Ever since I first started salsa, I kept hearing about this magical thing called a 'Salsa Mojo'. Instantly I wanted one. I was stuck clumsily mamboing away, often over the feet of my patient leads, and invariably going the wrong way at every turn! BUT, I was having a super awesome time, so I stuck at it!
Slowly...I found my Salsa Mojo - the thing I'd heard so much about - and pretty much wanted to show it off at every opportunity! There was this lovely fluency between my leads and I and the music wasn't just a pleasant noise, but something that carried me along. I was having the best time ever, until.... BAMM! My Salsa Mojo rudely got up and deserted me!
Suddenly, I couldn't do anything - if only I could put that damn Salsa Mojo in a jar (preferably as pictured)!! Salsa Mojo or no Salsa Mojo, I still went to classes and still had an awesome time whether it was with me or not!
As I've been going along to classes, socials and events for quite sometime now, I have often questioned if I had placed too much importance on my Salsa Mojo when I first started dancing? It is afterall intangible...does it even exist? I don't want to spark a major philosophical debate, but can a constant quest for a mojo hold us up? Should we not just try to enjoy all of our dances? It is after all a very special thing that we all have the ability to dance and that we enjoy it so much.
So guys, Salsa Mojo: real deal or figment of our imagination?
Many moons ago my mum, thinking she had a little girl instead of a little boy, took me to dancing. Being more accustomed to running around, grazing my knees, playing rugby and fighting with the boys, I threw the BIGGEST tantrum of all time, embarrassing my mum so much that she never took me back!
Fastforward and I've somehow found myself with quite a salsa addiction!! It's a million miles out of my comfort zone but I love everything about it, especially the StreetSalsa buzz that we have going on!!!
We're such a crazy, eclectic mix of people and I love how we celebrate that every class!! :P xx
Figment of our imagination, but by believing in it, we just add to the salsa magic, I think when u first get that buzz as a beginner, that is something, whether it's a mojo or not I dont know, but after that, u either love salsa or u dont........luckily, everyone of u guys love it. When people talk about losing their mojo, I dont necessarily feel thats the case, more that they just have other situations goin on, whether they realise it or not, that need to be tended to, after all, salsa is a choice for us all, and for many of us its a priority, but as much as I would like to call it an essential part of my life, other things sometimes have to come first......and thats ok.......i for one know that at a certain time of year i 'lose my mojo', but its not my mojo, its just i have a lot of other stuff goin on in my head at that time.....we all have lifes outside of salsa and sometimes that gets forgotten, but may I add, always accepted, thats why I love the streetsalsa family, all that support, kindness and genuine concern is never taken for granted x sorry for this deepness on a monday night, lol, once I started I couldnt stop x
Great post sophie!!! And awesome reply Donna!
Hmmm salsa mojo? I think everybody has a moment where they completely connect to salsa, something clicks and it just seems to be "right", that feeling coupled with "that dance", im referring to a dance where you just have that connection with your partner and the music, where when its done you cannot stop smiling is what i think people refer to as salsa mojo!
I wouldnt say i dont think salsa mojo is a thing i just think that we all have the up and down moments where it either consumes us completely or we just keep going and enjoy a little salsa! I think its a combination of the dancing and the social side. Streetsalsa are a very very close knit family, i know you guys have helped me through tough times and i think the fact that we do have some incredibly epic nights that when we have a quieter one people kind of "drop" slightly!!
Well to be honest mojo or no mojo i love salsa i lve you guys and im the happiest ive been in a long time! :) xxx
This is a great topic and one I have often thought about myself . I agree with all u guys Sophie, Donna and carla. since I found salsa 9 months ago and it came at a time in my life when I really needed it, and needless to say it was life changing and I was instantly hooked to the point where I was actually dancing salsa 6 nights a week and learned a great deal, I just couldn't leave it alone. Through salsa I made so many new genuine friends who share the same passion, I learned to dance and most of all I met the most amazing girl because of it who is now a big part of my life. and as Donna pointed to life and work started getting busier and I reached a plateu with my dancing and simply couldn't do the amount of dancing I did And wasn't actually progressing and learning and new material. The "mojo effect" then came in to play for me as I went from feast to famine as it were with the dancing. However the love of salsa has not left me and the love of the salsa family for definite is as strong as ever. I guess now it's about balance because I reached that plateu I felt I wasn't actually a competent dancer because I wasn't learning anything new and this tends to knock u a little. I get frustrated because I like salsa so much but I want to learn so much more too and sometimes I wish there was a mojo in a bottle because I would buy it but the crate.
