Sunday, May 30, 2010

Social Dancing: Facebook a Huge Win

Let's be direct: If you're a social dancer, you are missing out if you're not on Facebook (FB). Having that small "friend" connection is positive social glue that enhances your club experience.

I avoided it for a while, but a couple years ago I took the plunge and joined, knowing it could be a complete waste of time and effort. Turns out my initial impressions were wrong, and if you're not making the most of it, start now.

Facebook is the perfect ice breaker. Half the time I would NOT know someone's name if we weren't FB "friends". Everybody you dance with should be part of your FB friends list. People you see at the clubs but haven't danced with should be requested as friends. Even if they don't accept your request, the next time you see them they are likely to say hello or otherwise interact with you. You've said "hi" electronically, and that makes a positive difference.

Once you become FB "friends," they very rarely turn you down. It's just enough connection to move you from "stranger" to someone they say "hi" to each time you're at the same club.

Facebook is closing in on 500 million users as of this writing. It's far from perfect, it requires some effort, but as a social dancer it's worth the effort. I always recommend females be more selective about who they accept for "friends", but you can control what content is visible and who gets to see what. Some people establish two accounts, one for "true friends," and one for social and dance acquaintances.

Most people are amazed how many high school friends and past relationships are on FB. They all look a little older, even though you still look the same.

Of course, privacy is important, and you may not want to share everything on your pages with all your "friends". You can allow your family to see all your photos and block everybody else if you wish. FB has always allowed you to limit who sees what in your profile, but they have recently updated their security/privacy controls.

Here's a couple links for making the most of the new settings:

Tips on new security/privacy settings (as of this writing: May 2010)
New facebook privacy

For those who care: I opt out of all surveys, games, quizzes, and those "do you think Don has dreamy shoes" (no!) type games/quizzes/questions. I block and opt-out of all those applications. Millions of people enjoy the games and quizzes, but I simply ignore all those side applications. (Hint: Don't invite me to play "Hide and go seek" or "Mafia loves white guys" and don't be offended that I don't play.)

I use FB primarily to network with dancers, and keep in touch with my closest 3000+ friends. If we are not already FB friends, and you're a dancer (or friend) please add me:

And if you're not already there, join today and figure it out. It is worth it over time: you'll be amazed who you meet online and it's a great social tool for expanding your dance circles.

The Power of Greatings
Why Don't Guys Ask Me?
Women now have choices. They can be married, not married, have a job, not have a job, be married with children, unmarried with children. Men have the same choice we've always had: work or prison.
--Tim Allen


  1. sooo what's the exact policy on having facebook salsa friends? I've got people on my friends list that i nod to. by dint of being facebook friends. have they become automatic yesses?
    and what about those contacts that you get to see maybe onece a year on congresses?

  2. Patrick: For me I doubt they are an automatic yes, but the odds are 100% better than when they are not FB friends.

    And at any event if someone already knows your face/name, the odds of a yes go up dramatically. Nothing is perfect, but having a FB connection is much stronger than no connection at all.

    It improves existing connections because in the process of approving (or ignoring) your "add", most check out your profile for a minute or so, which gives someone another reason to remember you.

    For me that's always been a win, even if they don't add at that minute.


I love feedback. Your thoughts, feelings and comments are appreciated. Civil disagreements and other points of view are always welcomed!

Feel free to send me private mail if appropriate.

Don Baarns - Unlikely Salsero