snapshots of an idle mind

April 29, 2007


Filed under: dancing,exercise,life,men,salsa,socioanthropology — sassinak @ 10:42 am


so i went salsa dancing on friday for the first time in my life. i mean i’ve danced to salsa music before but i’ve never actually gone salsa dancing.

what’s the difference you may ask unless you already know? when you dance to salsa music you dance alone and shimmy. when you salsa dance a strange man asks you to dance, hands you a dance lesson and spins you around a dance floor.

apparently i follow well.

i’m sitting there, at the table with the girl i’m with and she gets asked to dance and she goes and then disappears. she reappears with this tall, smiling man who holds out his hand to me. i say something like “i have no idea what i’m doing though” and he like shrugs or something and she tells me to just go.

so i do.

he taught me the steps and told me in my ear what to do and just kept counting the steps for me and when i said i would try he threw my favourite yoda line at me with ‘master yoda says do or do not there is no try’ and then he taught me a change and finished up with some cool spinning thing where i ended up wrapped in his arms.

arms i wanted to stay wrapped in.

unfortunately i don’t think his arms are available.

anyway i get back to my table and i say to my friend with a funny face fanning gesture that that was fun and that if i’m not careful i’ll get a crush on this man with the flashing smile and gentle manner and gorgeous coffee coloured skin. okay i wasn’t so detailed with her but i can hear elle asking. yes elle, tall enough for you and covered in the lean muscles that i love.

muscles i had to hold on to while dancing with them.

anyway *clears throat and drags brain back to the topic at hand* i tell her i cold get a crush on this man and she says with this knowing nod “it’s because he’s tall”

um what?

i mean sure i like it that he can look me in the eye and i don’t have to sit down. i like it more that his gorgeous dancing partner (see why the arms seem tragically unavailable) is TALLER THAN I AM! who doesn’t like when a boy is a bit taller than they are?

not me right.

but that had nothing to do with why i wanted to attach myself to him like glue.

it was his manner and his smile and the way he taught me without assuming i was incompetent and the firmness with which he held me without ever making me feel like i couldn’t do what i wanted and most of all that he was kind and happy.


what the fuck is up with some people’s priorities these days anyway?

don’t misunderstand, i can understand liking tall men i really can. in fact i understand it better than most because the rest of them are shorter than i am.

i just don’t understand why that’s all that matters.

i’ve seen women ogle a man and then say ‘but he’s too small for me’ when he was actually a few inches TALLER than she.

um what?

i can at least kind of dig it if you don’t want to date someone shorter than you are (although you’re missing out on half the poulation that way and many short men are amazing) but i can’t understand why you find someone hot when ALL they are is taller than you.

it took me five minutes to explain that it was his teaching style that got me because he was so good at it.

to her credit she did get it.




salsa dancing is the super fun kind of exercise that leaves you charged up but exhausted at the same time!



  1. tall usually means well nourished as opposed to stunted. see? it’s natural that someone would be attracted to tall in the biological evolutionary concept of things. reproduction, good genes, healthy offspring…. tall means possibly continued access to good nourishment: female partner gets good nourishment, thus healthy offspring.

    Comment by gabi — April 29, 2007 @ 7:22 pm | Reply

  2. Yay for salsa dancing with happy, kind, tall men!

    Boo that the lean muscular arms were unavailable!

    Seriously, though, aside from all the other necessary qualities, I do appreciate a tall woman. I’ve dated far too many short women in my life. I am 6’2″, which makes eye contact with and kissing shorter women difficult, and sometimes contributes to mild neck strain.

    Anyhow, for almost three months now I have been dating a young lady who is 5’8″. It’s quite nice!

    So, here’s to all you lovely tall women out there; keep on rocking that salsa dance!!

    Comment by SonusExMachina — April 29, 2007 @ 11:01 pm | Reply

  3. I’d totally take a class in Salsa dancing. I wrote a post about the whole tall, dark, handsome syndrome. Peter is taller than me. But he is not tall in the way that tall, dark, and handsome points to. But his height was never an issue for me. Nor did it have to do with us breaking up. Before him, my two last serious exes were both 6’2″. It didn’t make a difference to me. And in between, I dated a guy who was shorter than me and one who was 6’4″. I am an equal opportunity dater.


    Comment by Natalia — April 30, 2007 @ 9:00 am | Reply

  4. I’ve had chips and salsa on several occasions.


    (P.S. Thanks for noting that those who only date tall men miss out on a lot of great guys… like me, for example… 5’9″)

    Comment by Jim McKee — April 30, 2007 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

  5. yeah, i like tall, too… but i like so many other qualities more.

    and your dance partner sounds yummy on every level.

    and the way you describe salsa is exactly how i feel about hula.

    Comment by terry — April 30, 2007 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

  6. Was this at that place in Yorkville? Because I heard it’s the shit when it comes to trying out your non-practiced latin dance moves. As a matter of fact, all the salsa places I’ve ever been to have had the same vibe.

    I think the good vibe (and the crush) are likely the result of the Latin men that work at these places. For some reason, they tend to treat women in quite a chivalrous (without being over-the-top) kind of way. They are solicitous, polite, non-judgemental and don’t have airs of superiority or expectation that you run into in other venues. And I don’t get a skeezy vibe off it at all. Perhaps it’s the way they were raised.

    I recall a doctor I used to work with was raised in El Salvador and his mother ensured that all the sons knew how to dance. They were taught with patience and respect and were told that dancing is a joy in itself and not a means to an end– and that women like men who can dance. This doc and I danced a few times in the most neutral of ways, and knowing it was neutral was actually quite liberating. Gone was all the neurosis over ‘getting things right’… we just had a good time. I heard the same thing from the men I hung out with in Mexico– apparently dancing is a highly-valued social discourse.

    Of course, this is all conjecture based on my limited observations.

    And I too don’t get the ‘he’s tall’ thing. Although I’m sure it was a throwaway comment, I don’t think I would ascribe that level of shallow to you. Muscles, yes. But if anyone has knowledge of your roster of exes, they’d know that short isn’t an issue for you. Or me, for that matter. Christ, I once dated a little person. When women get all riled up over being judged by their weight, maybe we should think twice about the classifications we put on our male counterparts (though to be honest, the short vs tall thing is far less insidious and damaging as the thin vs fat thing).

    Comment by Princess Valium — May 1, 2007 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

  7. and what’s wrong with being attracted to the taller of the male of the species? i admit that when someone describes themselves the only thing i care about is height..and there’s something that makes me swoon when that height is 6’2” and over….eye color, hair color, penis size…whatever else they say…don’t really care. the height is what gets me.

    i’m a height nazi though

    i’ve heard salsa dancing is fun…but, i’m a whitey white girl and even though i have pretty good rythm and can adequately shake my ass, i don’t dance in any kind of forum that involves more than just the ability of me to laugh at myself. i don’t dance at all…yes!

    and i so think i spelled rhythm wrong…or maybe it just looks funky? hmm..shit.

    Comment by da buttah — May 2, 2007 @ 11:28 am | Reply

  8. I bet you had one of the best times in your life, keep it up.

    Comment by Jay — June 7, 2007 @ 10:37 am | Reply

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