After 4 long years, I made it down to salsa today. Went for the Jitterbugs’ social. I was really really happy that I got to see Vandalin, Z and CL. Also got to know 2 new friends through AL… though I was a little insulted by what one of them said.
I know I know, I was the one who said I haven’t danced for 4 years. But that doesn’t mean I can’t dance right? Not knowing my background, he said to me, “This song is a little fast. A bit too fast for your level. Maybe we dance the next one”.
Wah lau. I was lost for words man. My level? Hello… allow me to blow my own trumpet. I’ve a foundation in ballet, did some basic funk & modern dance in uni, and have been on a salsa performance team previously including a performance at the US West Coast Salsa Congress. What do you know about “my level” dude!!
After I heard that, I immediately turned to Vandalin and asked if he could dance that “fast song” with me. (Actually I wouldn’t even consider the song fast… it was just a moderate pace. Mr “Not My Level” ought to try the songs from my competition piece or some of our past performances if he wants to know what’s fast!).
That said, assessing my own level of salsa now, I realised my main struggle today was with being quick enough in the transfer of weight. There were a few times when I struggled with a particular move because I didn’t bounce back / transfer my weight fast enough. Not to worry, I’m sure I’ll get it back the next time.
I’m still most comfortable doing spins (actually, I LOVE doing spins and was quite disappointed not all the guys I danced with know how to lead spins – yes, that includes you Mr “Not My Level”). I also realised that most of the gals on the dance floor weren’t doing spins right. Most were using 1 leg to pivot & the other leg to “push” when they should really be putting both feet together, lock their arms and allow the guy to spin them. That’s the best and steadiest way of doing spins.
As usual, I felt like dying after the first 3 songs. Totally out of breath. And my calves cramped on the 4th song though I managed to finish the dance. That, I also blame Mr “Not My Level” because I had to keep “jamming brakes” while dancing with him. Well, I usually don’t criticise guys who are still learning because everyone needs time to learn the proper technique but right after dancing with him, I danced my 5th dance with Z and boy was it a breeze!!
So my conclusion is, if a guy is able to lead well, it’s effortless for the gal to follow, and even do more complicated moves with ease.
Okok. I know I sound like I’m damn pissed and am never going to dance with Mr “Not My Level” ever again but that’s not the case lah. I was slighted (and thus am whining) but when I told Vandalin & Z what he said, we all had a good laugh about it.
I think I danced about 10 songs in all. My second wind came after the 5th dance.. and from then on, I stopped panting after every song. Haha.
Z asked me what made me decided to go salsa tonight. No particular reason leh. Just itching to dance lor. Plus getting to see a few of my old friends made me really happy. PIty SB wasn’t out tonight – I would’ve liked to dance with him to (my 2 favourite leads are Z & SB. )
I think I’ll try to go again in 2 weeks. It would be ideal if I could go salsa on alternate weeks I think it makes for good exercise. Dancing 10 songs of average 4-5min each is as good as doing a 40min cardio workout!
Ok. Time to go hang up my laundry then sleep. Got to be in church at 9:30am tomorrow!!