A guide to salsa dance etiquette

Bird Fleming is an avid salsa dancer who, when he’s not busy pursuing higher education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, also teaches lessons at the City in Motion dance studio. When I interviewed him for this week’s feature story (“The Politics of Dancing“), he offered some examples of the advice he gives his students — things to know to avoid cutting a fellow dancer’s ego when they’re out cutting a rug.

He warns his female students about Salsa Mack Daddies, the ones who are there to score more than just a twirl on the dance floor. Upon hearing this, he says, his female students usually ask how they’re supposed to know the difference between a dancer and a date-seeker. 

“Come on, now, you’re a woman, you know,” he says. “Especially when they come up to you with a drink in their hand, Hey baby, wanna dance? Or if they want to buy you a drink. And they’re not a good dancer. And then they want your number.”

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