Social Horizons Feb: a smiley new face

The second salsa night of February brought with it an opportunity in the shape of a new face. A very smiley one too. I was continuing my quest to smile at people more and assume a more approachable image. I do hope I’m not over-smiling. Is that possible? I have a feeling one can end up looking a bit unhinged if one smiles all the time. Still at least I’ll be looking unhinged in a friendly manner…

Anyway, my smiling was being reciprocated rather eagerly by a new lady so, later that night, whilst having a rest from the dance floor, I fought my instincts to find a seat at an empty table, took a deep breath, and sat next to her. At this point it struck me I should probably have given some thought about what I was going to say to her. I fell back onto the standard salsa greeting of ‘gosh, I’m overheating’ type gestures, seizing a nearby flyer to fan myself. It’s pretty widely used in salsa settings, and almost always gets an identical gesture in response. Thing is, I’ve found it quite often stops there, and I end up gazing in the opposite direction, quite stumped as to what to do or say next. Awkward.

Luckily my chosen target on this occasion was even more knackered and overheated than me, and threw me a lifeline by explaining she hadn’t done salsa in years. I immediately empathised, knowing how much I feel it after having only missed a couple of weeks, and asked what had kept her away. Soon enough I’d learnt that she’d recently moved to the area from Scotland and had been doing tango for those few years. Gosh, that was surprisingly easy. I think it’ll be a while until this comes naturally and doesn’t inspire mild terror, but I’m focussing on the fear not trying.

talk to one new person at each salsa night: mission successful


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