Great topic and great replies - I also agree with much of what has been said up here - and I firmly believe that everyones idea of 'mojo' is different. I've been around this scene for *cough cough* lets just say a lot of years!During that time I've experienced highs and lows of both experiences and even mood in relation to the scene. It has been like a roller coaster at times - but the one thing that never changes is that no matter how long between 'rides' - my so called 'mojo' experiences are the ones my brain holds on to - and thats why I LOVE it so.
Completely agree with Jason in that if I reflect back - the times when I perhaps wasn't feeling as great about it as I had before - were the times I felt my competence had plateaued. As humans one of our basic human needs is to grow and learn... and thats even within salsa. If you don't feel you are getting anything new from it (be it becoming a better dancer, meeting new people, hearing new music, helping someone else) then quite simply I think an element of boredom creeps in. If you are unsure of the cause I often find a break - or just focussing on stuff outside salsa for a short time really does help reignite that passion for when you do return.
Its like a long term relationship really - you go through the honeymoo period then things slack off - and sometimes you have to inject something new, or have something different happen which reminds you of why you fell in love with that person in the first place.
Lets grow together - and appreciate the good times and the bad times - both on and off the dance floor xx
Nicky I think that's a great way of putting it about when our enthusiasm wains a little is like a relationship. And totally agree with taking a look at what excited us about it in the first place when the going was good. For me I hit salsa 6 nights a weeks and I became "competent" in such a short space of time. But because of all the breaks and not being able to learn much more in the mean time and when I do get to dance I do pretty much the same I have to say that my confidence as a competent dancer has taken a knock. I know in the past jake has told me to stop being so hard on myself, I always give myself maybe too much expectation. I will be reflecting back on what actually made me spark in those early days when you just couldn't get me off the dance floor as I want to learn more and progress. As in a relationship if it is important to you you will find a way and i think this post has come at the right time for me to "find a way" of getting back that mojo. I am always grateful to Jake for what I have learnt at this point and I am looking forward to learning from yourself Nicky in due course.
I'll be up in Leeds very soon Jason - and verey much looking forward to spending lots of time with you guys... I have lots of Mojo inducing ideas ;-)
I look forward to it Nicky.
Absolutely loving this thread guys, x
Wow...amazing comments, so interesting to get everyone's viewpoints! Can't wait to be introduced to Nicky's mojo inducing ideas :) I've been busy recently but can't wait to get back to salsa....mojo or no mojo :D
Ok prepare yourselves, this is something I've thought about a lot over the years! Apologies for the huge post but I've a lot to say on the matter...
I myself started salsa three times before it stuck, each time drifting away for a number of years before I got back into it. Twice I completely lost my 'mojo'...
People are complex, that's what makes life so interesting! The awesome comments above have added a few reasons to my list of 'why I think people lose their mojo' - as well as confirming others:
Wow, way to kill the mood Jake. But before you all shutdown your browser and have cry - stop - there is a cure! I'm sure you can all add to this list - and I love the comparison to a relationship Nicky - but here are my top tips for rediscovering your MOJO, yeah baby!
If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, point them in my direction and I will explain to them - at great length - why they are wrong!
Sorry about this rant, don't say I didn't warn you! Does anyone connect with the reasons that I've given? Or have anything to add to the 'cure' lol? Think I'm off to take a lie down...
Jesus jake, dont think you have missed a scrap mate........perfectly written, glad you gave a warnin with it, nice bit of light reading before sleepytime........totally agree with every word though........yes, CONFIDENCE IS THE KEY.........and if u can dance and laugh at your errors, then u ae half way there x
Haha, yeah I don't think anyone will have a problem sleeping tonight! xx
Speaking of sleep, think I might get some shut eye...
Great reply Jake. I think I have to fall in love with salsa again. I pushed hard at the beginning very fast and now I have to find what excited me in the first place. Baby steps of going back to basics first. I think also its worth mentioning that if your heart is not fully in it it becomes a little hard to pick up the moves and remember them. My problem is/was that I always want to remember every single move I am taught and use it thus leading to a Competent dancer. All this has done is put pressure on myself, given me unrealistic expectations leading to feeling a bit flat. I can dance but for me the key is now building on what I already know by learning one or two moves each time and dancing them over and over in the socials until they become routine. This is how I did it when I first started. I will definitely be taking on board your comments on how to develop and help move forward and it's pleasing to hear that I am not the only one with a mojo issue and that others such as Nicky and yourself have gone through this. Thank you.
