Dipping into salsa

by Dating Goddess on June 5, 2011

Salsa — a spicy dip and a spicy dance. My latest experience is with the latter.

Dr. Philling myself, I asked how online dating was working for me. I’ve met some interesting men and gathered a few sweethearts from the experience, but know there are other options. Yet, being situationally introverted, I’m not great about getting myself to in-person singles events.

Like many midlife daters, I want to maximize my ability to meet intriguing singles. So I’ve been pep-talking myself into more in-person activities. Doubting I’ll meet anyone in my 99% all-women Jazzercise classes, I’ve expanded my reach — and my comfort zone.

So this weekend I convinced a gal pal to accompany me to a salsa dance class. Arriving 10 minutes before class time we were surprised we were the only ones there. “Cool,” we muttered to each other, “abundant attention from the male instructor.” Then three men swept in — we were surprised we were now in the minority.

Eventually, there were 8 couples including one other male instructor who patiently muttered the steps as each woman took turns in his arms. The instructor did a great job of having us change partners every few minutes so we got to practice not stepping on each other’s toes with multiple novices.

The instructor, a mid-life, pot-bellied man with a comb over was surprisingly sensual when he got his hips going. If men knew how alluring a good dancer is, I think more would take up ballroom dancing.

Even though I had lessons many years ago, I knew it would be best to start from scratch. So when the instructor asked about our experience, I said to assume I knew nothing. I was then pleased when he singled me out to compliment my turns.

Did I meet anyone I thought I’d want to date? No. But I did feel comfortable in the environment which made me want to return. After a few more lessons, I’d feel comfortable attending one of their salsa dance parties and expanding my social circle.

The experience reminded me of the process of dating. At first it feels awkward and uncomfortable. But with a little guidance and practice, you feel more secure. Within a short amount of time, you’re ready for more and looking forward to new experiences.

What have you tried that is like dating — you’re timid at first but then quickly get comfortable?

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Want more ideas of what to expect as you begin to date again? Get your autographed or electronic copy of Date or Wait: Are You Ready for Mr. Great?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynn June 6, 2011 at 4:39 am

Try contra dancing also – all ages, with plenty of single men in their 40s & 50s, mostly university types/academics with a folksy/hippie background (I guess that’s a fair description?).

Jorge June 7, 2011 at 9:52 am

To improve the experience, the next thing to do it’s to take a plane and visit any latin country where you can actually feel the passion of mixing love with salsa! Oohh yeah!

Kate June 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Lynn – your comment made me laugh!! I met my husband at a dance but during the 22 years we were together he rarely liked going dancing. I often went alone – including to contra – as I just love to dance. When we split up he decided he liked dancing and is now part of at least 3 groups – and found someone new at one of these events. Life really is funny. He is 50, definitely a uni/academic type….lol

Mark June 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm

I’ll chime in about contra dancing. Lots and lots of fun. I don’t know how great it is for meeting people, but it’s a venue where everyone is smiling. That’s a good atmosphere. Your chances are better when you’re happy in the midst of a lot of other happy people.

Darren Miller June 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

Hi Dating Goodness.

I personally think you have touched on a great point on “socialising.” I too had trouble with building my social network and didn’t realise how vital it is to get out and meet people, whether it’s on the prowl or just, starting conversations with other people to help with confidence and breaking that fear.

I also participated in salsa classes at a place called Bar-Rumba in UK. I found it great and exhilarating being able to dance with anyone without the worry of what other people are thinking, spinning people around to Reggaeton, a type of music I wasn’t familiar with and didn’t have the moves. I decided to take some time out of my life to go to university as a mature student.

My fear about university was that I would struggle mixing in and socialising with all the different crowds. To my surprise, after making that mental note “Be the best person I can be (within boundaries) and that will impress people”, I found that my network grew and grew and without a doubt it helped my confidence. And now being at the front seat of my journey I understand there is no need for intense added pressure on myself.

Almita June 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I commend you for trying something new. I love dancing and have gone to many different kinds of dance classes and events: tango, salsa, and contradancing, too. Unfortunately, on almost every occasion, there have been more women than men, and I have often had to “sit out.” While I enjoy watching others dance, it doesn’t allow me to develop my dance skills or to meet any eligible men.

Alice X June 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

Joining different classes and clubs are great ways to meet new people who are probably interested in similar activities. Socialising is key!

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