Salsa Dancing and Writing: More in Common Than You Realize

Shoes for the Salsa Dance Lesson

My first real dance shoes!

This week was an eventful one, including my first salsa dance lesson! It was a lot of fun, and I wanted to share more about it here. After all, dancing has many similarities with writing. I admit to being surprised by the links I found between the two when I stopped to think about it.

How the First Dance Lesson Went

I was nervous that evening as I wanted to do well, had not been to this particular location, and had not met the instructor beforehand. Thankfully my partner helped to calm me down after we parked by the studio. The words “no pressure” were welcomed sounds from his lips.

In we went and I met the instructor, a nice woman of about 5’5″ who looked about my age, with shoulder-length brown hair and a beaming smile. I felt even more at ease when I returned her smile. With about ten people in the class and only minutes until the start time, I put on my new high heels. They were designed for professional dancing, black in color with a round toe, solid heel, and hours of fun ahead of them… Or so I hoped.

I felt more confident with the shoes on and took my partner’s hand in the suggested hold demonstrated by the instructor. My eyes looked at the mirrored wall ahead of where we stood, and I knew I would be okay.

And, indeed, I was more than okay. By ten minutes into the lesson, I was having so much fun that I felt my cheeks start to feel a bit sore from all of the smiling. I did not do every step correctly, but I felt a connection with the fast-paced Latin music, found the instructor to be gentle and helpful, and enjoyed the cheerful environment of the dance studio.

I plan to go for a second lesson next week! But, wait, how does all of this dancing fit with the writing life?

Similarities Between Dancing and Writing

New Heels for Salsa Dancing

Wearing the new shoes!

Firstly, it was nice to step away from the keyboard and enjoy a bit of time moving my entire body rather than just my fingers on the keyboard. So, there is an obvious mobility difference there.

But, there are many ways dance and writing are the same. Here are a few examples:

Creative Portals

They are both creative outlets or ways to express ourselves without even opening our mouths. In dance, we speak with our bodies, while in writing we speak with the written words from our minds. We convey messages to people watch the dance or reading the book, and ultimately we are driving that conversation with what we present to the viewer or reader.

Get Better with Practice

Also, dancing and writing require practice to perfect the artistic craft. The first dance lesson this week has me looking forward to getting better at moving my feet and hips, as well as learning how to move my hands or grasp the hands of my partner.

As for writing, it is an art form I practice daily and know I have become faster at it over the many years I have been doing it as my career. I write more words in a day than I did when I first started out writing full-time and have processes that I turn to when I feel I need a burst of creativity. Practice is helpful for both artistic pursuits.

Stress Relief

Ah, stress. Get relief from anxiety and strain in the body by dancing! I often head to a local club on the weekends to dance away the article deadlines I’ve dealt with during the day and remove any stress still held in the muscles of my back and shoulders. Sometimes when I am stressed, I write creatively or journal as a way to release worries from my mind onto the computer screen or written page.

Heels for Salsa Lessons

I’ll wear the high heels again soon! The second lesson is next week

Fun!

Lastly, I enjoy dancing and writing. They are two of my favorite activities and ones I go back to frequently. They are more than hobbies but instead parts of me… I cannot imagine my life without them. Christy would be incomplete if either one was taken away.

Do you have a favorite type of dance? How do you liken dancing to writing? I look forward to hearing what you think about this subject!

