One autumnal Sunday morning in Lecco, on the shores of the beautiful Como Lake, few years ago.
As many Sunday morning, I was there with my friends, our motorbikes parked on a long line of hundred motorbikes, standing in leather suites and helmets religiously under the arm, talking with other riders about – guess what – motorbikes.
A man came out of the blue shouting:
“Listen to me guys!
I want to do a great concert!
I want to invite Vasco Rossi here in Lecco
and I want all the riders to enjoy this concert!”
Me and my friends looked at each other in the eyes, no word spoken, but clearly thinking “who’s this madman!?”.
“I’m telling you guys this because I love riders.
And do you know why I love motorbike riders?
Because they are ALIVE! They have PASSION!”
What a beautiful declaration – he wasn’t a madman at all!
Few years have passed, and I still love motorbikes. But what moves me the most is something else.
This time is Salsa, or to be more correct Latin music.
But the sensations are the same: I feel ALIVE, I feel PASSION.
This is Salsa for me: PASSION.
It could have been football, photography, news, techno music, cooking, TV series, astrology, reading, running, movies, shopping, knitting, ballet, travelling, science, whatever.
While I like some of those things, Salsa music is what moves me the most.
I dance, I play, I listen and I live it. Yes, I live it.
And the news is that I’m tired of some people reacting without respect when I say “I’m really passionate about Latin music” or “I really like Salsa” or simply “I dance Salsa”.
I won’t respect anyone that react giggling and laughing when I say it.
Not because they don’t respect me, but because they don’t respect my passion.
Do they have something that moves them, anyway?
Do they know how it feels?
Do I want to share my time with them?
Maybe they associate Salsa with some classes they took for fun, and quit because felt too uncomfortable to move their body?
Maybe because they spend their life studying something “because there are many jobs in that sector”, topics that may help them to make money, cultivating hobbies to know the right people, and doing things only to be accepted?
Can they genuinely say what they love without being uncomfortable?
I’m not going to step back and avoid talking about it – like I used to do – hiding myself behind a false image. I urge to be genuine.
So it’s my Salsa outing: I want to tell anyone I’m mad about listening Latin music, playing my congas or dance Salsa… just in case you didn’t know yet 🙂
I’ll keep around me whoever is living with fervor, whoever is genuine, whoever is not afraid to say what he/she loves.
Whoever respects what someone loves because knows how it feels, and relate to it, and connect to it, and identify himself in it.
I stay with the millions of Latinos (and not) that go crazy for the Salsa music, deeply impregnated with their culture.
I stay with Cheo Feliciano, Ruben Blades, Herman Olivera, Eddie Palmieri, Jose’ Lebron, Ray Perez, Wayne Gorbea and the others artists I had honor and luck to see in those years, singing and genuinely saying “Que viva la Salsa!” (long life to Salsa).
And the cool thing is that I don’t even need to write why I like Salsa so much.
First because the title of this post is not “why I love Salsa” but rather “what Salsa is for me”, and second because “no reason is needed for loving” Coelho wrote on The Alchemist and I agree with him – it’s nice sometimes not to question the mind about the feelings.
Salsa is the music I like the most, the one I’m never tired of listen (“in the 8 hours drive back from Berlin we never listen the same song twice”, the good Ron observed).
The one I can’t stand still when it’s in the air.
Salsa allowed me to meet fantastic people and great friends, and to have a lot of fun – also that kind of fun.
Salsa is the culture I went to explore in Colombia, learning Spanish and discovering lyrics that have values, that give hopes, that are talking about life.
Talking about life, exactly like Vasco Rossi, the singer that the crazy guy wanted to invite to Lecco that Sunday morning.
Performing with eStilo at Limburg Salsa Congress, sharing the stage with international dancers coming from all over the World.
As you can see from the facial expression, I was at the peak of my dancing career.
At the end of the classes I followed in Cali, Colombia, I had to prepare a choreography and perform in order to get graduated in Salsa caleña.
With Herman Olivera, legendary Puertorican singer, just few days ago in a concert here in Amsterdam.
Some vinyls of classic Salsa I bought – my latest curiosity.
Most of them are older than me!
What moves you?