The most common complaint I here in the Newcastle salsa scene is this one.
I’m not very good.
Its not the venues, the prices or the DJ. Its often a growing dissatisfaction with our own abilities.
Maybe the learning curve seems long and impossible. Especially in an age where you can access any salsa track in seconds and order a new pair of shoes with “next day delivery”.
But you can’t download timing, confidence or choreography. Unlike in the following deleted clip from The Matrix.
Cut yourself some slack
Life is a journey, not a destination
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
If Salsa was about getting to the end as fast as possible, then we wouldn’t need a full song.
The band could just play crescendos. You would get up, position yourself where you want to end and then walk off the dance floor – high-fiving your partner because you’ve just accomplished all that could be accomplished in this alternative Salsa world.
In this reality, however, a dance will take as long as the song plays. You don’t look at your watch as the song starts and think “Have I got time for this, one?”.
So why is it that we approach learning the steps with that mentality filled with deadlines and milestones?
When your 8 you think being 28 is going to be amazing because you can drive and wear a tie. But you didn’t beat yourself up about not having a driving license as even as 8 you were smart enough to realize that you where at different points in your life.
Unless you where a thick kid. Probably eating dirt and glue for the amusement of your peers.
What Can You Do Now, That You Wanted to do last year?
When you first saw salsa you probably thought it would be cool just to have the confidence to get up, take a partner and know a few basics to get by.
Now you’re self flagellating (hopefully not literally, or you might be asked to leave depending on which club you’re in) because you can’t nail a triple spin or incorporate a backflip into your shines.
If previous you could see you now (without tearing the space-time-continuum apart)… or anyone a few months or more behind you… would they want to do what you can do?
I bet you know more than you think you know. And even if you still don’t have every turn and step down. Consider the friends you’ve made and the experiences you’ve had.
It’s not the olympics. You’re not being scored. At the end of the day if you had fun, and didn’t break anyone’s toes then you can count that as a bonafide success.
But I’m Still Super Competitive and what to crush my salsa nemesis
You’re still reading, but maybe you’ve made a sub-audible tut at this wishy washy feel-good nonsense. In that case, this point is for you. If you where enjoying the wash of feel good nonsense, you can click away and check Facebook now.
When Sir Roger Bannister ran the 4 minute mile, his goal was to run a 4 minute mile. Not to run as fast as he can, or to be the fastest man forever. He focuses solely on that 4 minute mile.
If reaching a goal is tied to your self-worth an happiness, then maybe its worth clearly defining what ‘it‘ is.
This thing you’re trying to get, or achieve that would make you happy; Write it down and focus on that, but just that.
It could be hitting every break on your favorite track. It could be mastering a triple spin. Maybe it’s incorporating a backflip in a shine (I really want to see this now).
So go out there and crush your goals, and leave your nemesis alone. He’s a nice guy really, once you get to know him. We go bowling all the time, honestly he’s chill.