Here’s the first edition of my new pet project on myths and facts (via celebrity speak) Meet Ashwin Mushran; actor, dancer and just an all-around very very funny guy. (Psst! Don’t miss him on Pirate Radio LIVE with Cyrus Sahukar & Chetan Kapoor playing you his favorite songs on November 7th.) For now here’s his take on “Real Men Don’t Dance” exclusively for, yay!

Ashwin Mushran - babe magnet!
Ashwin Mushran – babe magnet!

Real Men Don’t Dance Salsa
written by: Ashwin Mushran
I know what you’re thinking. Real Men don’t dance Salsa. Real Men go to the gym, pump some iron, grunt a bit, get down and dirty with a protein shake. Real men don’t dance, are you kidding me… Real men hang out at the bar trying to bag that Alpha Male slot… Real men drink a couple of beers, discuss their single malts and ooh and ah over the last premiership football game… Real men get so smashed on their nights out that they can’t even remember they had a night out. Real Men… Why would they even waste their time dancing Salsa?

salsa superstars!
goofing around as usual!
goofing around as usual!

Well, I don’t care, at least not any more. I tried the real man thing for a while and then one fine evening I walked into a Salsa bar in London and made a choice. Now I have to admit, I was a little mad at the girl who pulled me along to the club because it was a Tuesday night and I was missing a really important champion’s league game. I did the beginner’s class a little cockily (I’m a real man remember), stepped on all the girl’s toes and rushed to the bar to get that beer (I couldn’t afford the single malt.) Here’s where it went all topsy-turvy. The class ends, lights go down and the Latin music kicks in. There are very pretty girls at the club, I apparently don’t exist for them. A couple of guys walk in. Now these guys aren’t anything to look at, quite average when I come to think of it. Not too tall, not strikingly good looking, casually dressed… just average I would say. But there is something about them and they know it. Within seconds the women in the club are all over them. I’m wondering why… and then I see them dance. They’ve literally swept the women off their feet and haven’t even uttered a word.  Now, that’s cool. That’s it, I’m hooked so help me God. I want to be one of these guys so I sign up for classes. 10 years down the line and I’m still dancing salsa.

What I love about salsa is that it gives the average guy a chance. You don’t have to be a pro, it’s about having fun and being social. Real men in the end rate themselves on how women judge them and women definitely find a guy who can dance cool. 10 years down the line, I can walk into almost any Salsa Club in the world not knowing anyone and I know in minutes I ’m one of those very same guys, I saw strolling into Bar Rumba in London all those years ago. That’s man enough for me thank you very much.

Let me break the myth. You’re not any less of a man because you say you dance salsa. You don’t have to wear tight trousers, satin shirts and shoes with heels on them and you most definitely don’t have to wander around a dance floor with a rose stem clamped between your teeth, while shaking your hips from side to side. You can be skinny, fat, tall or short, what matters is that you know how to dance. You don’t need a six pack… you need six lessons and a whole new world awaits you.  In a salsa club the only real man is one who can dance so guys leave that drink at the bar and step it up on the dance floor for a change. Salsa is smooth, sexy and stylish. When the music’s playing and you’re spinning the girl around take a millisecond to think about it. Now that’s real. Be a man… Doooo the right thing…

Ashwin and his gorgeous wife Rebecca (in red) at the Malaysian Salsa Festival
Ashwin and his adorable wife Rebecca (in red) at the Malaysian Salsa Festival

P.S. Wanna learn to salsa? Get Ashwin to teach you at the Salsa India Dance Company!