Here Are Some Tips To Fix Salsa Burnout
Many have experienced Salsa burnout at times without even labeling it as such. Burnout is that feeling of discouragement in pursuing something that you normally enjoy. So, have you ever had a conversation that goes like this? “Hey, what ever happened to Jim? He was coming out to dance a couple times a week and taking a Salsa class, but now we haven’t seen him for months!” You then check around and learn that he’s not sick, and he didn’t move away. He just kind of fizzled away and lost his enthusiasm for Salsa dancing. Now what is it that causes a person to be so enthusiastic about Salsa for a while and later lose interest for the dance? Here are a few reasons why people leave the Salsa community and some ideas on how to help reduce or eliminate Salsa Burnout:
How To Maintain Your Enthusiasm For Salsa Dancing
1. Someone Stepped on Her Toes
What I mean is someone somewhere in the Salsa community made a snide remark about one of her friends, or said something directly to her to hurt her feelings.
Fix: For the offended, if your feelings can get hurt in the Salsa community, they can get hurt anywhere else too. So, this is not a Salsa issue, it’s a personal issue. People can hurt our feelings only to the degree we allow them to. Besides, a comment delivered in a hurtful manner can often contain an element of truth to help us if we are wise and humble enough to accept it. For the offender, be more careful of how you treat people. Do your best to be an encourager and a friend to everyone that you can. Remember that you too were once new to Salsa.
Related Article: Health Benefits of Dancing Salsa
2. “Money, Money, Money”
Oh, so you know that song? “The O’Jays” hit a nerve back in 1973 with that hit. The song is relevant here because money is a very real reason why some folks disappear. There are dance shoes, gas, cover charges, road trips, bar tabs, clothes, lessons, child care, etc. These can add up fast. How then do we handle the expenses related to Salsa so that it doesn’t weigh down our enjoyment of the dance?
Fix: Just like everywhere else in life, we have to establish a budget and prioritize our spending. It’s true, that it may mean you can’t do as many Salsa events as you would like to, but staying financially balanced will benefit your Salsa enjoyment in the long run. When you do venture out for a night, supporting the venue with food, bottled water, or other purchases is important. However, that doesn’t mean you have to buy 8 of the most expensive drinks that night. Yeah, the owners would probably be happy if you did, but they’ll do better to have you as a long term customer rather than one who quickly burned out due to financial strain. To minimize gas expense, car pool on road trips, or even to local dance nights. Also, in that deep dark corner of your closet, pushed all the way to the back is that dress that you wore what?….4 months ago? This doesn’t mean you can’t wear it again. Most guys won’t notice that you’ve had it on in the last 90 days. Wait a sec…I guess that also depends on the dress, if you know what I mean.
For some of you, “Ouch” is a foreign term, but it is what the polite among us say when we get hurt. Now those little ouches you get can result in a dance-inhibiting problem. Injury is one thing that will discourage some dancers from making their weekly appearance at the latest hot spots. Those injuries sometimes happen on the dance floor. Others are taken out of commission when rock climbing. A few are taken out when making that middle of the night trek to the fridge. Amid the darkness, their big toe, ankle and lower back has a most unfortunate encounter with a lone Tonka truck that ran out gas on its way to the toy box.
Fix: Some Salseros are so focused on dancing that they won’t snow ski or participate in certain activities that can result in foot or ankle injuries. You have to decide what activities are right for you. Meanwhile, when do dance, be sensible about how many hours your feet can stand dancing. Know what your body can handle and take adequate breaks during the night as well as during the week. Do you need to stretch before Salsa? It might help. Also be conscious of overcrowded dance floors. Guys, be careful not to execute moves that will result in your partner trying to occupy the same space at the same time as another dancer. Keep your partner safe. Ladies, learn how to keep your elbows in. More than one guy has gained a bloody nose from a zealous stray elbow.
4. “Takin” Care of Business
This 1973 song by “Bachman Turner Overdrive” doesn’t exactly address the challenge we all have of balancing work, school, family, dating, etc. These things all take time. Salsa is one part of many lives that are already filled with lots of stuff. Sometimes the folks we miss are merely taking care a few of these other concerns and they’ll return to the dance floor with spiffed up dance shoes in time to come. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to hit ‘em up in Facebook or make a call to let them know they are missed. Actually, people who are careful to balance their time are better prepared to maintain their passion for Salsa over the long haul.
Fix: Anything you want to get good at requires time. However, don’t neglect other things in your life. When people experience burn out due to the time commitment Salsa involves, it can be because of excessive enthusiasm for the art. Balance your time commitment to Salsa dancing with other priorities. We are sure that the community won’t be upset with you if you miss a night here and there.
