How to Move Those Hips
Without a doubt, almost every Latino man who I asked for tips told me ‘you should know how to dance.’ It’s hilarious how Latino men, supposedly the most chauvinistic on the ethnic male-bravado scale, would say that dancing is a core skill. My mother used to tell me,
“A man who can dance will never be alone, on the dance floor or off.”
It’s true on both counts. Jason, a tech entrepreneur tells me, “It’s the best way to stay connected to your culture and keep your spirit alive — sea lo que sea, salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia whatever.” There is nothing sexier to many women than a man who can keep a beat and move those caderas. On the flip side, NOT knowing can put you at a disadvantage. “Nothing’s worse than meeting a girl and not being able to dance some salsa,” says Freddy, a state trooper.
The second most mentioned item men noted was learning Spanish (or Portuguese if you’re Brazilian). In all fairness, while knowing Spanish is important, we’re not sure mastering the language is a prerequisite. You don’t see too many Irish, Italians, or Midwestern Scandinavian descendants using their mother tongues as a cultural litmus test. This may be the hardest thing for Latinos to keep, as we get further along the generational divide. If, however, you can learn formal Spanish in school or in a class, or keep it up at home, that’s a privilege you should definitely take advantage of. While knowing slang can be helpful being truly bilingual is an asset that can serve you in the workforce and keep you connected to your culture. There are many books you can read in their original language that take on a whole new meaning. If you travel, you become the hero to your companions as you can speak to the locals and get the inside scoop of how to have some real fun. Finally, nothing says amor like whispering Spanish in your lover’s ear. They didn’t call it “Spanish” fly for nothing.