Contrary to my earlier imagination, the views from my side & rear view mirrors were nothing short of an exodus of a weight-conscious generation seeking respite through salsacise. OK, that’s me exaggerating but quite a number of people had turned up. I couldn’t help but notice a few cute and fit-looking guys amidst them but being a sapiosexual by nature, that may just be the beginning and end of the attraction. The pot-bellied ones were duly represented also. Majority of the dance students in attendance were ladies, ranging in sizes… S to XXL! Some came in appropriately dressed while some simply caused my eyes moments of excruciating visions.
I made my way to the makeshift dance studio located right behind a popular café in town. The patio lounge of the café gets cleared for this purpose. I felt my tummy rumble relentlessly, a sign of nervousness and overwhelming anxiety. Not again! I repeatedly muttered to myself, “just get a grip and have fun, it’s not a competition after all!” I simply couldn’t understand why I felt so much pressure to perform till I remembered my baby sister, as a matter of fact, my baby sisters, yes, them two!!!
All through my growing years with them, they perpetually ganged up on me whenever the talk on dance came up. I agree, they are better steppers than I am by default but I honestly do not deserve the age-long title “two left legs”! Even with the physical distance life has imposed on us, a brief run of my dance intent by them over telephone conversations unleashed their venomous jeers once more…major blunder! Adamant and not deterred, this salsa class I will attend. Waiting patiently for the instructors to set-up, I struck conversation with a pair of siblings nearby.
Now, Angel has been dancing salsa a little over two-year and she practically knows all the hot spots in town where to get your salsa groove on. The news of that intimidated me instantly but like the sweet angel she turned out to be, she senses my nerves a mile off and did great justice in calming them. There it was, the needed encouragement for this self-imposed, point-proving daunting adventure I have embarked on. Without soliciting, I got myself a two-man cheer-leading squad for the evening. I went with the intent of inquiring and observing but ended up gyrating.
Being a ‘smartie’ as I was fondly called by an old friend, in minutes I got a good hang of the basics. I was told, to dance salsa, you must keep the count…1,2,3,_,5,6,7 in your head always. In addition, I was shown three other basic steps. Seeing I was getting into the rhythm of it all, I couldn’t help but think about my sisters – my tormentors! My vision of them watching me perform was that of dropped jaws and popped eyeballs, nothing short of Jim Carrey’s act in The Mask! *evil smack*.
The commanding voice of the petite male instructor calling all to fall in line for warm-up snapped me out of my daydream but I didn’t forget to pause their faces on that envisioned state…hehehe! We group danced the electric shuffle to some sultry song and then did some salsa basics to another. I didn’t find the latter as smooth as the former. He kept calling some steps I was completely clueless about, forgetting I’m only but a beginner-duh! Maybe I should have stuck the ‘L’ sticker on my forehead. *rolling eyes*
“Grab a partner, grab a partner”, he ordered. Does that include me?, I thought. Before I could say Jack Robinson, I was assigned a partner promptly, one whom everyone referred to as “Mr. Sexy”…eww! In my humble opinion, I had a hard time reconciling the nickname with the figure that stood before me. Need I say more? You could tell he made a concerted effort to colour coördinate his purple & plum combo, don’t ask me in what order! Despite, with extra sensory nasal cavity like mine, I couldn’t help but sniff the stench of old sweat oozing intermittently from him. How shall I cope?, I lamented silently. Honestly, for a moment I wished I was partnering with ‘my man’, one with whom I am guaranteed a mesmerizing fine musky fragrance’. Then, at least, syncing would have been effortless. *sigh*
“Today, we are learning a new dance called Merengue. It involves a lot of hip action!”, he said. Blah blah blah….on and on he went, giving a fairly rounded background on the origin of the dance. I tried to concentrate on that but I couldn’t. I was more consumed with how I would have to dance with a complete stranger. Admittedly, I suffer a mild degree of OCD (Obsessive compulsive Disorder) as it relates to undesired proximity or nearness to a stranger. Mr. Sexy’s plastered smile unnerved me. Oh! how I wished he could just hide them teeth. Arced lips would have sufficed! I found out much later during the routines he was just being true to self. Bless him!
“Ladies, sway the hips..sway the hips, hold his hips…hold his hips” he barked repeatedly, almost sounding like a broken record as we danced the various routines being taught. Merengue seem a more sensual dance than salsa dance. This I obviously wasn’t prepared for, for day one. I would have loved it more if I had ‘merengued’ with ‘my man’…hopefully someday soon…but it’s all good.
In all, it was an exhilarating experience, one of triumph over the taunting of my tormenting duo, love them to bits regardless. I must say, I was well commended after the class by my two-man cheer-leading squad and both instructors. For a first timer, I excelled. I look forward to the next class, hoping to adapt better and learn a lot faster. I left the dance floor with my heart racing, legs flexing, smile beaming, sweats beading and my mind soaring…loved it! Mostly, I had my bathroom on my mind!
Today, my body is yet to be copacetic. I woke to deeper stings of sore muscles all over. The ones in the bum cheek regions hurt most especially, thanks to excessive swaying but to salsa i will return!