Dancing Queen

I don't claim to be Ginger Rogers, but blare a little music and my feet can't help but move. Before marrying and moving to the rolling vineyards of Germany, where life hushes down to a whisper after 8pm, I spent many a lively late night shaking my bumba to a rumba or doing my thing to swing.

In all, I can carry my feet, for better or worse, to no fewer than 12 different dances: fox trot, rumba, waltz, east coast swing, west coast swing, cha cha, the two step, bachatta, merengue, mambo, rueda, and salsa. But of this not-so dirty dozen, my absolute passion is salsa. No matter what external forces have me down, the tropical rhythms of the clave make my spirit sing. In the pre-Max era, I spent years pursuing a goal of becoming a bonafide salsera. And even though a lack of natural talent would prevent me from ever winning Dancing with the Stars, I did become, at least, a competent salsa dancer.

But that was then.

Aside from a monthly night out dancing with Max, I hung up my ballroom shoes once I settled down, married, and moved to Germany. But to be completely honest, I've missed the opportunity to pursue my favorite hobby more vigorously. Fortunately, moving to a bigger city gives both Max and I both the chance to rekindle our love affair with Latin dancing. And so, with Max's blessing and after a little research, I located a salsa school only 3 blocks from where we will live and e-mailed the director about registering for classes, which start the day after I arrive. Sounded easy enough, right?

"You'll need to come by and dance with an instructor first," the school's director replied. "We will need to assess what your level is and what class would suit you best."

Don't get me wrong. Trying out for a class didn't strike me as a bad idea, but I haven't really danced with purpose in years. Suddenly, I felt pressure. My competitive nature got the best of me. I wanted to do well, place in a higher level, and prove to my self I could still keep to the beat with the best of them.

But could I?

I worked myself into a frenzy before tryouts and was literally shaking by the time my chance to dance with the first of three instructors came.

"Relax," the professor of Cuban-style salsa said. "Just enjoy the music and dance."

But somehow, I couldn't calm my nerves. I never did like being tested and couldn't shake the feeling that I was being rated. Still, I did well enough and landed in two higher-level classes, which will give me something to do every Tuesday and Wednesday evening for the next three months. For his part, Max opted for private classes because of his hectic and unpredictable travel schedule.

Regardless, we're both very excited to dance again and also hope to make a few new friends along the way. And, I'm already having visions of hosting "salsa by moonlight" parties up on our apartment's private, roof-top terrace this summer. Pretty cool, don't you think?


J said...

Work it, girl!


It seems like everything is just falling into place for you in Spain. Cool!

Claire said...

Yay! Sounds like great fun!


Shelly said...

I always thought that would be a fun thing to do...you go dancing girl!

oreneta said...

So glad you wrote about it and that it went so well!

Sue Jacquette said...

That sounds.... SPECTACULAR!

kenju said...

You're living my dream. Love the photo!

Charlotte said...

So glad you are getting back into your favourite hobby, and I have to say I LOVE the dress you are wearing in that fab photo - that colour really suits you!

Michelle said...

That sounds awesome! And you are lucky to have a partner that enjoys it as well...

3 cheers for Spain and city living!

running42k said...

Great photo.

Dianne said...

that photo is amazing!!

enjoy every step :)

Simple Answer said...

Look at your legs!

Can I come to your terrace party?

Diane Mandy said...

Simple Answers - Oh that photo is a good 4 years old. My legs aren't in that good of shape anymore. Here's hoping salsa classes helps me in that department.

PS. Of course you can come!

essie said...

i am in awe!
you are truly living your life-not letting a moment of opportunity pass you by-that is utterly fantastic!
however...now i am terribly worried that i will pale in comparison to my blogging self!!!!
oh dear!

a friend was in barcelona this weekend and had a magnificent time-this move sounds like it has your name in lights already!

Ann said...

I hope that you can share more pictures of your dancing! :->