Cronicles Of A Salsa Addict, Or So I’ve Been Called

I guess if a Salsa addict is someone who; spends more money on Salsa shoes than on ‘street’ shoes, convinces their self that they can get by on 3 hours of sleep or less. chat with a stranger Just to go dancing at a venue an hour away, practices moves in the bathroom at work – and has been caught mid spin with their imaginary partner- more than once, and sings songs with words that they do not understand.

Then, hello my name is Brooke and I am an addict; A Salsa Addict.
It all began with my very first Salsa lesson exactly one year ago and since then I have returned as often as possible to the place that feeds my craving for excitement the most: the dance floor. Like great food, art and even sex, Salsa makes me feel euphoric, even alive; a concept that most of my non-dancing friends or co-workers do not comprehend. When not making sarcastic comments at the mere idea of it, they smile pityingly, thinking it is eccentric to go alone to lessons or socials and especially unheard of to decline a cocktail hour invite or give up a weekend to dancing. I simply cannot resist it. I try, but I feel withdrawals and if I do convince myself to partake in non-salsa events, I sit restlessly watching the clock trying to determine if I can still make it in time for a quick whirl around the dance floor before closing time.

It affects my romantic life too. My last potential beau did not dance and quickly became jealous of my bi-weekly Salsa lessons. He did not quite grasp the platonic bond between fellow dancers and inquired about the marital/relationship status and/or sexual orientation of my male dance partners on two separate occasions– the second occasion was the last we would speak. No dance, no date. Sorry.

Why the irresistible urge to dance? How is it that I think about dancing all the time; do body movement whenever I am near a mirror or even reflective store window; do various basic steps and/or shines while standing and even practice dance styles that are not limited to salsa such as; Bachata and Merengue?

I have discovered that Salsa is a much, much more fun way to get sweaty and tone and define my shoulders, abs and legs without hours of running on a treadmill staring at a blank wall. Also, in essence, to me dance serves as meditation in motion. With Salsa now completely engulfing my insides, I have rearranged my existence to include a regular dose of this medicine, an antidote to my everyday worries. I return again each week, not just for the rhythmic high, but also for the nourishment of the social environment. Salsa cultivates and reignites communities as dancers become family on the dance floor- and as individuals we become peaceful and self-expressed – a celebration of ourselves.

Like a true addict’s hangover, I find sore, throbbing feet and tired legs are a small price for the high that dancing gives. Eliminating dance is not an option. Sometimes-corny music and sweaty or unattractive partners no longer repulse me and despite the excruciating awkwardness of my first (and sometime current) attempts at dancing, something makes me persevere. It has been a short journey to my present junkie state. Where will it end?

The trademarks of this addiction are not too worrisome; lost weekends, social stigma and isolation from non-dancers, increased expenses and replicate viewings of the movies “Take the Lead” and “Dirty Dancing”, right?

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