Saturday, August 28, 2010

Latin Love

It's official. I'm hooked.

I went to my first full blown salsa/Latin dance club party last night and I had so much fun! I learned the Dominican Bachata last night, which for novices or men who don't have a natural rhythm, is quite easy to learn. The tempo is a lot slower than Salsa or Cumbia, which adds to the easiness factor. After an hour or so lesson in Bachata, the party officially kicked off with DJ music alternating from salsa, bachata, merengue, and cumbia.

I don't think I have ever been asked to dance that much before. Well, I might have, but I have never said yes to as many men who asked before. Why? Unlike the typical club scene, men at the social Latin dance clubs don't ask to get to know you, for your digits, or get you laid later. They don't stare down at your dress or grab your ass. They just want to dance!!! The men ask very politely and this is interesting.. after one or two songs, they politely escort you back to your friends and thank you. No hogging! Where has all this chivalry gone?

I love hip hop and street dance, but there is something very whimsical, old-fashioned and romantic about being in a man's arms, being led across the dance floor, and being twirled around like chocolate fudge in vanilla ice cream. I was stoked to have been asked to dance by quite a few good dancers because I get to practice turns and twirls. I have written before that I have a natural flair for the dance, but this is where I have trouble: I have so much difficulty being led. It's pretty obvious by now that I'm a madly independent, woman-on-top, control freak, so during the dance, I have to consciously remind myself to trust my partner and go with it. Especially when you're doing turn after turn after turn after turn (yes, they do this), for the dance to be fluid, you have to be pliable. You have to get rid of your expectations of how and where things are supposed to go because sometimes, you really have no idea. You have to make yourself open and available. Strong hands. Relaxed arms.

Just like life.

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