I was intending on writing this article about the experiences of my first salsa lesson, however to get here we’ll have to go back… quite a long way. Being the “average guy” that I see myself as, I had little exposure to salsa, or any other form of dancing for that matter, which might fall outside of the slightly crippled umbrella of awkwardly shuffling around a night club, as I am sure we are all familiar.
The first hint of real salsa in my life, not the kind you can eat, came from a work friend come salsa fanatic who repeatedly invited me to the various lessons and events she was attending. I imagine a crowd of salsa lovers to be shouting out in desperation with what is coming next, but I just dismissed the offer with a swift “hah, me dancing? Good one!”. In due time, more and more unreasonable excuses were required (or so my brain told me) to get me out of these situations. Retrospectively, this (I think) was a result of that subconscious hitting every mental alarm and alert possible. And rightly so, new stuff is scary! By the time I caved, I’d randomly met enough “mates” to do “favours” to provide anyone with reasonable grounds to suspect that I was involved in all manor of illicit activities. Opting out of the drug dealer career path, I decided I should probably go dance.
I was terrified as we approached the doors of the venue, I don’t have any reasonable sense of rhythm and coordination between limbs didn’t extend far beyond feeding myself. I could feel the atmosphere creeping up the stair and out of the front door of the venue, and with one final deep breath we were finally going in! As a complete anti-climax, as I entered everything seemed normal. That really is the best way to describe how it felt. Just a bunch of people relaxing and dancing. At ease with all this normalness, I swanned over to the bar to prepare myself with a pint of dancing juice.
Lessons soon started and I found myself with group of 20 odd other beginners. Now, when I say beginners, I really do mean beginners. The lesson started going over the basic footwork, people got it wrong, I got it wrong, we laughed at each others blunders. But thanks to the steady pace of the lesson, I was getting it, by George I was dancing! And more importantly, enjoying it too!
I think the main point to take here is that whilst I was being a child refusing to try new things, people were out there having a good time doing stuff that I later discovered I loved. All I was doing with my Wednesday evenings was watching the apprentice and missing out(FYI, iPlayer). If I were a betting man, my money would say that there’s an awful lot of you guys out there in the exact same situation (the apprentice isn’t even on TV anymore, no excuses). So I guess the moral of the story is to get your ass off the sofa and try something new, you might just excite yourself!
If anyone was wondering, I'm the 'work friend come salsa fanatic' although im not really sure what he means, salsa dancing 3 times a week is totally normal right?
I loved reading this so much! It captures exactly what we're about - fun-loving, friendly, normal folks who congregate in the bars of Leeds for a good old dance!
I honestly don't think anything bad can happen when you're dancing...that's why it's special to me and it's exactly what I tapped into when I started.
Yep, asses off sofas...mine needs to move from my desk more!!
Best story ever, if only because you used the phrase "by George!"