Being in the Zone…what is that?

Sometimes when I talk about dancing, I say that I was “in the Zone”…what is that actually in the context of Salsa …and how do you get “in the Zone”?

Being “in the Zone” when dancing Salsa is the ultimate happiness during dancing. And just like happiness in real life, we all strive for it, but it’s very hard to reach and it comes in very small doses. If I’m lucky I’m in the Zone for a song or two during a particular night. This is one of the reasons why I don’t like 2/2/2 (that’s the typical format of social dancing in Vietnam and many other locations: two songs of Salsa are followed by two songs of Bachata and two songs of Kizomba, before the next Salsa song comes around): you’re finally in the Zone…and then they play Kizomba! At rare occasions I’m lucky enough to be in the Zone for a good part of the evening. When I’m in the Zone, I’m totally immersed in the music and in the dance with my partner. Being in the Zone is wonderful… that’s why I dance… I dance because I want to be in the Zone… it’s like Nirvana (not the band) or like finding the Holy Grail!
But why is it so hard to be and to stay in the Zone? Because so many things have to fall in place at the same time.

  • I have to be dancing with a partner who knows what she’s doing and who I connect with. Her level relatively to mine shouldn’t be much lower, but not much higher either, because that can be intimidating.
  • I have to be able to connect with the music. I like songs that encourage you to play with the music. I don’t like songs that are flat and boring or have a drum machine plastered all over it, like in Salsaton. I tend to like jazzy songs with lots of instrumental solos. In my opinion, singing in Salsa is overrated.
  • I have to have enough room on the dance floor, but it shouldn’t be completely empty either. When it’s too crowded, I’m more worried about not running my partner into other people and cannot relax. I also cannot relax if I have ruthless people dancing next to me who don’t care if they or their partner runs into you. Certain people I avoid like the plague on the dance floor, like the shower guy in Saigon or the tall Korean guy with the big steps that used to dance in Da Nang.
  • I have to be relaxed and in a good mood. If I’m worried about something I cannot really let go and the Zone won’t happen.

So a lot of things have to be just right for me to be in the Zone….but if it happens it’s so awesome and fulfilling…true happiness on the dance floor! I hope you reach the Zone often and stay in it for a long time! 

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