♥ Christy

 

 

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159 thoughts on “Salsa Dancing and Writing: More in Common Than You Realize

  1. rollyachabotbooks

    Hi Christy… wonderful read this morning and I do love the comparisons. Interesting you should mention them actually as I was making much the same observation the other day while working on a woodcarving which has been in progress for a long while. The piece speaks telling me it is simply an extension of my mind and hands.
    You have great talent Christy in many areas of life, writing, photography and now dancing. Next stop “Dancing with the Stars.” Keep the shoes free of dust girl…

    Rolly

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Rolly, you should write a post about woodcarving and the creativity of it in comparison to writing! Hehe, I am far from “Dancing with the Stars” but I will keep steppin’ out when I can onto the dancefloor 🙂

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  2. Ka Malana - Fiestaestrellas.com

    Hi Christy,
    My husband and I like to swing dance and foxtrot. We also enjoy dancing anywhere and attending lessons. I also enjoy dancing solo, or in groups creatively. Your comparison to writing and dancing is a lot of fun and great to think about. I also enjoy time away from my computer, and time dancing in-between reading and/or writing. Salsa always seemed fast and tricky to me, so I haven’t tried it much. Your article is well-written, and I appreciate this “found the instructor to be gentle and helpful, and enjoyed the cheerful environment of the dance studio.” Sounds like a great experience!
    Ka

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  3. Janni Styles

    Love this and I, too, love dancing. No professional lessons but I do partner dance as well as freestyle. My sister and I used to go dancing not so many years ago and could be on the floor for up to five hours at a time. Men left us alone because they thought we were a couple and the house never made any money off of us because we mostly drank water with the odd iced tea lol. Great fun and great way to stay in shape. Sigh. Hope to one day take lessons, too, you are inspiring me to hit that goal post. Love your shoes!

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      You’re got that right Janni when you say that dancing is great exercise! I like freestyle dancing like you too – the Top 40 music has a fast beat that is great at the clubs 🙂 Aww you can take lessons one day and we can take notes – sounds fun! xx

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  4. markbialczak

    That’s a great new path in life, Christy! Cha-cha-cha! Well, not exactly, but you get my gist. 🙂 That’s fiery and passionate, the Latin dance step. I’m glad you had so much fun and will return for lesson two. What great exercise for the mind and body. And you look great in the new shoes, my dear friend. ❤

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  5. Raymond Alexander Kukkee

    Hi Christyb, in both writing and dancining there is a correlation in rhythm, plotting a path across the empty floor or page, and listening to the muse, the creative bent, the passion in the mind and body. Motion…too,,,the action in your storyline,.it’s all there. Well written, Christyb,,,and keep that smile on when you dance…and plot…and create with motion… “:) Have a wonderful day “:)

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  6. Kim-Lee Patterson

    Christy, I envy you! I have wanted to take salsa lessons for 3 years but I’m shy in groups, lol. Sounds like it went well and you had a lot of fun though! Those shoes are cute! Thanks for sharing the connection between that and writing too. My favorite kind of dancing is …well I’m not sure if it has a name exactly, but the kind done at Trinidadian Carnivals to soca music. At least I’m already good at that (lol).

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  7. simon7banks

    So, free dance versus formal, structured dance; much-admired dances no one can understand; dances that come to one on a train, while driving, while in bed and you must start on them there and then. Or how writing poems leads to you accidentally bumping into people or doing yourself an injury. Something about music and rhythm in both, though.

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  8. shehannemoore

    YOU did it AND you shared I do have a fav dance. It is the tango and I liken it to writing by the difficulty levels of the layers and how sometimes you can just execute a little move, hope for the seductive best. It may turn out different but if you know the basics then that is ok. I also love salsa. Like the tango the moves can be simplistic and then get rather involved very quickly too. Both have scope for the individual x

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Shey, the instructor said to the class that there are 5 basic moves in Salsa and that all complex moves for this dance come from the basic 5. I was astounded by that! Now to learn… hehe 😉 I want to see you tango now xx

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  9. dgkaye

    How fantastic Christy! I wish I had the motivation to join a dance class. But I do know how important it is, especially as writers, to exercise. I do my best to go to the gym 3 times a week for 45 minutes to try and do something at least to compensate for the hours I spend on my tush, lol. ❤

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  10. Rajagopal

    One two, one two, one two, with your dancing shoes on, that’s the way to go, Christy. Your demure, dancing girl looks in the pic says it all. Let your fingers rest and dainty feet do all the talking.

