying it as much as I do. I spend a lot of time and money on this habit. Nowhere near as much as some of the salsaholics I know, but still...

    I would love to meet someone who dances because they would appreciate and enjoy the effort I commit to salsa. My friends who don't dance have only recently become really accepting of my addiction.

    In my salsa scene there are only a few couples. Everyone else must deal with gossip and drama. All of which has made many ladies very cautious about getting involved with a fellow dancer. Thus, not much dating takes place.

    Many of the guys complain about their lack of dating success but aren't honest about their role in it. :doh:

    Three examples right off the top of my head:

    - the men don't want women who have the audacity to date (think "go to a movie and/or dinner") too many :roll: guys on the salsa scene. Did I mention too many was subjective and not a concrete number?

    - the naive belief they have the we women don't know who's "on the prowl." :wink:

    - the guys who can't distinguish between "dancing well together" from "I'm attracted to you..." :(
  8. BrookeErin

    BrookeErin New Member

  9. Vin

    Vin New Member

    Please, this is one I am dying to know. Also how to distinguish
    between "nice because she is a nice person" and "nice because she is interested" In the non-salsa world I can normally tell but in the salsa world, well my interactions with women are many yet shorter than my interactions in the non-salsa world.
  10. gte692h

    gte692h New Member

    I dance salsa, and I am with a woman who dances tango. We rarely dance together in a club (salsa clubs or milongas) but we both have a strong love for our respective dances. We do dance together, but at home, to our common interest music like reggae or pop..

    I have seen salsa break proper, healthy relationships : one member of the couple gets so involved in the dance, that the other is left behind, and eventually leaves or is dumped, and I am always saddened to hear about them. I am very aware of the power of salsa, and I consciously make an effort to not get too friendly with the ladies in my scene.. I'm very particular about getting a dance partner to practice with because, to me, that level of physical intimacy always leads to a spark of some sort. salsa is really intense for me, and I am aware of what it can do.

    I personally would advocate being in a relationship with someone not in the scene (this can be hard if you spend all your time dancing salsa) because it can keep your perspective from being skewed. Balance is important. Also, I don't want to live, breathe, and literally sleep with salsa. I might get sick of it. I don't want to marry a fanatical salsa dancer like me - what if we let salsa take over our lives to an extent where we both lose view of the big picture ? "visit family for the holidays? hell no - salsa conference in puerto rico instead..."

    If I marry a woman who cannot stand salsa, i'd try work out a solution where I go dance in clubs and she can watch on the side. Or in the worst case, I'll give salsa up. I can dance solo at home. The fact is, this is a dance, and I won't let it define my whole life. To me ( and only me, i'm not judging you guys), I will not give up a good woman for a dance. I am more than just a dance.
  11. BrookeErin

    BrookeErin New Member

    spurred by some friends, I (we) have been really working out what we want vs. what we need in a relationship. I have decided that what I need is someone who adores me and someone who can be my rock (because as a mental health therapist I take care of everyone else and can but don't want to have to take care of myself). Here's the trick though... I want someone who will go dancing with me (no less than every two weeks, and even if he only dances some with me as long as he's ok with me dancing with everyone else most of the night) AND someone who will watch (American) football with me and actually enjoy the game.... that's a tough combination.

    I'm ok if our salsa passion is imbalanced as long as it can be shared - we can go out together, and if he doesn't enjoy dancing as much as I do, he can enjoy watching me dance.
  12. Kindra

    Kindra New Member

    I ask you this...What if that sacrifice seems okay in the beginning; almost bearable, as you discover new things you enjoy doing together as a couple, only to find that in a few years..you're unhappy because you've sacrificed yourself? It's easy to justify that sacrifice when faced with love...


    Coming from a marriage where there was little to no appreciation for my love of dance...I can safely say, I MUST be with someone who wants to share in that aspect of my life....and I'll be content with that person just enjoying being with me while I nurture my passions....and in return I want to support them as they nurture theirs.
  13. ReneeJoan

    ReneeJoan New Member

    I have to say, I agree with Kindra. I was living with someone already when I started dancing. I guess to an outside observer, tango came between us. Only it was much more complicated than that. As long as he was the center of my universe and my existence revolved around him, we got along in absolute harmony. But when I developed an interest in something that didn't interest him, and didn't benefit him in the slightest, and that he wasn't already good at, he dug in his heels. I, personally, thought that given all the things that HE liked that I had at least TRIED, he ought to at least give it a try before he said he didn't like it.

    The bottom line was that my interest in tango uncovered and exposed how immature and childish and selfish this man was. I had always known it in the back of my mind, but I had always overlooked it. Plus, nothing had ever come up to challenge the status quo. Until the tango. Suddenly, it became very clear that all the "give" was happening on my end of the relationship, and all the "take" was happening on his end. Now, something had come along that really meant something to me, and he was very jealous of that -- that something meant more to me that he did. Things just kind of deteriorated from there. None of my friends thought I would actually leave him, including my teacher. They were all pretty surprised when I finally did.

    Renee
  14. gte692h

    gte692h New Member

    The issue really comes down to flexiblity. How flexible is a partner to the needs of the other ? I'd try my best to negotiate upto 'I dance, she watches' , just like you mentioned in your posts. I would only want someone to tolerate my interests, rather than indulge in them.
    Its unlikely I would give up salsa, but in the *worst* case, I would. But that is a sacrifice on the level of converting to another faith for me, so she'd better be sacrificing something significant as well. Now that I think about it, I don't think any reasonable woman would ask me to completely give up something I love so much. What woman doesn't like a man who dances ? So perhaps this worst case I speak about is unrealistic.
    My point was that I am willing to negotiate. I'm not one of those people who will end a relationship because his girlfriend doesn't dance, or like to dance. If a negotiated solution is possible, I'll work on it. But Kindra's right, I can't sacrifice myself entirely.

