Salsa Dancing Insight 101 #1: Dancing to the Music


I lay in savasana, otherwise known as “corpse pose,” after my yoga practice this morning and a thought ran through my mind:

“Should I tell that guy, whose a really great *lead, that he’s not actually dancing to the music?”

Suddenly, I imagined myself talking to him.  What would I say and how would I say it?

I don’t want to annoy him.  I don’t want him not to like me, but I want to be honest and be honest for him and me.

So this is what came through my mind:

“Can I tell you something?” I ask him politely.  He’s looking at me and does not respond in my minds image of this scenario.  I go on.  “You’re a great lead.  I mean, that’s awesome!  That’s, like, a huge part of this.  And, you’re not actually dancing to the music so I don’t know how to follow you.”

He’s still looking at me receptively, listening, not responding at all.

I go on.  “It’s like you’re dancing to a rhythm in your own head that I can’t hear and…”

That’s where the insight hit me.

The Music

We, as dancers, dance to the music.  It’s that common thread, that language, that connects us to each other and to the dance.  When a leader and a follower, in partner dancing, are connected to the music, dancing to it or allowing it to dance through them, they can experience a **synergy within themselves and in their partner dancing relationship, together, beyond what they could experience on their own.

OH MY GOSH!!!  This is IT!  That’s why the music is SO important.

It’s not even that we have to be dancing to music.  What matters is that we’re connected to something else, greater than ourselves, that is guiding us.  And, we’re connected by this thing together.

Recently, while teaching a salsa dancing class, I spoke to the students about the role of the music:

“The music is like God or a Higher Power, if you believe in one.  It is always there, moving through us, moving us to do things.  The music is like that.  It is always there and we are expressing it through our body movements.”

The music is dancing US.  

What’s possible when you can allow the music of life to dance you?
What area of your life can you see yourself connecting to “the music” of the situation?
How can you allow “the music” to move through you, connecting you with yourself, your partner, and all of life to experience a synergy beyond your wildest imaginings?
Write your comments below.  I want to hear what you have to say!
Thanks for being here, really!
 Sarah Haykel
*Lead: In partner dancing, the person who is responsible for guiding the follower through movements and patterns on the dance floor using certain techniques that are typically learned.
**Google Defintion:
  1. 1.
    the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

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