Don’t Break the Connection: What Learning to Salsa Can Teach You About Teamwork

The past few months I have been (attempting) to learn Latin dance from my friend, Scott. 

One thing he talks about a lot is the importance of staying connected—with both hands and eyes—the entire time we are dancing.

As he reminds me, my feet will do their part far better if I look at him rather than at them.

This struck me as excellent advice to take into the workplace—and the world.

What might that look like?

Well, suppose you have been asked to organize a project with a new team member.

You begin collaboratively enough, taking time to lay out the steps each of you is responsible for but then you get so absorbed in your part that you neglect to check in with your partner.  

Or perhaps you decide that since you now ‘know’ how it’s supposed to go, you don’t have to keep checking in.

Or, because you have a way of doing things that has worked for you in the past, you slide right into that groove without checking to see if that makes sense to your colleague.

You see how things can go awry.

So as you head into the hot and humid, sultry and (perhaps) salsa-filled days of your summer, I would remind you to keep checking in with your partners.

Again and again and again.


If you’re interested in finding out how to make connections in unlikely situations, check out, “I’ll Know It When I See It”: aka What to Do With a Know-It-All.