Wow - very interesting thread. I don't really believe in the existence of a 'Mojo' per se, but I think the comparisons people have made here are right on: work, relationships, exercise etc.
I've been in the salsa scene around two and a half years now, and I've gone through periods of being out 5 nights a week, to only making the one. But for me it's all about expecting too much of yourself and throwing yourself in at the deep end. I haven't had this with salsa, but when it comes to running regularly I have started and given up about 6 times in the last year. There are three things I always try to remember.
It's a marathon, not a sprint
Progress is gradual, not instant. And as others have already said, getting fed up with a perceived lack of progress is bad, and very demotivating. But as Jake mentioned, you're just progressing at a slightly slower rate. Throwing yourself in at the deep end, no matter how hard you try is not going to give you the results you want. It will stress you out, tire you out and make you fall out of love with the idea of doing it at all.
Making habits takes as much time as breaking them
Most people have an objective when they try something new, be it with dancing, exercice, work or whatever. Make sure your objectives are achieveable or you're setting yourself up to fail. If you want to get really nerdy, and like nonsense business methodologies check out the SMART model.
Once you know what you want to achieve, think about what you're going to do on a routine, figure out when you're going to do it, and then do it. And don't allow yourself any excuses. If you don't impose a structure on yourself then you're likely to slip.
That classic quote "pain is weakness leaving the body"
I'm not sure who said this first (and see no point in trying to verify) but I think about it a lot. In a very literal sense, with physical pain, remember you are putting yourself through it for a reason. To better yourself. And by the same token, if you stop and fall out of your routine, you're going to have to do it all over again and it will be twice as hard. In a slightly more metaphorical sense you can think about this with any challenge you have been set. Challenges are so-named for a reason - they're going to be tricky, and perhaps even "painful". Just remember why you're doing it in the first place and then the pain will be a distant memory!
Finally, bringing it back to Salsa, I mentioned I don't really have this problem - at least not as a dancer. I do as the DJ. It's a constant battle for me to try and keep things fresh, and finding the time around the rest of my schedule. But nothing makes me fall in love with it more than when I have something new, which is my take on Jakes #1 piece of advice above. Mixing it up tricks your mind into thinking that you're going on a whole new adventure, takes away from the monotony, and presents you with a whole new series of challenges and possibilities - and nothing is more motivating than that!
Well I don't know about you guys - but watching this certainly helped my mojo today - speaking musically and musicality... probably the best shown I've seen in years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqbJc5F6f7M#t=149
Wow. Nicky the guys and girls in that video are just pure genius and they definitely have their mojo haha
Love this post it is so interesting to read everyone's experiences. This is all still newish to me, I started at the start of the year. This summer I really feel like I have learned so much and I am at the wanting to dance all the time stage! But I think I manage to get a good balance so I am not yet overloaded or feeling a lull or boredom with it. Luckily (or unluckily) I have so many other things going on I don't have time to do 'too much' salsa, and I definitely haven't lost my mojo yet. In fact, I think I only recently found it thanks to a particularly fab partner who I seem to have just clicked with instantly ;) xx
Siobhan, love you post! Sounds like you've found Mr (or Mrs) right! ;) haha xxx
Nicky i love that clip!!! :) ... i for one havent ever lost my dance mojo, dance is pretty much why i eat sleep and breathe! But i have lost that interest sometimes, then you have a moment where you either see a performance or have "that dance" that sparks everything back into glorious technicolour and you want it more than ever before!
Nicky i actually cannot wait to work with you! :) x
Jake! What a reply!!!! Nothing more i can say apart from i love you to bits! lol x
Thanks Sophie, yes I think I might have done! It is so lovely when you just feel at ease with a lead, and like it doesn't matter if you 'go wrong' so long as you're moving and having a laugh :) xx
Let's hope the seasonal break doesn't cause carnage to people's mojo in 2015. I know from past experience the first few hours can feel like you've forgotten everything you know!
But rest assured it's like riding a bike, and soon comes flooding back!
I don't think you can jar Mojo, but you can bottle it. A few bottles of brooklyn and then I feel my Mojo.