Sunday, January 31, 2010

I wanna put on my my my my shoes de boogie

posted Thu, 16 Jun 2005

My cousin Becky and I took a salsa class last night. The dancing kind, not the chips and kind.

I thought I would tear it up, as I took salsa dancing classes for a couple of months when I lived in Miami. But I hadn’t been in years and this teacher, Alex, was awful! He started the class 25 minutes late (in true Latin fashion) and then, he tried to rush through everything to make up for it. Frustrated the heck out of me because I don’t like to be rushed. I like to be the rusher.

In Miami, I had a great teacher. She made sure everyone had the step before moving on to the next one. This guy was going so fast that I was tempted to sit on the floor and go on strike in protest.

It got better, though, once we actually got to dance with partners. Alex did that part right. He had us change partners every few minutes so we would learn to dance the step, not just to dance with one particular partner.

I took lessons once where apparently (not that they put this information in the class description), you had to bring your own partner. I had never taken a dance class like that before. Ever other time, the teacher had us share partners. But this teacher, when she saw I was unaccompanied, told me that I would have to practice the steps by myself in the corner. For all four sessions of the class.

Then, when she would see someone not doing the step right, rather than correct that person, she would stop the music, look up at the ceiling, and say, “Someone isn’t rocking back on the two count.”

We would all look at each other, wondering who she was talking about, wondering, “Is it I?” Why wouldn’t she just tell the person? We were paying to learn, after all. Our egos were not going to be devastated by a little corrective instruction.

Back to last night. We started having more fun when we got to dance with partners and to music, even though there was a lot of difference in the men. Some were good, some were not so good. And some were downright weird.

One guy wouldn’t start dancing until I looked into his eyes. I couldn’t figure out why we were standing still. I finally looked at him quizzically. He pointed his index and middle finger at his eyes, saying dramatically, “It’s easier to dance if you are looking into my eyes.”

Well, no it’s not. I don’t know you and I find that level of intimacy with a stranger very uncomfortable.

Every time I looked away, he would stop dancing. I was quite relieved to get to an ordinary bad dancer with sweaty hands who counted out loud and who wouldn’t look at me.

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