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Cookie (cookie1976) wrote,
@ 2005-11-18 15:53:00
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    What with being distracted by a certain individual, I have neglected my salsa obligations, and so, for the first time in rather a long time I went back. I got the warmest welcome from the usual crowd, had a blast in the lesson (Marchant, the teacher has some beautiful routines, really nice moves and is exquisite to dance with) and foudn the lesson challenging but not disheartening.

    The social dancing afterwards reminded me that L.A. style salsa really is about technique and balance and two months away does nothing to improve those (cuban style is less technique and more rhythm and body movement; skills no easier to acquire, but much harder to lose). I was a bit all over the place with my double spins, but at least I'm a reasonably sensitive follow and relatively popular with some of the better leads (who can compensate for my mistakes).
    Two months away from salsa has also meant my salsa trousers fit rather more snugly than I remember, but then I did go from dancing flat-out 4-5 nights a week to none at all. I never thought the dancing did much for my fitness/weight/tone, but quick glance to my middle shows otherwise. Hey, I used to have nice stomach muscles, now I've just got the padded packaging *prod prod*. Also I can no longer dance for several hours non stop without needing a bit of a sit down. I used to be able to just dance song after song after song all night. Hmmm some olympian training is in order, methinks. Time to wear holes into my dance shoes again.

    I had one dance with a new (but advanced level) guy. He was very good but very indecisive so he'd start to lead a move and then change his mind. Generally we just laughed when this happened as I would either do the first led move and ignore the change in signal or quickly adapt to the new move as best I could and flash a smile each time. He'd laugh back,knowing it was his mistake, but I hope he knew that it was no biggie, if anything it made the whole dance more interesting - kept me on my toes.

    Another new chap i danced with was a beginner. It was his first lesson and he marched up to two advanced ladies and asked us to dance. This is so rare there is absolutely no way I'd refuse.
    Beginners are rather unpopular to dance with because they tend to have poor timing, poor coordination, low confidence in their leads and a limited repertoire - but I really don't mind any of that. It takes some guts to ask someone to dance, even more someone who wasn't in your own lesson and anyway, everyone has to start somewhere. That beginner you snub today may be the next hot lead on the dancefloor tomorrow (or some years down the line, more realistically).

    He kept asking for feedback and although he was a bit like dancing with a rock, so solid and rough, I found he was much better than you'd expect from a beginner and felt praise was worth more than any criticism - the refining of style can come later. BUt even so, I ocnfess I hope he doesn't ask me again until he's a bit softer - although too soft and beginner ladies won't be able to follow him. It's a difficult balance guys have to learn to adjust the strength of their lead to the experience of their lady.

    so I had a fab night. I danced a cha-cha with Playful who used it to teach some of the intermediates (which spoils the fun a bit) I skipped the only bachata played (i'm picky who I dance Bachata with) and Marchant was DJ-ing so the sals was very jazzy, very mambo and just gorgeous to the ears. I had a great night. More dancing tonight, this time it's the cuban haunt. Better get my hips and waist in perfect working order.

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