Salsa classes started in my office yesterday. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, thinking of skipping the class but 30 minutes into the class and I realised what a mistake that would have been. Where else can you find a chance of dancing with five different girls. More on it later.
First a little bit about Salsa.
Salsa refers to a fusion of informal dance styles having roots in the Caribbean (especially in Cuba and Puerto Rico), Latin and North America. The dance originated through the mixture of Mambo, Danzón, Guaguancó, Cuban Son, and other typical Cuban dance forms. Salsa is danced to Salsa music. There is a strong African influence in the music as well as the dance.
Salsa is usually a partner dance, although there are recognized solo steps and some forms are danced in groups of couples, with frequent exchanges of partner (Rueda de Casino). Improvisation and social dancing are important elements of Salsa but it appears as a performance dance too.
(source – Wikipedia)
So there I was staring at the Thin, Sensuous, high heeled, Curly haired lady instructor(I’ll call her WOW) and her male apprentice(UNWOW) while they taught the first three basic steps of forward, side and rock to the 20 something boys and 25 something girls. WOW and UNWOW looked so elegant dancing together that a sigh got released from my mouth. How much I wanted WOW to dance with me. Anyways, since there were more girls, so they took turns to dance with the boys as we started dancing in couples.
Pink-trampler was my first partner and is incidentally my project mate too. She was a little awkward in her movements and ended up landing on my feet quite a few times. WOW saw her trampling my feet and asked her to practice alone first before trying the steps with a partner and replaced her with the-Black-top.
I award her the perfect-partner-of-the-day. Her movements were rhythmic and not awkward at all. The moment I cupped her right hand in my left one as she placed her hand on my shoulder and I placed my right hand behind her back, we danced magically. We did not missed a single step and our foot movement never went awry, even when they increased the tempo of the song. It was lovely, dreamy and delightful.
The-Jaya(Bachchan not Lalita)
My next partner was so short that I felt like Amitabh Bachchan, although I am just 5’8″. Her head ended somewhere near my chest and I had to stoop down a little bit to place my hand behind her back. She was quite shy and was not looking at me at all. We did a few side hand movements in a closed loop position. It was a little tough to move your hand as well as feet in two different directions and co-ordinating with your partner as well. She was good and picked up quite quickly.
Although as the class started, it was explained , that in Salsa the guy leads the girl, but follow-me-will-you? somehow missed this piece of information. Now we had to move in an open loop position which meant that she could not place her left hand on my shoulder and my right hand was free too. We had to join the free hands and move them upwards while we moved our feet to the music. It had to be done very gently but the lady just forced her hand so much, that it looked as if she was scrubbing a wall in her home. So, instead of our hands going up in 90 degrees, went 30 degrees towards my right ear. I tried to explain it to her, but she was adamant on scrubbing the wall. Sigh!
The moment partner change was announced, the black-top ran towards me. Now we had to do the closed loop and open loop positions alternately while we moved our feet. It was tough and I heard a lot of OOOOOs and AAAAHHHs as it was just our first class. But, since the-black-top was with me, we mastered that in a few seconds. We laughed and smiled and clapped as we ended.
The-Jaya(Lalita not Bachchan)
My last partner was taller and wider than me. I looked like a small kid who was holding a teddy bear bigger than himself. We had to do the same steps again with faster music. The first question she asked me was – “Did you get the hang of it?” I was quite speechless.
“Are you crazy? Didn’t you saw the girls falling on top of each other to dance with me?”, I wanted to ask. (Ok. I admit that that was a bit of exaggeration, but then what the hell!)
“Yes. I guess.”, I mumbled and smiled.
She too was a little awkward and clumsy and almost trampled my feet again. The ordeal was over in a few seconds as she picked up the steps somehow. She forgot to place her hand on my shoulder time and again as we went from the open loop to the closed loop position and I was reminding her again and again, looking like a sex-starved-maniac.
So, this is how the first Salsa class went. It would have been a disaster if the-black-top and WOW would not have been there. Its been after such a long time that I am “learning” to dance. The last I remember, it was in school for my Bhangra group. Sigh! Good old days.
Anyways, will keep all of you posted with the spicy gossips from the forthcoming sessions.
That’s all folks!
p.s. Now that I re-read the post, its more about girls rather than Salsa. No?