22 Ways Salsa Makes Life Better

19 Feb
You can quote me on that!

You can quote me on that!

My life has changed hugely since I started dancing salsa, unquestionably for the better and I’m certain that this is the case for everyone else who dances.

Whether you’re already reaping the benefits or you’re looking for a little motivation to start dancing, here’s a little list of the things that make salsa so popular and addictive.

1. New Friends: Getting into salsa opens up a whole new world of people from literally every walk of life who you otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet. I’ve even made a lot of salsero friends through this blog, whom I haven’t met in person, yet! I am so grateful for the huge amount of great friends I have made through salsa.

2. Lose Weight: When I’m dancing 3 nights a week I’m at my leanest. If I ever go through a period when I’m not dancing for an extended period of time I really notice the weight pile on quickly! Dance and say goodbye to those love-handles.

3. Stay Healthy: Doctors recommend you get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to keep your heart healthy. Salsa is a great way to up your heart rate and boost cardiovascular health and the fact that it’s so fun means you’ll stick with it. It’s definitely more entertaining than hitting a treadmill for 30 minutes. Social dance has also been shown to keep the mind sharper as we age, better than any other physical activity!

4. Improve Coordination: Salsa teaches you how to coordinate complex footwork with arm combinations. Countless studies and personal experience have shown that coordination gained in one physical activity is transferable to a whole range of others. So if you want to move well in general, dance!

5. Forget about Life’s Worries: I think one of the major reasons I fell in love with salsa was that it became a form of meditation for me. Dance allows you to focus all of your thoughts on the dance and forget about everything else for a few minutes (or more). Losing yourself in the moment when dancing is probably a therapy that a lot of people could use in this day and age!

6. Learn New Languages: Salsa communities the world over tend to be very international and that makes them a great place to learn or practice a new language especially Spanish (well, you may as well learn what all those songs are about: Short Answer = Lovey dovey crap).

7. New Cultures: For the same reason mentioned above you can learn so much about different cultures from meeting new people through salsa. This really helped me to learn more about the large Polish and Latin communities in Dublin.

8. Better Love Life: While salsa should never, ever be considered a dating service I can honestly say that it has done absolutely no harm to my love life.

9. Better Understanding of People: Salsa is social. You will meet all sorts of new people and form all sorts of new relationships and gain new insights into how people work. I can’t begin to explain how salsa will affect every interaction you will have with people in your life but it will, for the better.

10. Discover Passion: This was and is huge for me. Through salsa you discover the passion of dance, the passion created between a couple as they move together as one in harmony with music and then you begin to discover it in every other aspect of your life. And once you taste passion you will never want to look back at how your life was before.

11. Appreciate Music: I never really listened to music before I started dancing but ever since then it has become a huge part of my life. I pay attention to new music, not just what I can dance to, appreciate it, enjoy it and feel it.

12. Travel: I’ve lost count of the amount of countries and cities I’ve danced in. Salsa is truly international and if ever you’re in a big city where you don’t know anyone you can just google a salsa club, get dancing and start meeting the locals and maybe they’ll even show around their city too.

13. Learn to Relax: I’ve always found it tough to relax myself physically, so much so that a Japanese masseuse once described me as the tensest human being she had ever worked with. Losing yourself in the music and letting yourself flow with the rhythm is one incredibly effective way of relaxing your whole body, not to mention how well you’ll sleep after a great night of dancing.

14. Improve your Fashion Sense: While this doesn’t apply to everyone I’ve definitely noticed that when people enter the salsa community they become a lot more adventurous with their clothes, start to pay a little more attention to their appearance and basically “sex-up” their whole wardrobe. I know plenty of guys who have discovered the wonders of hats and waistcoats through salsa (you know who you are).

15. Boost Confidence: Probably the biggest difference most people experience with salsa is just the sheer confidence boost you feel once you get into. In salsa you have to step out of your comfort zone all the time; asking people to dance, trying new moves etc and this definitely transfers to other areas of your life. Sex, business, sports, you name it! An extra bit of confidence goes a long way in life.

16. Discover Other Dances: Once people start dancing salsa, they often don’t stop there. Salsa is like a “Gateway Dance” into a whole world of other dances like bachata, merengue, cha cha cha, kizomba, tango and a whole host more. What will your poison be?

What will your poison be?

What will your poison be?

17. Drink Less: This really applies in Ireland where we have a ridiculously alcohol-centered social culture. In my experience, salsa dancers don’t drink much (some of us not at all) and this may be why some people turn to salsa. It offers a social outlet that doesn’t revolve around booze which is a blessing in some countries.

