Its a bit of a culture shock. We can rule the seas, literally fight wars over tea and make the entire world set their watch by us. But when faced with dancing, smiling and making eye contact with the opposite sex – its enough to make our stiff upper lips quiver.
This is why I thought I’d address the elephant in the room, and address the problems Brits face at Salsa events.
Despite the images of British club life portrayed on television, most clubs on a weekend consist of a huddle of grown men and women having a (gradually louder) conversation over a pint glass.
Around half eleven, a band of women might break form and start dancing around their hand bags to the latest Chain Smokers record.
The guys will watch the ladies, often in silence, before queuing for a kebab on the way home.
We’re All Closet Disco Dancers
Although most notable Salsa Play-lists consist of songs off a 4/4 timing, the kick is not as pronounced or important. Most club music we are used to, we follow a heavy ‘4 to the floor’ beat, the same rhythm we’ve grown accustomed to from the late 70’s disco era.
It takes time for Brit to acclimatise to the new rhythms. A big part of dancing is actually training the brain as well as the body. A lot of Cuban music, even their chart music, has jazz roots and will include more playful rhythms and even a change in tempo.
This is a far cry to to what we usually nod along to in wetherspoons, so it takes time to get used to it.
Our Main Aim is to get Wasted
Europeans will generally enjoy a glass or two of wine with a meal. For a Brit, a couple of bottles is “warming up” before we leave the house.
This extends our first point, that complicated and subtle music does not have a place for a tanked up Brit who is having enough problem trying to feign sobriety to slip past the bouncers and still get served.
Staying perched on a bar stool is enough trouble, and now you expect us to perform subtle footwork and tight turns?
“Just Who Does He Think He Is?”
Showing off is generally frowned upon. If you see a man walk in with expensive jewelry on show, bright colors or – god forbid – a hat then we’ll all exchange a sideways glance at one another and wait for them to be out of ear shot so we can slag them off (because we wouldn’t want to offend them, you see).
We’re actually secretly grateful, and in desperate need, for such characters to grace us with their presence as its gives us something to talk about other than the weather.
We’re naturally very uncomfortable in our own skin and I think when you see someone who it highlights our own insecurities.
So I’ve just written four paragraphs on why a hat would cause a ruckus, so imagine the splash some bloke is going to have if he starts spinning around the dance floor.
There’s No Licensing Involved for this Higher Art Form
When we think of dancing in the UK, we think of ballet dancers or urban youths spinning on their heads. Dancing is something technical that requires careful study and flamboyant attire.
Africans dance for literally any or no reason.
Ayyyyyyy!! – An African within 10 meters of a radio.
Whether its finding a toy in a cereal box, tax-rebate or someone turned on the radio its a natural part of life.
I think we like order and structure. We need some form of signal, or license, or piece of paperwork from the council that would tell us what kind of dance is appropriate and at what time that dance should start and when it can end.
It Affects Our Ability To Re-Enter the UK and Our Marriages
Like some kind of extra chromosome that only exists abroad, or in our flamboyant mates, unless you’re dry humping the shot girl’s leg at 1am then both your nationality and sexuality will be brought into question.
You can get away with it though if all your mates have had at least eleven pints, then by the morning they wouldn’t have remembered any of it.
I’m Wrap This Post Up With Another Sauce Pun
I hope you had as much fun reading this as I did writing it. Of course, the most popular British past time not mentioned is roasting ourselves.
So much like the dip, you shouldn’t be afraid of the heat but revel in it. If not, then I’ll meet you in ‘spoons for a pint and a debate about whose football team is better and why you’re wrong.