Ok, so I think I now feel confident enough in my salsa abilities to say I can salsa dance. Last night actually went all right – it wasn’t akward, and he didn’t try anything sketchy, and I didn’t have to do one of those akward “I’m sorry but” speeches.
The dancing…well…our mistake was in asuming that “Basic lesson” meant “This is the basic step for salsa: Quick, quick, slow”. Instead, the lesson was full of people who’d apparently been taking lessons at this restaurant for like two months, so “Basic lesson” meant “Learn this routine which would be really comlicated if you hadn’t been taking lessons for the past two months”, then “Intermediate lesson” was “Let’s add another more complicated routine to the first one”, and “Advanced lesson” was “Just in case that was too easy, here’s more insanely complex routine to add on to that!”. Since the extent of our salsa was the basic step, a basic turn, and the cross-body lead (basically, rotating to face another direction, done in a sexy fashion)...well, we were a bit lost. I’m a pretty good follower, especially once I have a vague idea of what I’m supposed to be doing, so I kinda faked my way through some of it with some of the other guys there…but my poor guy friend was lost. We ended up just picking a couple of the cool moves from the routine and drilling them, so we learned them but not the routine, and then just dancing with what we knew. One of the Latin guys who was sitting near where we were dancing got up to help us a few times, then applauded us when we didn’t suck as badly. He was friendly. Turns out he grew up like a town away from where my friend grew up in Florida, so they bonded over soccer memories or something like that.
Anyways, I can salsa. I’m not nearly as good as any of the other women there were, or as anyone for whom salsa and Latin dancing are a part of their culture, but I can hold my own and dance without a guy and not feel totally stupid, and I can follow random stuff that guys pull pretty well.
So I feel I can say that I CAN salsa, cha cha, and swing well. Great. Now I just need to get the standard dances down, and I’ll be good.