Why is Salsa Dancing the Best?
Why is Salsa Dancing the best? Simple, it is the quickest way to connect with a positive community. It’s the best way to stay physically and mentally fit and it’s one of the best activities that you can do in any part of the world.
Community. When I started as a Salsa dancer, I didn’t realize what I was starving for most, which was a family. A group of people that would cheer me on as I struggled, and learned to dance, even when I had two left feet. And so at the school that I now run, I started in 2009 as a student. It was really, really hard for me. But everyone – my classmates, the Instructors, the Helpers – everyone, cheered me on. And as I started to go out social dancing to all the Latin parties to all the different kinds of events – everyone was just smiling. Whenever I would ask someone to dance, they would say yes. Of the over probably 12,000 times that I have asked someone to dance. I have been rejected maybe 20 times. Those are amazing odds! I found my family. I found a sense of belonging in this dance community. And now I foster that in all the new students, all the new volunteers, all the new instructors. The thing that we starve for most in this world is a sense of connection and community and Salsa can give you that if you give it a chance.
Physical and Mental Fitness. In an average class, you do at least 1500 to 2000 steps. That’s a huge number of daily steps you complete in just one hour. When I first started to dance, I was extremely overweight. I was in fact, 50 pounds overweight, But I started to dance more and be more physically active. So an added benefit was that I became more comfortable with my body because I believe in my heart, that being healthier is partially learning to love yourself better. And as I’ve been on this journey of physical health, the mental health benefits have been just as big. All dance – including Salsa – is one of the best ways as you’re getting older to maintain a healthy mind. You create new neuron connections as you learn more and more steps. This has similar benefits as activities such as doing crossword puzzles and swimming or going to the gym. Dance is one of the best ways to increase your cognitive flexibility and improve your mental health. But let’s go back to the first point – community. You know, everyone including myself has struggled with loneliness and there is a massive mental health benefit to being able to go out and hold people’s hands, laugh with them, feel good with them. This inspired me to not only take charge of my physical health but inspired me to start to love myself even when that negative voice comes out. Salsa dancing is challenging. And when you’re with the right kind of people, that negative internal voice that told me “You can’t dance. You have two left feet” started to quiet down a little bit. I started to hear that negative voice less and less because all the people around me said, “Hey Aleks, you’re actually doing pretty well.”
Salsa is fun! Put on a Marc Anthony song, put on any Salsa song and I will bet you that you can’t just sit still. Your feet will tap, your hands will tap, your booty will shake. There’s a reason why Salsa dance is the most popular dance around the world. And what I mean by that is you can go to any part of the world, any country and you will find a Latin club because at its core Salsa is energy and fun. Don’t you want to have more energy and fun in your life? That’s why Salsa dance is the best because I’ve traveled to the States, I’ve traveled around the world and in every place I have found a Latin club where people welcome you with open arms. I might not speak the language but gosh darn it, my moves and my body speak the language of Salsa and that’s really beautiful and incredible. I’m blessed and grateful to have had this opportunity for the past twelve years and I am planning on continuing my dance journey into my 90s and beyond.
I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you come in week to week, have fun, connect with new friends and let loose to amazing Latin songs. Click here to check our current schedule.
If you have any questions you would like me to answer here are some ways you can contact me: message me on Instagram (torontodanceSalsa), on Twitter (#torontodanceSalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected]