Two weeks ago, I gained entry into the unique world that is Latin dancing.
I come from a family that loves and plays most genres of music. Merengue, Salsa, Batcha, Mambo etc have all played at some point or the other in my house. Multiply that with a father who was given the name “twinkle toes,” and you have someone who thought they knew how to Latin dance but clearly didn’t.
I was invited by my coworker to attend a workshop and Latin dance party in Kampo-Vibes, Chaguanas which is home to quite a few Latin Dance events.
The dance move taught during the workshop was the Salsa hustle. My coworker, her fiance and I arrived fairly late so we jumped into the workshop as soon as we arrived. Within a few minutes, I was able to dance with my imaginary partner to only have a real human being interject and test my dancing skills. The workshop allows persons of all skill levels to learn and practice with each other. To me, being a beginner meant apologizing and telling others that I was just that, a beginner.
My first dance partner was a mature guy, tall and slim. I made sure to give him the disclaimer and we began to dance. I started off well, and one, two, three but the numbers were ambushed by the million and one other thoughts head and I was a mess. You could tell that he wasn’t a beginner and all though he was quite polite, he wasn’t here to dance with a beginner. If he could tell me to keep it moving, I sure he would have.
My next partner was a short mature man. He was my saving grace. I wasn’t too sure of his background but I assumed that he was a dance teacher. He was patient and kept reminding me to let him lead. He went through the steps again and at that point I felt like I was ready for any Latin dance competition they threw my way. Even some other women who were watching were quite impressed at how quickly I picked up the moves.
The lights were dimmed and the party begun. Initially it felt like a high school dance, men on one side, women on the next but eventually some brave couples started the party and everyone was dancing. I sat there in awe and slightly nervous. My coworker was chosen by a random stranger to dance. I watched her glide across the dance floor effortlessly. She was in her world and I was merely an observer. It went from 4 people sitting on either side of me to, 3, 2 and finally 1. I sat there a bit happy that I wasn’t chosen but a bit disappointed. Then out of nowhere, a hand was extended out to me. This was it, feet don’t fail me now.
My first dance was of course, the salsa hustle. I warned my partner that I was a first timer and to go easy on me. He complied and the first dance wasn’t bad. This continued throughout the night. Persons would just come up to you, extend their hand and ask for a dance. I enjoyed dancing with most of my partners but some, not so much. The men who wanted to get REALLY close to you, cheek to sweaty cheek I eventually started hiding from. Some men were really smooth and some left me dizzy and out of breath in a matter of minutes.
By the time we were ready to go home, my feet were screaming bloody murder. As soon as I sat down for a break, someone else asked me to dance. I can’t even remember how many times I was approached but I definitely got enough practice that night.
Would I do it again? Yes but not voluntarily. If I was asked or invited yes. This is something I would take my parents to. It’s could be a fun date night or night out with the girls. You can meet some great people and practice your moves.
Kampo-Vibes will be hosting it’s next Latin workshop and party next week saturday, March 28th, 2015.