So I've always been an avid dancer while attending parties. First one to the dance floor and always going 110% of the allowed speed limit, impressing a lot of people with my energy and enthusiasm. Usually corny and cheesy 80's, 90's boy-band pop songs (Put on Backstreet Boys and I'm ready to blast off).
2 years ago I thought about doing something about it. I've always been good at the "free-style" aspect of dancing, but never the traditional one (with a partner). Having a preference for a specific type of music (deep base, electronic), I thought the House-style dance would be a perfect fit for me. Unfortunately, I never got the hang of it. Very hip-hop inspired and the music played felt flat and didn't motivate me (as I have usually been when dancing).
Fast forward to this year, I decided to try out Salsa and specifically Cuban Salsa. As a guy, I've many times been complimented on my 'swinging hips' and I thought, why not try it out for more than 1 session?
Progress has been good and I've demonstrated that I am a fast learner. But I've hit a snag, and I think it is largely a mental one, so I need some advice:
Some days ago I asked my friend to accompany me to a Salsa party hosted by my teachers. I didn't know anyone besides them and it was the first time I've attended a party where the sole purpose was to dance. Either you dance or stand at the side waiting to dance: no chit-chatting unless you go outside (to smoke). At the party, there were a lot of very experienced dancers and I was very overwhelmed by how good they were. I really enjoyed watching them perform and seeing the enjoyment from both the Lead and the Follow.
But when my friend asked me if we were going to dance or not, I felt timid, and I have never felt that way before when it comes to dancing.
We did dance, and I also danced with one of my teachers, but that nagging feeling never quite left me. It was as if something didn't click right with me, and I have been unable to figure out what it is. I feel I'm missing the energy and enjoyment I usually associate with dancing. It feels somewhat dead to me, like I'm doing the motions but not feeling happy about it.
I've thought about it being because the music is unfamiliar to me. I enjoy some salsa music, but I've never had a preference for it. My Spanish is also bad, so I can't actually understand what they are singing like with English. I've also wondered if it is my perfectionist tendencies causing me to feel "dismayed" that I am not the best on the dance floor. However, I feel I have no trouble dancing the steps and my only current limit is my imagination or lack of moves. These feelings were replicated yesterday when I attended an open air salsa event with aforementioned friend.
A third possibility is that the negativity coming from my current longterm unemployment is overshadowing my ability to focus on enjoying myself (because I'm worried for the future).
Lastly, it might just be that I am not motivated by salsa music? My friend dances swing, and I can clearly see how a dancing fire is ignited within her when she listens to 50's, 60's 'pop' songs.
As you can read, this is an 'issue' which is bothering me because I really enjoy the fact that I can dance in unison together with a person and achieve a greater dancing cohesion, but annoyed that I feel no enjoyment from the music.
So H/A, what would you suggest?