Anthropologically speaking
Niki - I love clothes - Salsa Diaries
Thriving only in that small salsa bubble found in dimly lit salsa clubs, the salsa diva (lat: dancus et dancus…et dancus) looks and feels out of place in the outside world. Her bright plumage and sparkly tops displayed to coax even the most reticent of salsa males (dancus et looksus) away from corners and bars where he sometimes huddles in groups just watching (lat: v.irritatus). Clothes are an important part of the dancing ritual, chosen to attract the opposite sex, make them dance then brutally discard them for another male. This ritual lasts approximately 7 minutes unless it’s a really short track.

During daylight, salsa divas merge themselves into the population at large, dressing sometimes normally, with only an occasional smattering of sequins, or a floaty sleeve visible to the naked eye.

However, to the observant there are tell-tale signs in other natural but not so obvious habitats:

Changing Rooms: salsa divas can often be found doing mambos and Cuban turns to check for dress and skirt swishability. The more seasoned will also check for width of skirt swish and height, (the parachute effect) to check whether a thong is a good idea or not. (they never are, but it doesn’t stop salsa dancers taking that very real risk.)

Sometimes they also check jeans for the same, because they can’t help it.

Shimmies are often undertaken to ensure that tops stay up and cover distracting bits. Doesn’t always work.

A sure indication that a dancer is on a shopping spree is

  1. a long and disgruntled queue outside changing rooms;
  2. the pitter-patter of mamboing feet seen in the gap between the changing room curtain and floor
    Tracey and Tony:

Tracey and Tony - I love clothes - Salsa DiariesAt night: on leaving the club, exposure to fresh air sometimes makes the salsa diva forget that she has not changed out of her dance shoes, and as a result they can often be seen sliding to their cars on soles not designed for the brutal surfaces of an actual outside pavement.(lat. Slippus twittus)

Finally, clothes aside, the salsa diva can also be discovered in offices, shops, houses and parks wiggling her bottom in time to the music, sadly constantly going on in her head.


I learned the lesson at the age of 16 – white underwear and fluorescent lights are not a good mix.

Then I forgot it, only to rediscover it at a salsa club when I erroneously thought the glances shooting in my direction were of admiration, when, in fact they were of pity. However, a bra you can get away with, but my white knickers glowing through my sexy (not) black cat suit still makes me wake up in the middle of the night in (yes) a cold sweat.


Attention Seeking Clothing

Chris Penhall - Salsa Diaries
I walk around in my own little film set:

Sometimes I am Cyd Charrise, (but with very short legs) wafting around in my floaty dresses, occasionally getting the bits sucked into the fans, which ruins the effect, really…

Sometimes I am Madonna in my lovely Basque – I cannot breathe or sit down, and it makes my eyes pop a bit due to the pressure on my waist…but I lean against walls very elegantly indeed

I am occasionally Doris Day, but that doesn’t go well with salsa

Sometimes I am me, and wear jeans, but I get a bit bored frankly…

And once me and my friend sneaked out of my house because we didn’t want my visiting parents to see what we were wearing.

Now I haven’t done THAT for years!!
I love salsa…..


Practically speaking….

Salsa dancing is exercise, so you could look it as a sort of visit to the gym, but wearing really sexy, lovely clothes, and make up. However, the results of a good night out are the same, tragically, as if you had actually decided to spend an hour on the rowing machine in a silk dress and carefully applied lipstick: yuk yuk yuk and sweat, plus make up sliding slowly and surely down your face onto your neck.

These are things I have learned on my salsa journey:

a. Sometimes looking in the mirror after an hour’s dancing on a summer night isn’t a good idea.

b.Your clothes move, so buy ones that don’t move too much. I have addressed the problem of top movement by applying those sticky tapey things to my clothes and attaching them to my upper body area. However, after a few dances, they get screwed up and I look like I’ve come out with sellotape stuck to my cleavage. Which in essence is what I’ve done really..