Tonight is the very night that I begin my Puerto Rican style Salsa dancing lessons. This place sounds very dirty dancing 2 (in the best possible way of course, though I am a Patrick Swayze fan through and through and the original is obviously my preferred favourite!) Anyways, this place is called ‘Deluxe’ and it opens as a dance class at 8pm sharp and then becomes an after hours SALSA CLUB, Sexy right? I am envisioning gorgeously sun-kissed Spaniards with cascading locks and beautiful senorita’s with rouged lips and flowers in their hair.
I have contemplated wearing numerous dresses and dabbled with the perfect lipstick shade. I want to look professional (to make up for my two possible left feet and lack of Salsa knowledge) and have decided against heels for my first class – I don’t want to twist my ankle, or worse – fly across the room, only to land with an ominous THUD in front of all the (hopefully) gorgeous people! Oooh I do hope I am a natural – elegantly twirling across the room, doing the infamous “Cuban hip movement.” I hope I’ll be a vision in my now decided upon brightly coloured, fabulously flowing number that is sure to flare out when I spin (a gal can dream right)! Updates to follow on the outcome of my saucy and seductive Salsa session!
Wow, what an incredible night – an evening of seductive steps, sweaty palms, fabulous music and the odd freakish dance partner! I arrived at the class together with the swarm of butterflies that had taken up residence in my stomach. At the door, after payment I received a shot of sherry (sophisticated? Yes!) then headed up to the dance floor where my Salsa fate awaited. Even though we were a little early there were already couples hitting up the dance floor, staring seductively into one another’s eyes, hips swaying, legs flashing, bodies contorting – It was just beautiful!
A few moments later and all the Salsa-goers were lined up, doing what the instructor dubbed as a “simple” warm up. Simple? I think not. It consisted of various foot movements, twists, turns and the infamous Salsa clap! I think I must have stepped on at least four people’s feet, yet strangely could not stop grinning. My heart started beating, the music began to pump through my veins and I realised this would be one magical evening.
We were then lead to an upstairs room (us beginner folk anyway) and greeted by a charismatic and friendly teacher who immediately put our nerves at bay. We started off by practising the basic Salsa step and then the instructor proceeded to show us the ‘what not to do’s! (The ridiculous swaying of one’s hips from left to right in a slightly manic/sexual-pervert-who-just-escaped-from-the-loony-bin look is a definite no no!) You see ladies and gentleman Salsa is all about the feet and knee’s, which when accomplished in the appropriate way automatically cause the hips to sway in a SAUCY manner) Salsa is also all about the bodies weight, ladies beginning with their bodily weight on the left and gentleman on the right.
After practicing the basic step a few times to some awfully fabulous music it was time to practice with partners. There were far more gals than guys, so, once the twenty odd ladies had chosen their partners from the nine men that had pitched up (or been dragged to the class by their significant others) we began to practice, rotating partners every four or so minutes so that everyone got a chance to boogie with a boy. My first partner had a chronic case of very-sweaty-palm-syndrome, a little off putting after only five minutes of dance time, but I decided to suck it up and enjoy myself. My next partner was a middle-aged Austrian dude who had that ever so classic eye condition, where the pupils are magnetically drawn to the female chest and can not seem to dislocate from said gaze. Despite his obvious staring at my cleavage (which I must admit was looking pretty awesome thanks to my wonder bra) I did have a fabulous little boogie session. These rotations happened throughout the one and a half hour class and every so often we were collectively taught a new dance move – an underarm twist here and a side step there!
In no time at all the lesson was over – the only indication that any time had passed was my brand new Salsa knowledge and VERY sweaty forehead. (Okay, and sweaty everything else.)
It was then time to show the other classes what we had learnt! Grabbing my partners hands we performed our little routine and may I add bloody fantastically so! The evening then commenced and the Salsa club was opened. I danced with a few guys, some a little clumsy and others absolutely wonderful. After brushing off a slightly freaky looking creature on numerous occasions by feigning sudden hot flushes every time he proceeded towards my general direction I thought “Oh! What the hell” – and this was the best decision ever! His grooves and moves and twists and turns made up for the slightly dodgy looking exterior and I had the best (and only real thus far) Salsa dance of my life.
I would most definitely recommend this to everyone. Especially you ladies, I guarantee you a night of festive fun and copious amounts of sweat (well, us ladies of course only perspire). This most definitely gages a ten out of ten on the feel good factor, makes you feel gorgeous and tones you legs! (Plus, it gives you a prime opportunity to wear that gorgeous dress that is hanging in the back of your cupboard, most probably feeling a little neglected and lonely.)
So c’mon girls and guys, try something new TODAY!