18. Overcome Addictions: Salsa is addictive! Many people find themselves that the best way to get over one thing is to replace it with something else. Be it smoking, alcohol, drugs, food, popping bubble-wrap, an ex-relationship or whatever, salsa is a very healthy and rewarding alternative.

19. Dodge Pedestrians: This might (probably is) just be me but ever since I started dancing I’ve found I’ve become really good at skillfully dodging oncoming pedestrian traffic when walking on the sidewalk. I don’t walk around people anymore, I glide!

20. Physical Contact: This applies more to people in Asia and the English speaking world but dancing salsa makes you much more comfortable with human contact. Obviously when you dance you’re going to be in close physical contact with your partner but on top pf that, salsa communities, thanks to the Latin influence tend to be warmer and closer; people greet each other with kisses and hugs. The world needs more of this.

21. Meet Me: When I asked people on my facebook page about how salsa has made their lives better, a lot replied saying that it had helped them meet me 😉 So there you go: Dance salsa and meet The Dancing Irishman, what more could you ask for haha!

22. It’s Fun: I can’t believe I almost forgot to throw in the most obvious reason of them all. The more fun in our lives the better right! Dance passionately with countless beautiful people to fantastic music until the sun comes up. It’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on… the rest comes later.

What about you? How has salsa improved your life? Let me know in the comments.

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28 Responses to “22 Ways Salsa Makes Life Better”

  1. Roisin February 19, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    you are definately passionate alright!
    question – would you be able to have a relationship or marry a non-dancer?

    • The Dancing Irishman February 20, 2013 at 7:03 am #

      Ufffff, tough question Roisin. You know, I’ve thought about it before and while I never say never, my social life revolves around salsa now so if I was in a relationship with someone who didn’t dance it would be difficult. That said, things change (people and priorities) and “IF” I met the right person, I hope it wouldn’t really matter if they danced or not.
      Still would be nice though

  2. miklosfejer February 19, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Richie! You are awesome!
    I was just at Nahoko’s salsa event the other night, and while I still don’t have the inspiration to dance, I did do merengue, which is so much fun and incorporates much of what you iterated in this blog post.
    Keep doing what you’re doing, which is inspiring people to live!
    And come back and visit us in Japan!

    • The Dancing Irishman February 20, 2013 at 7:06 am #

      Glad to hear you’re going to the parties Mik. Even if you don’t dance there’s always a great atmosphere there, filled with good energy.
      Hopefully I’ll get back to Nippon sometime soon and we can hit Mutamachi together. Give Nahoko a hug for me if you see her.

  3. globalexplorer1 February 19, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    When I read the title of your story I honestly thought it was about a hot and spicy food condiment. I guess dancing could improve one’s life, too. It certainly seems to have worked for you!

    • The Dancing Irishman February 20, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      I’m glad you kept reading after you discovered the article wasn’t about food. I could probably write an article on the importance of good condiments too. Life (read “food”) just wouldn’t be the same without them. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Chilly February 19, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    AWESOME POST! I am one of those No.1 people and I am definitely gonna reblog this post on my blog this Thursday! 😉
    I gotta add in line with No.12 – meeting my International Salsa Family is something I cannot imagine my life without! Its just been 1 Amazing ride!

    • The Dancing Irishman February 20, 2013 at 7:12 am #

      Agreed, I’m amazed at how much I’ve kept in contact with the people I’ve met through salsa in other countries. International Salsa Family (ISF) could be a whole article for you to work on there.
      And feel free to reblog, spread the good news haha.

  5. Cat February 19, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    What a great post, all your comments I can relate to and made me smile.Even dodging pedestrians with a bit more grace and less gruntle 🙂

    • The Dancing Irishman February 20, 2013 at 7:13 am #

      Glad to hear you liked it Cat. Keep gliding around those pedestrians with style 😉

  6. Javier Bustos February 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Te dejo algunas apreciaciones personales:
    Para mi ha sido un reto; – Cuando observo un paso que no conozco, y lo detallo, lo analizo, hasta que me animo a intentarlo con una pareja de confianza…. es un momento de mucha exaltación y alegría… Me gusta eso. – Otro aspecto que destaco es ver una chica que te gusta y animarte a sacarla a Bailar y que de ahí nazca una bonita historia de amigos o nunca se sabe si ocurra algo mas…. Otro suceso que me ocurre es que después de un día fuerte de trabajo y estrés llegas a escuchar música y tomar una cerveza sin mucho ánimo de bailar, pero luego de escuchar la primera salsa, te recargas y se olvida el cansancio y es como si acabaras de levantarte. – Finalmente es un efecto que ocurre de forma automática que es sonreír siempre que bailo salsa.