Related Article: Salsa Dancing Etiquette
5. Rug Rats
Yup…I’ll admit it. I used to be one too. Mom had to find a sitter for me until I was old enough to stay at home alone. A few Salseros out there have the challenge of finding a reliable sitter when they want to come out and shake what their momma gave ‘em.
Fix: Do you have a friend in the community with whom you can share the expense of a sitter or maybe you could watch their kids one night and they get yours another night? What about relatives? Do you have any with whom you can barter something in exchange for a few hours of watching the kids?
I finally had to ask a Spanish speaker what “bochinche” means. The translation equates to “gossip.” Drama and gossip is another thing that sometimes keeps people away from the dance we so love. Here’s the scenario: You’re not-so-favorite song comes on and you sit and take a rest. That’s when Suzie What’s-Her-Face, sits next to you. Then, she nods towards a certain person and says “Did you hear the latest about him?” She wants to tell you who broke up with whom, or why they like this DJ, or promoter, or instructor better than they like the other ones. Or, they snarl over how Ms. Fancy-Pants thinks she’s so hot styling over there on the dance floor. Maybe her tongue-wagging is about how all these newbies don’t know how to dance, blah, blah, blah. This kind of negative talk can discourage people and influence them to take a missing from the scene.
Fix: First off, limit the amount of material about your personal life that is available for people to talk about. This means that Facebook is not the place for your dirty laundry. Next, think about this. If he’ll gossip about someone to you, then what will prevent him from saying something bad about you to someone else? Simply discourage that kind of time wasting by changing the subject or politely saying that you’d rather talk about something positive. Use your words to build up others and their reputations rather than tear them down.
Related Article: Why Guys Get Turned Down to Dance
Okay, so you watch YouTube Salsa videos on your lunch break. You listen to Salsa in the car. You’re taking classes, and going out dancing two or three times per week. Then you make a monthly road trip to your favorite Salsa spot in the next big town. All of this is a recipe for Salsa Burnout. It’s far better to be balanced and pace yourself and maintain a moderate level of Salsa activity than to over indulge yourself only to later tire of it.
Fix: Remedy for overdose is “Curb your enthusiasm” and we don’t mean the TV show! We all understand how appealing expressing yourself on the dance floor can be. We also understand what a hot dance this is, so we support your enthusiasm. However, Salsa will still be around next month, so don’t try to eat the whole cow in one bite. Slow growth is good growth. On average, it takes a beginner Salsa student at least one full year to get comfortable on the dance floor.
8. Fresh Blood
“Oh it’s you again… and him…. and her. Dang! Is there anybody new here tonight?” Some people tire from seeing the same faces again and again. Yeah, I’m with you on this. It is great to see new faces. So let’s help create what we want to be a part of by attracting people to the Salsa community.
Fix: Become a Salsa activist by bringing new blood into the scene. Invite your contacts on Facebook, Twitter, from work, prison or wherever. Some of them would love to give Salsa a try if you just asked them. Also, befriend new folks when you do see them come out. Help them become part of the Salsa community. Introduce them to others. Ask them to dance. A smile and a dance can go a long way! Every dance that we share with a new person is an investment in the quality and quantity of the Salsa community.
Most of us will get bored by just doing the same moves over and over again. If this has discouraged you from being passionate about this art in motion, then it’s your own fault. Or, maybe you’re bored because you don’t get many dances.
Fix: To fix this for the guys, learn new moves and continue to challenge yourself. For the ladies, if you are not asked to dance, don’t just sit around, you take initiative and ask someone. Many guys are just afraid of asking a lady to dance. Besides, often there are beginners that you can befriend and invite to dance.
So you’ve been trying to get comfortable with the cross body lead, the inside turn, and a walk-through for all of 26 days, 14 hours, and 36 minutes. You still get confused between a comb-over, and a right turn. You’ve taken some classes and been out to dance each week but this stuff is still hard for you.
Fix: Don’t give up. It took me four weeks of going out to dance at least twice weekly before I could do the basic and talk to my dance partner at the same time. I had not danced at all in over 20 years. There is hope. It takes time to build muscle memory so keep at it. Have fun. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Just learn from them and enjoy the beauty of this art.
Related Article: Tips To Grow As A New Salsa Dancer
Talk Back: Have experienced any of these things? How have you overcome a drain on your passion for Salsa? Tell us something someone has done to help you maintain your love for this dance. Let us know in the comments below. Let us know in the comments below.