Yesterday, I wanted to take a 5:30 dance lesson after work. I got caught up in work, so I raced out of my office at 5. Thinking that my GPS would probably find me a shorter route to the dance studio, I pulled it out. I made fantastic timeÖ to somewhere else. When my GPS triumphantly declared that I had arrived at my destination, I looked around and said, ďThis isnít it!Ē

Having somewhat of an idea of where I was after winding through a dozen or so side streets in a semi-familiar area, I found my way. The whole way, I scolded the GPS for getting us into another mess and making us late. I ended up pulling into the parking lot at 5:37. I burst through the front doors of the dance studio and very urgently asked the girl at the front desk if it was too late to take the 5:30 salsa class. A quizzical look passed over her face, and then she said, ďThe salsa class tonight is at 6:30Ö so, youíre not late!Ē

I took a few minutes to think about it and decided to wait until 6:30 to take the class.

At last weekís private lesson, I had a breakthrough. My biggest problem has been feeling the beat. Salsa has a lot of layers of rhythm which makes it complex, interesting, and hard to follow, especially if you did not grow up listening to it. At least, thatís the case for me. Since starting dance, I discovered that just because a person can predict when a certain beat is going to fall within the music, that doesnít necessarily mean that person can move the appropriate body part in time with that beat.

I could do it, but it took a lot of concentration. Dancing was a lot of work for me, but I just kept pressing on and hoping for the best.

Then, suddenly the work paid off, and I could do it without effort.

My dance teacher gave me a double-high-five at the end of my lesson.

During the class last night, at one point, the teacher (not my private teacher) stopped my partner and said, ďLook, sheís using a roadmap. Itís called the music. Youíre not. Thatís why you arenít together.Ē The way he stated that is the reason this guy is definitely not my teacher (and never will be), but I thought, ďWOW! I AM!! And Iím not even trying!!!Ē

Dance has gone from being a lot of hard work to actual fun. Rather than feeling apprehensive and tense about classes and lessons, I look forward to them.

If I felt so apprehensive and tense about my lessons, why did I keep going?

I guess because itís something I wanted, and outside of having some trouble with the beat, I do have a lot of other natural abilities that help me with dance. I was still ahead of the curve, even if I couldnít feel the beat.

Even though during the past year or two, Iíve taken the occasional dance classes, I really wasnít serious about it. I never danced long enough for it to feel natural to me, and maybe I believed that it would never feel natural. Also, partner dancing is something that I really wanted to learn with my partner, which is no different than most people out there. We want to dance with our partners!

The problem is that the desire to dance seems to only hit about 50% of the people out there, and the people from that 50% seem to always end up with someone from the other 50%, who seem to have no desire to dance, whatsoever.

I am in that boat, but it took me awhile to realize it because my partner happens to be a genetic clone of a man who is a salsa teacher. So, it only makes sense that somewhere, deep down in there, must be the desire to dance?

Maybe there is, but if itís there, neither of us has found it, yet.

A lot of the guys in the class I took yesterday were pretty clueless on leading, which means two things. One, the teacher isnít enforcing the whole leading-following thing in class, and two, the women arenít, either. You canít blame the women, since they are students, too. Plus, women have the tendency to want everyone to feel good in the end, and if that means pretending that the guy is leading while dancing out the scripted moves, theyíll do it.

Me, Iím not the nurturing type, I am the strictly business-Iím here to become a better dancer, type. So, I donít do anything unless Iím lead to do it. That means the guys just continue doing the basic and look really surprised when nothing happens, and I just shrug, smile and say, ďOh, Iím sorry. I donít memorize the sequence.Ē

I was telling Adam about this last night, and he said, ďItís a dance where the man tells the woman exactly what to do. Is it any wonder that my dad likes it so much?Ē

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Wednesday, Oct. 06, 2010 at 4:09 PM