So, I started taking Salsa lessons. It's really an interesting analogy to "game" on multiple levels. (Like any (classical) dance is to a certain degree, but salsa and merengue is the only thing I know).
I think one can learn more about the really deeper practical mindset from salsa than from MM books for example. It may take you maybe 300 approaches to really learn the same things on the practical level. It doesn't learn the pickup-specific part, but trains the foundation for it. Dancing makes it much faster and more fun, with zero emotional "recoil".
If you look at this kind of dancing from a communication POV, many of the important practical elements are there:
Calibration: every dancing partner is different. They have all different dynamics. Some are fatter than others. Some have big boobs. Some are taller... They have slightly different dancing style. Some are all swingy by themselves, some you should shake up by yourself. Timings differ slightly. You have to learn to adapt to those differences or you won't dance well.
Leading... The teacher keeps hammering that "the man should lead". This is a very interesting part. You, as a man, should start all the figures. The woman must follow. BUT, you should do it right. You can't be aggressive, else you both can get out of balance or worse, some injury. But you can't be a wuss either, you MUST lead else theoretically there won't be no figures. Another key point of leading is giving signals, just for timing, for the way of moving or which figure you are going to start. You are learning how you signal/force movement. But again, you can't be too aggressive. You should be leading but paying attention to her dynamics and reactions. On the other side, if the woman tries to lead, you should put her on her place (the teacher hammers on this a lot, too
), again by using a little force, and again not too aggressive.
And I haven't explored all of this analogy yet. Could someone help?
All together, there is a fine balance between timing, calibration, leading, following, aggression and signalling. And this may be the most important balance you can learn both for salsa and for "gaming". Of course, you should also see the differences between the two and not taking it too literally. Like leading, it doesn't mean you should be the conversation dominator and turning down her actions. It just means you should not let someone play you.
Salsa (and other danceforms) are like game translated to body movement. Once you see the mappings of this analogy, this may be a fast and fun mindset training tool.
So what do you think?