This past May, we received a visit from a producer for CBC Radio’s “Out in the Open” who also happens to be a former instructor with Salsaholics Anonymous. Debbie Pacheco was producing a segment on how “letting go on the dance floor became a metaphor for life.” The segment is here and, besides being well worth the listen, features short interviews with several of our Salsaholics members.
Debbie describes her own journey into salsa, and how learning to follow meant learning to let go of control, and experiencing each individual moment with another person. As any student who has learned the dance will tell you, the moment you attempt to control the dance and your partner, the dance stops working. This is obviously true for followers, but it is even truer for leaders. A leader who pulls the follower here and there, who attempts to overpower their partner and impose his will on her, is someone who followers will avoid at all costs. It simply is not fun to be ordered around and forced into situations that make you uncomfortable—physically or otherwise.
Letting go of control means not anticipating what the other person might do, and always being prepared to respond to what the other person actually does. This enables each person to “listen” to the other in a deep way, and move as one, each making the other person look their best.
As I have said many times in class, “salsa is a metaphor for life.” Debbie Pacheco asserts the same, that letting go of control in life in order to hold onto something far more valuable—true connection with another person, and learning to experience each moment together. That is the joy that is the essence of the dance, and the joy of truly experiencing life, especially when we…
See you on the dance floor.