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How To Date a Salsa Dancer

Whether you’re new to salsa and bachata or have been in the scene for a few years, dating is a tedious matter. After all, you’re operating within a small group of people, so you have to watch what you say and to whom you say it. There’s also the small matter of physical contact. Often, dancing is just dancing. The rest of the time, dancing is NOT just dancing. There’s jealously, struggles with self-confidence, freedom, protectionism, defensiveness… and that’s just on the dance floor! Many swear they won’t date inside the salsa scene. Of course, that means their S.O. isn’t with them when they’re out dancing. Uhg. Others will only date salsa/bachata dancers, but that can lead to some hurt feelings for previously stated reasons. So what’s a person to do? Can you successfully date a salsa dancer? I have no idea. But I turned to several comments on Reddit to get some opinions.

digitalsmear shared some opinions and insights by stating “As long as you’re not the jealous type, it shouldn’t matter.” His/her reasoning is that salsa dancing tends to take over one’s life. “..latin dance becomes so addictive that it becomes a reason to travel and easily the thing that you do nearly every night of the week. If you don’t dance, between going to the clubs and taking lessons you may just rarely ever [the other person].” Yes, it’s a common story among salsa and bachata dancers.

“What i can tell you is that if you want to date one you got to learn at least the basics. Otherwise, when you go out they’ll be dancing with everyone except you and that can cause some issues.” Infierny brings up a great point. Can you keep the dances between the two of you interesting? Guys hate it when they see a bored look on a girl’s face. And girls don’t often lead dances, so how do they escape the tiresome cross-body lead, outside turn for the 10th time in 60 seconds? I knew one couple who actually practiced social dancing every week to avoid this exact problem. It actually seemed to help because they were both involved in creating new social dance moves.

N-Gin shared some personal experiences when he/she said “I know a couple of salseras dating non-salseros from college, and you can always tell they are SUPER uncomfortable when their gf is dancing (esp bachata) with someone else. And that’s totally reasonable for a non-dancer to feel that way. But it sucks because the girls then feel guilty about going out dancing since they explicitly know it disturbs their SO. It’s easier to date someone who just ‘gets it’.”

bunhead13 supported N-Gin, but added “I cringe every time i see a girl bring her non-dancing Boy Friend to the salsa club. It’s painfully obvious how much fun this person is not having. Sometimes i just feel like grabbing the girl busting the nastiest bachata right in front of the Boy Friend just to see how much he can take. HA!” True. True. True. I’ve seen it myself many times. Hell, I’ve been the person on both sides of that. No matter how much you want your S.O. to enjoy salsa, you can’t force it. I know people who would rather jam forks in their eyes than sit in a salsa club. The amount of fun that everyone else is having seems to combine and have the exact opposite effect on the non-dancer.

ImAliquis had a different and positive perspective on the whole question: “I’m a salsa dancer and my SO is a swing dancer…granted we met swing dancing, because I also swing. It’s good to have variety. Perhaps if you make a connection with this girl you can expand her horizons. If she’s close-minded to that, then she’s probably not someone you should invest in.” Maybe recruiting someone into salsa/bachata scene avoids some of the pain points? It’s easier on the ego to watch and help someone grow into dancing because you feel a part of their experience.

GotKnork seemed to have the best advice of all: “There are probably ladies that only date within the salsa scene, some that will date either a dancer or a non-dancer (or a dancer of another form of dance), and some that will exclusively date outside of the salsa scene. I don’t think you should let what some people have said about their dating tendencies affect what you do.”

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