    I don't feel like the alternative is that great either. If I hold dancing as a criterium for compatibility, I have narrowed my playing field considerably. I could potentially miss out on some great women, just because they don't like to dance.
  15. Kindra

    Kindra New Member

    I can relate to this.....all I can say is, Thank God I'm out!!
    Considering I came from a 7 year drought...I just keep thinking to myself...I'm doing exactly what I want to be doing (dancing my a$$ off) and there isn't anyone who can say boo about it! :) I love freedom.

    I agree with your sentiment completely....that's the dilemma while looking towards the future. ;)
  16. cierre boca y baile

    cierre boca y baile New Member

    Since I inadverently (imagine my surpise) started this :D . I haven't ever really dated anyone in our local salsa scene for a couple of reasons. First, the scene here is a little unique. There aren't a lot of regulars and most of the females who are, already have a guy. The others are in and out every few weeks. Lately I've been meeting two or three new girls a week. Secondly, most of the girls are from one of two nearby colleges, so I'd say 75% of the girls I dance with are between 20 - 22. I'm a little older than that and at a different place in my life, so dating them doesn't really seem like a good idea. I'm not opposed to it though, but while I'm definitely looking for someone to share dancing with (doesn't have to always be salsa), I'm also looking for much more than that. I'm looking for a best friend who I share at least a few passions with. I do have others besides salsa. To me those passions are what drives me and I want to feel that passion for the girl I am with as well.

    I can't say for sure what would be the minimum I'd expect from someone who didn't have the need to dance as much as I do. It would all depend on the other aspects of the relationship.

    The one thing that has always stuck in my mind though, when I first started dancing there was this older couple (probably in their 70's) who were always there dancing (this was west coast swing, not salsa). Anyway, it just struck me what a wonderful thing it would be to share dancing with the person I was going to be with for life. It's something you can do and share together until you die. Maybe I'm limiting myself on who I have to chose from, but I can't get that picture out of my mind. That is what I want.

    There reason I think a shared "passion" is so important. I remember reading a book by Tony Robbins. His first one I think. In it he talks about how you remember things. He says you remember things the best when you have all your senses involved in the experience. He says the more senses that are involved the stronger your memory of an experience will be and how you can recall it at any time and bring your body back to the emotional state you were at that time. Things that I am passionate about do this for me and nothing stronger than dance. I remember so many dances and experiences and I can re-live them in my mind anytime I want to. The reason this is important is...in relationships...what gets you through the tough times is your bond with that other person. If you share your passions, you are bonding yourself to that person to the point that no matter how hard things become, it hurts far more to separate than to stick it out. The less you have invested in a relationship the easier it is to leave it. Anyway...that is why I think it's important to share passions(not necessarily just dance) with the one you love.
  17. cierre boca y baile

    cierre boca y baile New Member

    I'm glad a female said this first, but I agree completely :D. Also, if I were married, I wouldn't be comfortable going out to get my salsa "fix" without her. Yes you can dance with people and not have strong passionate or sexual feelings about them, but at the same time you can't necessarily stop that from happening at times either. Yes you can control how you react to them, but I think that would be just too much temptation. Especially the way girls react sometimes when I'm dancing with them. It would just feel wrong if I had a girlfriend or wife at home.

    Surely I'm not the only guy who likes dancing and football :p

    It's very noble when you chose to sacrifice of your own free will, but if you have to sacrifice to keep that persons love then it is no longer sacrifice, it is someone else taking or killing a part of you.
  18. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I too was scared (and still am, but for different reasons) of gossip... gossip can ruin one's reputation, especially a woman's... :)

    I too hesitated to get involved with dancers... especially with the "prowlers"... the thing is the "prowlers" in my scene are the only ones that don't bore me to death! They are most of the time regular people, not too attractive physically, but who have developped other parts of their personalities due exactly to their "lack of physique"... :)

    They are interesting to talk to, they have a huge experience with women... and the ones I liked were very honest... they were players (see Edie the Salsa Freak's article) but they were not lying to you as to their intentions... they called it as it was... :)

    The other dancers would call you endlessly... annoy you with their affections... try to have you only for themselves and got jealous on others... but not the prowlers... :)... at least not the ones I was attracted to...

    So yes, I have had relationships with some dancers... mostly players... but we're still friends... and now my BF is a former "player"... :) He's ok for the moment... and I am not sure how long this will go on... but I like him and I am going to enjoy it while it lasts... and if he hurts me... well... it's a jungle out there... what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

    So I'd say I understand Salsa addicts' desire to date in the scene... and I've done it...! Still doing it!
  19. Kindra

    Kindra New Member

    I would say that in most cases it's not about sacrificing to "keep" someones love....as it is a sacrifice you're willing make just to spend time and be with that person you love.

    In my case...I can't even say that it was a conscious sacrifice at the time.
    I never had to make a deal with myself... " Okay, I'm going to give up all my dancing for XYZ". It just sortof happened as I got swept up in my emotions and feelings for this person, and my desire to be with him. Over time...things unfolded the way they did...
    I wasn't really aware of all that I had given up truly until I was out of the situation...I'm still discovering parts of myself that I had tucked away (things related to and unrelated to dance).
  20. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Definitely not me!! Didn't grow up in America and still haven't acquired a taste for what is an undoubtably American pastime.

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