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  11. irinadim

    Dancing was my greatest passion and the greatest joy. Yes, you need to practise, just as you need to practise writing. I like how you found similarities in these two art forms. Happy dancing, Christy! :)

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. Billybuc

    The hospital ordeal of the last ten days is over, so now I can get back to my normal routine, reading and writing, and this was a pleasure to return to. As for dancing…two left feet on this boy, I’m afraid, but I love your share and the shoes are divine! LOL

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  13. vivachange77

    Ooh! I love your shoes. I think dancing and writing do fit well together. For me dancing is abandoning myself to a different mode of expression – like writing poetry. I don’t know how to salsa and would love to learn how. Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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  14. Natacha Guyot

    Go, you! This post resonates a lot with me because I love both dancing and writing too. In the past, I took modern-jazz, salsa and Bollywood dance lessons, as well as learning some rock and belly dance moves from friends over the years. Things are still crazy here but I hope that in the upcoming years I can find a place to take ballroom dancing lessons. 🙂

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  15. Debbie

    So here you are, Christy! Glad I found you again. Dancing…’tis not for me. I took lessons when I was a kid and hated it. Perhaps it requires a level of uninhibitedness (?) that I just don’t possess? But activity of ANY kind is a good thing, and I’m big on walking and most sports. Whatever gets those creative juices flowing, right?! Enjoy your dancing shoes and get your money’s worth from them!!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      So happy to reconnect in the blog world with you, Debbie! Yes, I’ll break in my new shoes and wear them till they’re sick of me, hehe. I wonder if you took dance classes as an adult whether you would like them more than as a kid. In the meantime, enjoy your walks!

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  16. christisings41

    Very good topic Christy. You could call it “Poetry in Motion” and it sends you into the clouds that we writers always dreamily watch on a clear blue sky. I understand, since I was old enough to write my name, I’ve been a dancer too. I had some ballroom dancing instruction too, which can be tough, since it is like being told not to use your eraser if you have made a mistake. Keep moving and new writing ideas will always come. Christina

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  17. macjam47

    So glad you enjoyed it. Dance is truly the best stress reducer. I love ballet and took it as a child through college. I danced in my thirties, but a bad back, bad knee and we won’t talk about the feet, has curtailed my dancing. Enjoy, my sweet friend.

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  18. jolliffe01

    Great post Christy and great shoes. I love dancing too, although it’s difficult now my joints are so arthritic. I love the freedom dancing to music gives you it’s a way of letting go and for me writing is the same. It gives to the freedom to do anything, anywhere. I also find reading has the same qualities for me.x

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  19. inesephoto

    Enjoyed your post, Christy! Love the shoes 🙂 .
    I am neither a writer nor a great dancer, but I think that both dancing and writing can make one’s head go swirling 😉 One just have to keep the feet to the ground 🙂

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  20. Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

    How fun that you took a Salsa lesson! I’ve taken one so far as well, but it was a mass-instruction lesson with free dancing after when the more seasoned pros came out. It’s been really hard for me to get the hang of partner dancing, but still I persist. I’ve been learning some Tango steps via video and I’ve also done all six of the CIZE exercise/dance videos. Every little bit helps 😉

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  21. Dee

    I am so glad to hear your lesson was fun and that you are ready to do it again. I’ve been wanting to take lessons for ages — just for fun. Your comparison of writing to dancing is right on!

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  22. Ste J

    Will there be a video of you strutting your stuff to funky music in the future? Imagine having two left hands when writing, that would be a terrible link to dancing but is thankfully rare!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Haha you’re one of many who are now wanting a video – what have I gotten myself into?! If I get brave enough (and learn enough) there might be a video.. I’m laughing at your comment!

