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My Salsa lesson: Tribute

I’ve just received my tax return, and so maybe that’s why I’ve been using my extra money for Latin American experiences.

In 20 minutes I’m leaving the house for a beginner’s salsa lesson, and I’m nervous. Since I woke up this morning I’ve been anxious about it. I guess that’s why I hate making plans. I think about the next appointment even if it’s six hours away.

The lesson will probably be great, but I pre-booked it last night (it was $35 which is a lot for an hour group lesson) because I knew that I’d talk myself out of going. Now, I won’t talk myself out of doing it.

I guess I hate learning when other people are involved. I love learning on my own, at my own pace.

As soon as my last pay arrived into my bank account, I ordered a Lonely Planet guide for Chile. I’d like to go next year. Most nights I write in my journal something different I learned about Chile.

During the week I decided to do a ‘swear jar’ and would put in a dollar for every time I mentioned Peru in the office. I mentioned it a lot, but then my colleagues said I should put in money if I hinted at it, or talked about anything remotely Latin American, or talk about Spanish, or speak in Spanish.

It became oppressive to myself and I decided a few days into it that I should stop. Peru and South America were experiences I had for 18 months, and became such a big part of me that my mindset, my passion, the way I see things, has changed. I’m more heartened and enthusiastic because I have this passion.

I chose this class because I wanted to get out the house, and I looked up a meet-up group. This was their next activity and I thought ‘perfect!’ I always wanted to learn Salsa in Peru but I knew I needed to learn Spanish first.

And I never learned Spanish. So I never learned la salsa.

Right now there’s a Latin dance party happening. The beautiful latina lesson coordinator invited me after my lesson. But I’ve decided not to go.

The lesson was good but my rhythm was off straight away. But I learned by swapping with partners. It was amazing what body language from each person could tell me, and about myself. I froze with the women around my age, but relaxed with the older women, who seemed to enjoy the moment a lot more.

“If you smile and just move you can get away with anything,” one of the women said by the end.

There are free two hour workshops on Sunday evenings. I’ll continue to go to them.

The lesson ran 10 minutes over, and to be honest, I was ready to go. I went into the car feeling dehydrated, foggy in the head, and I knew that I came out feeling anxious. I wasn’t ready for a dance party so soon.

It is possible that my journey right now is to discover my self-worth, without my job, my pay check, my clothes, or the opinions of women.

If so, I feel that to earn confidence requires having one true thing I can enjoy, without worrying about how good I am or how I appear to others. That’s the trouble with dancing. Its appearance based, and to not feel the rhythm or know the steps is to feel foolish.

Categories: bucket list journal

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Chris B.

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