    • The Dancing Irishman February 20, 2013 at 7:56 am #

      Jaja, antes de publicar sabía que iba a olvidar algunos puntos y he experimentado todos los que dijiste. En particular lo del sentimiento de exito cuando logras de hacer un nuevo paso (un reto), para mi es muy satisfactorio.
      Y en serio, no sé como manejaría el estres de la rutina diaria si no bailara salsa. Me mantiene la cordura.

  7. Yoga With Delana (@YogaWithDelana) February 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    “Lovey dovey crap” – lol

  8. yvonne ODowd February 23, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Hi Richie,

    Glad to see that you are keeping well. Enjoyed this topic immensely. Am going to pass it on to a couple of french people who are living in Dublin and have just started salsa. Can you add me to the list of people mentioned in No. 21 i.e. meeting you

    When are you coming back? You owe me a dance !

    Take care,

    Yvonne Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2013 13:57:19 +0000 To: yvonneodowd@hotmail.com

    • The Dancing Irishman February 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

      Hey Yvonne, great to hear from you. I’m glad to hear you liked the post, it’s one of my favourites so far.
      No idea when I’ll be back in Dublin but you’re right I do owe you a dance, just as you owe some to me 😉

      • Stephen Murray April 29, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

        Waistcoats? No, not my style at all.

      • The Dancing Irishman April 30, 2013 at 7:03 am #

        Yeah… you wouldn’t be caught dead in one right!!!!

  9. Carlos October 4, 2014 at 3:24 am #

    Great list. How about motor coordinaton. I saw a video once of a girl teaching another girl to dance but she could not do it. So I believe dancing is good for the body mind connection.

    • The Dancing Irishman October 4, 2014 at 4:36 am #

      Absolutely agreed Carlos, as physical activities go, Salsa definitely is one one of the best for improving coordination andease of movement.

  10. Salsa June 6, 2016 at 7:16 am #

    I adore salsa dance, because Salsa will always put a smile on my face. Sometimes it makes me feel fun, flirty, sensual, and sassy. Sometimes it makes me feel light and graceful. Sometimes it just feels as nice as hanging out with an old friend.

  11. Casey February 6, 2017 at 7:06 am #

    Great article, I share your opinion. As someone who knows a lot about salsa, can you tell me what do you think about these latin ballroom dresses? Any suggestion would be appreciated. 🙂

    • The Dancing Irishman February 6, 2017 at 9:26 am #

      Haha thanks for the comment. Believe me, I’m the last person to ask about fashion hahaha

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 22 Ways Salsa makes your life better | Chillys Blog - February 22, 2013

    […] This week I want you to go and check out his post and see if you can add to his list of reasons: 22 Ways Salsa make yours life better! […]

  2. The Salsa Community: All Warm and Fuzzy | The Dancing Irishman - March 5, 2014

    […] Salsa offers us many benefits; new friends, exercise, a new social outlet… I’ve written about them before and the list is long. […]

  3. Why Salsa Dancing is the Greatest Fat-Burning Exercise EVER!!! | The Dancing Irishman - April 8, 2014

    […] levels) and it’s a social activity you can enjoy with friends. You can check out a whole load of other reasons to dance salsa here. Think about it though: Which would you prefer, a half hour of running or 2 hours of salsa […]

  4. Radio Talk: Salsa Date | Jammin' with G.A. - May 1, 2014

    […] Probably not a first date, but if you’ve been going out with someone for a few weeks or months and are ready to mix it up a little bit, taking Salsa classes together would be great. You would be bonding over the shared experience of learning a new skill, have an opportunity to take your burgeoning (or established) relationship out of the one-on-one date realm, and be introduced to a whole world of passion and excitement that I think can sometimes be difficult to tap into (My buddy Richie discussed the passion that Salsa awakens in people here). […]

  5. When You Lose Your (Dance) Mojo! | Latin Dance Community - November 24, 2016

    […] For most of us, we started dancing salsa when the timing in our lives was just right. We probably found ourselves at some point, brought about by life events, that gave us (or forced upon us) free time that we decided to fill. What might have started out as pure curiosity then, through that same fortuitous timing, developed into a passion; something that brought real joy to our lives. New friends, exercise, new experiences and all the other benefits that salsa brings. […]

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