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  23. dragonscaleclippings

    loved this post! you are so right – writing and dancing have so much in common. I use dance to take a break from my keyboard too. I have a background in contemporary dance, but at the moment, my favourite form of dance is Bollywood – I’m using it to try and increase my poor stamina levels!!! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Wow, oh wow! How great about Bollywood dancing 🙂 It makes me smile thinking about you dancing and enjoying it. I often think about your strength and admire you very much xx It means a lot to see your comment here today

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  24. Resa

    Lol! I have 2 left feet when I dance, & 2 left hands when I write. Nonetheless, I am Isadora Duncan when I dance with a scarf thrown around my neck, and Charlotte Bronte when I write with a bow tied under my throat.
    You look absolutely adorable, Christy!

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    1. Christy B Post author

      Oh how wonderful that you were at dance teacher, Jacqui! Yes, the teacher talks to me in helpful ways without talking down to me (the latter was my fear). Thanks Jacqui for your support! If you want to follow up with me as to the guest post at my blog, feel free to fill out the contact form here: https://poeticparfait.com/contact-me/ ~I hope your book launch is going great!!

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  25. Mabel Kwong

    Love this post, Christy! Good to hear that you enjoyed your salsa dancing class. Very creative of you to link dancing and writing together. Agree that both of them allow us to express creativity, and just like how we can construct any kind of story with words, we can come up with any kind of story with the way we move our hands, legs and entire body to the beat. Nothing is right or wrong in both art forms. It is all about the feeling, expressing emotion, letting it go and freeing ourselves.

    I am not a good dancer at all, a very klutzy one in fact. But I think it’s fun and wouldn’t mind giving salsa dancing a go 🙂

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  26. aFrankAngle

    Hey Hey Christy. I smiled as soon as I saw the notification for this post. I may be late, but I didn’t forget!

    Great to see that you have embarked on a dance venture. Who knows, maybe salsa will lead us to other dances. Enjoying it is a must! … and your similarities fir dancing and writing are right on.

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    1. Christy B Post author

      Hi Frank! I like that we are catching up with one another… I know life gets busy so never a worry about either of us taking longer to get to the posts 😉 I like your support and you can join me on the dance floor sometime!

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  27. Sue Dreamwalker

    Looking Good Christy! 🙂 and wonderful that you are taking up Salsa lessons.. You will love it.. I am a great big fan of dancing.. Even though I do not dance only Mum Dancing LOL.. better than Dad Dancing I think haha..
    But my Granddaughter has been taking dance lessons since she was 3, and is loving it.. Her favourite at age 5 is the Rumba.. 🙂 And she has got lots of ribbons for her efforts.
    Wonderful you are finding time away from the keyboard, as I am trying to find time to connect with my keyboard..
    🙂 Happy Dancing Christy.. It looks like it is suiting you xxx 😀 ❤

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    1. Christy B Post author

      Hehe Mom, Dad, and Granddaughter dancing all sound fantastic 🙂 Let’s gather everyone around in a circle and do our own movements to the music – all will be having fun and that’s truly what matters xo LOVE to YOU, sweet Sue ❤

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  28. Poet Rummager

    Dancing uplifts the soul and when you’re in that elevated state, you can write like a wizard and cast spells on your readers. Like now, I’m entranced by the joy you exude from both writing and dancing. 🎵 🎶 🎵 🎶

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  29. Maria F.

    I knew an 80 year lady who danced salsa and that was her therapy. It’s suppose to help a lot with losing weight and gross motor coordination. P.R. is a major salsa music country producer. We had some of the best salsa musicians in the world way back in the 60-70’s. I personally cannot dance to it because I have neurological deficits from my condition, but “merengue” is much easier for people like me (clumsy by nature).

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    1. Christy B Post author

      How nice to read about your experiences with dancing friends and professionals. I spoke with the dance instructor’s assistant after class yesterday and he explained that salsa dancing is a really good workout. No wonder I go home sweating 😉 !!

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  30. marianbeaman

    Ha! I tried tango, not salsa, but wasn’t very good at it, but I had fun because I was with friends, a real stress relief.

    It’s been fun poking around on your blog. Thank you for commenting on mine today, Christy!

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