The Salsa Personality Profile Test

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What is a Personality Profile Test?

A personality test is a questionnaire or other standardized instrument designed to reveal aspects of an individual’s character or psychological make-up.

If you are in the working world, you might have had to take one of these when joining a company to see if you were a good fit. It’s a very useful tool in highlighting what motivates and drives a person, identifying how a person behaves under certain circumstances and explaining certain quirks and personality traits. If you have never taken one, I suggest you do as it’s very insightful.

Now, 2014 has been a very introspective time in my salsa career. One thing that has become very apparent to me is that people have very different motives for learning to dance Salsa. This might seem so obvious you would think it does not even warrant mentioning. However, when you dig deep you realise that a lot of misunderstandings and a lot of the ‘politics’ in the Salsa scene is caused by a lack of this understanding and empathy. Once you understand and accept this, it puts you in a much better position to deal with the all the different personality types you meet on the scene and learn to accept them for who they are.

Now, this post is actually not a test. There is no questionnaire to help reveal the aspects of your salsa personality, well at least not yet. However, what it does do is describe some of the key motivational facts and traits of each of the personality types and what drives them. It’s up to you to figure out which one you are.

Now lets just get 2 things out of the way real quick:

1.  Although I have created four personality types, very few people fall entirely into only one of these categories. The average person will usually have a primary trait in one category and a secondary trait in another. In fact you may find that you even have traits from all four categories. However, all things being equal – you will gravitate towards one category more than all the others.

2. I am not a psychologist. These profiles are made up for your reading pleasure and they do not reflect the views of the LDC (Latin Dance Community), but are entirely my own creation. Now that we have the disclaimer out the way, lets get down to it.

There are 4 personality types on the scene and they make up the Acronym SDPV:

Socialite2

Do you think you will ever see this guy again if he starts dating her??

 The Socialite – This person comes to Salsa for the social aspect it provides (and sometimes just to get out of the house). They are here to meet people and sometimes even to find a future mate.  They attend almost all the socials and dance a lot and hang out and maybe even have a couple of drinks. Now I am sure you are saying – this sounds like just about everyone at Salsa.

So how can you spot a true socialite?:

Identifying characteristics and key traits:

– Despite having been dancing for a number of years, their dance level never improves and they show absolutely no interest in getting better.

– The moment they start dating someone, they usually disappear off the scene and only reappear when they are single again.

The Dancer – This person keeps on coming back to Salsa because, well simply put – they are totally addicted to Salsa and it has practically taken over their lives.

Identifying characteristic and key traits:

– They listen to Salsa absolutely everywhere. You would think no other genre of music exists.

– They will regularly be caught doing spins in elevators, shines in public bathrooms, dancing with their imaginary dance partner in the kitchen and tapping their feet under the table. They have an insatiable desire to learn and keep growing and achieve the ultimate connection with their dance partner and a ‘oneness’ with the music. As a result they are constantly pushing themselves to the next level on their salsa journey.

– They can justify just about anything for Salsa – Spending crazy money on congresses, travelling miles to attend salsa events, failings in their personal relationships and abandoning old friends etc all this to feed their addiction called Salsa.

I wanna be on So You Think You Can Dance!

I wanna be on So You Think You Can Dance!

The Performer – This person comes to Salsa because of the opportunities it provides them to perform and get on stage to dance and look sexy. They absolutely love to be seen on stage and the rush that comes with performing in front of an audience.

Identifying characteristic and key traits:

– They joined an amateur performance team before they could do a basic step

– They don’t like social dancing and rarely attend socials which have no performances

– When they do social dance, they have very flashy styling or big moves

– They are amazing to watch yet horrible to dance with. (The Guys are rough and the Girls just don’t follow)

The Visionary – Simply put, this category applies to DJ’s and Promoters. They have a vision and they push for it to become reality and this is not easy. You can’t please everyone and this is even more truer in the salsa community.  On1, On2, Mambo, Dura, Romantica, Cuban, Bachata, Kizomba, Cha Cha. So many options, its hard to be a purist or strike a balance.

So DJ’s constantly have push to take the dancers on a journey that makes them want to stay on the dance floor all night long and inspire them to keep dancing.  It’s a fine balancing act.

While Promoters (not the ones who are in it for the money) usually have to have an idea for an event that involves getting varying kinds of dancers onto 1 space and creating a fun loving dancing environment that leaves them all motivated and inspired.

Both require you to have a vision and ability to see it through to the end and ignore all the complaints and bitching along the way.

So,that wraps up the 4 Salsa personality profile types on the scene. Now time for the million dollar question: What personality profile type are you?

Please leave a comment, I would love to hear what you have to say.

8 Comments

  • Toan Hoang says:

    Interestingly enough I would put myself in The Visionary corner followed by Dancer. I have never been much of a performer and I am not the social moth type. Nice article !

  • Evans Musomi says:

    Love this article. Profiles, though made up seem quite accurate when I think about the people I interact with in the dance scene. I identify most with the Dancer profile and the Visionary.

    I concur that being aware of the different profiles helps one appreciate how other people perceive the dance scene and realize that expectations and goals differ.

    Good stuff!

  • ari says:

    Soooo true! I am 100% the dancer, my husband being the perfomer 🙂
    Btw I am still laughing..

  • On the ball lad. Great article, nice and concise. Your description of the “socialite” brought back a few memories and lots of laughs 😉 hahaha

  • Catty Teo says:

    Thanks for this beautiful article, love reading & totally agreed what u wrote, looking at the topic of Visionary, not easy to please every dancer & for myself love trying different types of dances, Salsa is one of my favourite, dancing made me happy & feel good when feel & connection with the leaders, going further level to improve & achieve as a dancer with right musicality. Am not a professional dancer but always love to share & exchange with all areas of dancers, teachers & overseas artists.

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