Saturday, February 03, 2007

salsa sambo

Well it's been a really hectic week, what with working late unexpectedly a couple of nights, and fighting with bureacracy to organize Cindarella's visa for our trip to Barcelona* in 3 weeks.
But in the middle** of all of this was our third Salsa class.

Week one was a simple case of learning the basic step and rhythm. Cinderella and I partnered each other when the time came and all went well. And in case you're wondering the answer is yes, there are guys in the class, but they are very few and jealously guarded by their spouses. Although if you ask me, the couples made up of friends as opposed to actual couples probably have more fun!

Week two was, well, more of a challenge. Cinderella's buddy brought an extra friend and I found myself partnerless. [Oh the horror!] Fortunately it turned out I wasn't the only one to find myself in such a state and so I ended up lightly holding a young student of fashion design who had joined the Salsa class to give her insight on a project she was working on, designing clothing for this type of dancing. OK, perhaps 'fortunately' is not quite the right word.
You see, it was going really well right up until we took our first step...
I don't like to sound conceited but the fact is that the legacy of all those years of doing ballet as a youngster is my ability to dance; pretty much any sort of dancing, really. I have an excellent sense of rhythm and timing and I am able to pick up new steps really easily.
I'm guessing my young partner didn't have the same sort of background... the poor girl had no clue what she was supposed to be doing with her feet (or any other part of her body, for that matter) and it was like dancing with a young rhinoceros. I held my patience for as long as I could but eventually I just couldn't help but stop and give her some instruction.
["Left forward first... no, your other left; yes, that's it. Now it's one-two-thr.. one -two.. ok let's try again, one---twooo---" ... and so on and so forth.]
It's a big class, and the amount of time the teacher could spare for each person would never have sufficed. In fact when he saw me making progress with her he watched for a few seconds then nodded approval and moved on to the next 'couple'.
Mind you, I was as nice about it as I could, carefully treading the line between friendly assistance and condescending impatience - I would hate to think I were the cause of someone not wanting to dance because I made them feel, well, as bad as they looked. I love dancing too much for that. In the end, she figured out more-or-less how the steps worked and the smile never left her face. Ah well, at least she enjoyed herself... and she thanked me, too. I even think she was genuine about it.

So after that little experience I was a bit apprehensive about this week's class. My fears were confirmed when the buddy's extra friend pitched again and the four teenage girls formed their giggly partnerships leaving the wicked stepmother [a.k.a. me] standing man-alone in the middle of the floor after the warmup. It brought back all those feelings from my childhood of being the last one picked for the softball team in Phys Ed.
However, it turned out Fortune was smiling on me***. Our instructor, a friendly Cuban fella, pronounced that this was no good at all and proceeded to partner me himself.
Of course the first thing I did was blush from the tip of my toes to the roots of my hair - one of those deep purple flushes to which I am prone when I find myself unexpectedly the center of attention. Because of course, being the instructor, everyone was watching his every move - and therefore mine, by extension - to see how it's supposed to be done.
But once the embarrassment had subsided and the dancing began I had an absolute ball! I'd almost forgotten just how pleasurable it is to dance with a partner who really knows how to lead. And I was confident enough in myself not to feel like a freak with two left feet, so I was able to relax and simply enjoy the dancing. The downside was he had to keep dashing off to help other people but that's OK, I had fun anyway.

I don't know when or if I'm ever going to make use of my Salsa skills outside of the classroom but for now I'm going to simply enjoy pure pleasure of being able to dance.

* Yep, it's booked - yay!
** literally - it was Wednesday
*** at least for that hour, since Fortune was noticeably grumpy with me for the rest of the week.



kyknoord said...

I like the colour coding, but I'm still confused. Where do the tomatoes and onions come in?

Terri said...

Kyknoord - You like the colours? Ja, guess who had time on her hands over the weekend ;) Oh, and onions aren't permitted to join the class 'cos they kept making people cry and the tomatoes won't go without them.

anne said...

it was like dancing with a young rhinoceros
Sounds like I was right there with you, eh... :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, you're bringing back memories of taking a ballroom dancing class in college with my future wife. I may have stepped on a few toes....

Lori said...

Salsa dancing sounds like fun fun fun, my love (poor guy) trys so hard to teach me and I cant dance at all, but the main thing is we have fun doing it.

buddess said...

This sounds like so much fun!!!! I am so glad you are doing it Terri, because you sure can dance!!!! I'd love to see Buddy trying some Salsa steps!!

chitty said...

So, you are the teacher's pet aren't you? :mrgreen: Sounds like you are having loads of fun.
Tip for Bacelona: brush up on your Spanish, it is hell getting around the city when you do not speak the language.

Terri said...

Anne - Perhaps, just taller ;) lol!

Jason - If I know you, you probably mastered it in the end. I may actually still attempt ballroom dancing myself at some stage.

Lori - As long as it's fun that's really all that counts isn't it?!

Buddess - Ja, Buddy not so much keen on learning steps. As you know he has his own way of dancing and I suspect if he came with me we'd just end up fighting 'cos he'd want to make everyone else do it the way he does, lol!

Chitty - Que?

Reluctant Nomad said...

Salsa is for eating. Not this queer dance crap!

angel said...

and you blew them all away with your style and grace and left them thinking you were also an instructor!!

Terri said...

Nomad - You're just jealous ;)

Angel - Um, ja, sure, that's it definitely...