I was walking to my car after lunch at Top Hat Special Teas when, at the intersection of Evans and Irby, a car horn honked. I looked over and behind the wheel was one of my past dance students waving from her open window. As this student drove on, another student who was waiting at the light called out of the open window asking how I was doing and let me know they were going to call that evening about an event.
This is the beauty of Salsa Dancing in a small town. The community doesn't stay in the dance studio. I get to see people who may have come to one of my socials at Soule Cafe, danced at Level Nightclub, or came to dance classes at one my studios in the grocery store, at the bank, in Starbucks or passing on the street. What I have come to love is that whether a person came to my first classes at Soule Cafe two years ago or are currently coming to my classes at The Healing Arts Exchange, there is a happiness in brief reunions that speaks to the authenticity of the connections made.
Salsa dancing is not like the atmosphere in your average dance club where people are on the prowl for a hook up. At a Salsa event people come to dance. Sure, there are people who are lurkers but the vast majority of those present love to dance, love the music and love the social atmosphere. You may come alone and never sit down because you are so busy dancing with all of the other dancers. You may come with your significant other, dance together and sometimes dance with others. The etiquette of social dancing calls for people to respect boundaries, enjoy a song and dance together and then leave the dance right after the music moves to the next song. What this creates is a safe space where happiness can infuse the room and the creativity inherent in social dancing is revealed. This is what my students experience when they come to class. This is what people experience when they come to my socials.
This atmosphere of warmth and friendship carries into public reunions as the beauty of Salsa dancing touches hearts well beyond the walls of a dance studio located in a small town.