Sunday, 17 March 2013

What a difference a badge makes

Last year I got into the habit of practicing shines (solo footwork) on the side of the social dance floor with one of my friends whenever we were both out at salsa together.  Occasionally one other person might come and join us for a song - but we'd often spend up to half of our night practising the same thing over and over again.

One day my shine friend went to New York for three months (to learn more shines, obviously) and I was all on my own.  Without him to spur me on, I didn't shine as much but I kind of missed it so I started recruiting for more shine friends. By the time he got back, there were four of us who were regulars and we'd started referring to ourselves as Shine Club.

When you have four dancers in a line, doing the same shine at the side of the dance floor or showing each other the latest cool thing we spotted on YouTube, it attracts a bit of attention, so we eventually got a couple more of our friends wanting to be a part of the crowd.  With more members, we got more variety - incorporating Palladium Mambo, Cha cha cha and Pachanga into our growing collection of shines.

Peer pressure is a wonderful thing.  But as it turns out, badges are even better.

Last week I received 20 Shine Club badges, which I'd been meaning to have made for a while.  I only had six people to give them to, but I thought a few spares would be useful, because other people might want to join in one day.

It turns out that badges are even better than peer pressure for getting people to join in. Today I only have 9 left.

Of course, those who came to play because they wanted a badge have been warned: if they fail to carry out their duty as shine ambassadors, their badge will be revoked. And then they'd have nothing to attach to their Mambo Delight shoe bag!

So, why not take up the Shine Club challenge to learn something new?  

I'd also be interested to know:

Badge related questions

  • Do you customise your shoe bag with badges or other additions? What are they?
  • What dance related badge would go down well in your scene?
Shine related questions

  • Do you have a 'Shine club' on your salsa/other dance scene?
  • What are your favourite styles/shines?
  • What YouTube shine videos have inspired you?

Add your comments below to let me know.

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