Seems I will graduate without getting a salsa partner
What you need to know:
- It was after an eternity that I saw him approaching. A man well built, too good to be true. A man you want to introduce to your mother, a pastor, to pray for.
- He interrupts your thoughts. ‘’Care for a dance?’’ the fine gentleman asks, looking right into my eyes.
- “Finally!’’ my heart yells, but my mind is quick to think, with a shorter skirt, this would have happened sooner.
By Gloria Kamotho
Every Thursday night, salsa lovers who enjoy the dance’s therapeutic abilities and its often overemphasised drama and sensuousness head to our favorite joint in town. Such nights are always full of turns and mambos. On the dance floor, male dancers are king. They find partners as easily as Elon Musk makes changes on Twitter. As a female salsa dancer, the enthusiasm starts to wear off when you find yourself stuck on the bench, having to await a man’s request to dance with you.
On this particular day, I put on my new dress. After taking almost 50 pictures of myself, I chose ‘the one’ and updated it on my WhatsApp status with the caption.’#GirlBoss. Salsa for life.’ I had spent several hours on YouTube learning the basics of luring a man to dance, and on this night I refused to be stuck on the seat, glancing at the lads and hoping they would spot me and ask for a dance. I smiled, put my phone aside, and danced to the tune of the night but wapii?
It was after an eternity that I saw him approaching. A man well built, too good to be true. A man you want to introduce to your mother, a pastor, to pray for so you can have that arrangement where two become one. He interrupts your thoughts. ‘’Care for a dance?’’ the fine gentleman asks, looking right into my eyes. “Finally!’’ my heart yells, but my mind is quick to think, with a shorter skirt, this would have happened sooner. Seconds into the dance is when I realise this is one of ‘those’ guys. Now, there are three types of male salsa dancers in every comrade-worthy joint: The too-sweaty ones, the mechanical ones, and, to save the worst for last, the too-touchy ones.
He was from the latter category. His lead style seemed too rehearsed, too calculated, and, most of all, too robotic. His grip was too tight, his cues were memorised. His execution of moves was his main focus, unlike me. I dance to have a fulfilling experience while enjoying the music. Of course, I do not mind connecting with my partner. If lucky, I have a face to drool over the night. If not, I get a new face to fantasise over until the next Thursday. Dancing with him felt rushed and choppy, making it difficult to relax and enjoy the moment. The lack of adjustment to the rhythm of the music made it lack spontaneity. I was trying to get swept off my feet figuratively, but my lead dancer’s movements suggested this might never happen. His hand on my back felt rough and controlling and the frustration was written all over my face.
I could smell his judgment and yes, I know beggars can't be choosers, but I proceeded back to the bench. The idea of settling for less had never been one that I tolerate. The routine was the same: Smile, look welcoming, get off your phone, dance to the music, and hope the next man plays his part. Hopefully, this was not the way out of the streets, or I might as well be the caretaker of those streets.
Consequently, I have just found a niche where I will be reaping big, especially now that my Helb loan is insufficient. From next month, I will be running a masterclass dubbed Dance with Professionalism For Wannabe Salsa Potentials, where I will teach male dancers how to dance respectfully and professionally. If you want to join, use my PayPal email below to send in your deposit, just Sh2,500.
The writer is a media student at Riara University ([email protected])