Monthly Archives: July 2012

Fearless Free Spins

There’s nothing like conquering a debilitating fear to make you feel fan-freaking-tastic!

i'm free!

It feels great to have one less fear weighing me down!

I was tell-the-whole-world happy today. I literally told five of my friends at my dance studio how excited I was to have finally done a free spin properly in my Salsa Level 2 class. Basically, I was able to spin on the spot without taking extra steps. This is my third time taking the class (second time re-taking it), so you’d think I’d have had the move down perfectly by now, but I actually only just started doing proper free spins this month in either my Salsa Level 4 or 5 class.
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Filed under Dance Progess, Salsa Dancing

I love salsa!

It finally happened: I now love salsa. πŸ™‚

Sunday Afternoon Salsa 2011

Me a year ago, when I used to love bachata more than salsa.

Last year, I posted this photo of me taken at Sunday Afternoon Salsa in Robson Square on my Facebook wall with the caption “I love (bachata more than) salsa." Back then, my salsa dancing consisted entirely of following, so I found that salsa was actually getting to be a bit boring.

This weekend, salsa for the first time displaced all other dances as my favourite dance (beating out rueda, zouk, and European bachata!) because I now know enough moves to make it interesting.
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Something about Styling

Finger-Egg

Artistic interpretation of a Finger-Egg πŸ˜›

There’s something about salsa styling that is simply satisfying.

Out of the many, many moves taught in my salsa lessons, the ladies styling bits are the ones I most enjoy learning — even when they usually feel the most complex and confusing.

Learning how to style is like unlocking a whole other side to salsa. I believe it has the potential to completely change how I see and understand salsa dancing.
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Why I need a boyfriend.

I need a boyfriend. And not just any boyfriend — one who is ridiculously good at dancing and leading.

Why?

So I can get someone to partner with me during my dance classes. You see, I can’t take Salsa Level 6 without a partner. πŸ˜›

salsa parthers clipart

I need a guy who can make me dance like this.

Now, you are probably thinking one of two things:
1) “That is one stupid reason for wanting a boyfriend!” or
2) “Don’t you mean you need a dance partner?”
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Permission granted.

Whew — I can breathe again!

coffee smile

I’m back to feelin’ alright. πŸ™‚

Just got the okay from my dance teacher to take Salsa Level 5 concurrently with Level 4. It’s not because I’m amazing or anything, but because Level 5 focuses mainly on harder steps for the leads. If I can find someone willing to take Level 6 with me as my partner, then I can take that too.

So my dilemma is solved! πŸ™‚ This is good, because, today, another girl from last term’s Level 2 class jumped up to Level 4, and my teacher didn’t even notice. It sucks because we are already super-short on leads. More followers = less practice time. :/

Salsa Level 4 is already my favourite salsa level so far, because this is where the ladies finally get to add lots of styling to their basic moves. This whole time, I have only ever been able to add the two styling moves we learned in Level 3 to my social dancing. To be able to learn how to incorporate other kinds of styling into my dance moves is super-cool.

Grupo America Performance

Snazzy styling from the girls of Grupo America (my dance studio’s professional dance group).

Diego says that what separates a good dancer from a great one is the ability to add one’s own style to the dance, and I wholly agree. One of my dance goals is to develop my own dance style. So far, all my dancing consists purely of following my lead. I can barely remember to throw in the two styling moves I do know, so I’ve got a long way to go.

Here’s hoping I get a lot out of Level 4.

I really need to up my game, because apparently, some people think I am part of my dance studio’professional dance group, Grupo America. :O

I had a stranger during an Latin event I attended last week come up to me and say, “You’re one of Diego’s dancers, aren’t you?”

At first I thought he meant “dance student” until he mentioned watching my belly dancing performance — the one that went horribly wrong in so many ways because of so many last minute changes. :/

I straightened out his misconception by explaining how I was just a student.

I hope there aren’t others like him out there, because that can’t be good for the group or me. I don’t need that kind of pressure, and they don’t need people thinking their dance group is full of clunky dancers like me.

Upping game… now!

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Cursed Foot

My left foot is cursed.

How else does it keep on suffering foot-deforming injuries?!

This time, it got a scratch — one that turned out to be a pretty nasty gash.

dance injury

Who the heck gets hurt while social ballroom dancing? ME. :/


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Dancing on Eggshells

Walking on eggshells

I’m going to be like this for the next two months. :/

I am the queen of awkward situations.

Today, I put myself in not one, but two of them.

If you read yesterday’s post, you know just how frustrated I was about not being able to take my dance studio‘s Salsa Level 4 class concurrently with Salsa Level 3 last term. I knew that I would just get angry all over again if I showed up to this Saturday’s Level 4 class and found it full of Level 3 girls, so I determined that the only way I could stay sane was to try doing the Level 5 class today.

I came close to psyching myself out about a million times before the class started. Before and during the Zumba class right before the lesson, I asked fellow students if I should go through with it, and they encouraged me to try. My mind made a list of all the things I haven’t yet learned how to do — like syncopations and triple and quadruple spins. The thing I was most afraid of was getting kicked out before I could even get a chance to try.

Just before the salsa class started, I asked a friend to triple spin me to see if I could do it. I was relieved when I managed to get through a few, though they were a bit wobbly.

Because I had a whole term’s worth of foundational moves missing from my repertoire, I basically held my breath during the entire class, praying that nothing too complicated would get thrown at me.

I lucked out because today’s moves were based on ones from Salsa Levels 2 and 3, and I was able to follow all of them without too much trouble.

I only planned to stay for Level 5, but the first Level 6 move looked pretty doable, so I decided to give Level 6 a shot as well. I felt doubly tense in this class, because more than half the people in it are repeating the class for a second, third, fourth, or fifth time, meaning that, for most people, the moves being taught are for review, and are just a chance for them to perfect what they already know.

I had a voice chanting, “Don’t screw up, don’t screw up” on repeat in my head during the entire two hours of salsa lessons.

The funny thing is, I feel like I am picking up the moves faster in these two classes than I ever have in my other levels, because (almost) all of the leads at these levels actually know what they are doing.

A good lead makes all the difference in my learning curve. I have been told by many leads I have social danced with that I follow very well. And when it comes to more complex moves, I can generally figure them out as long as I get the steps broken down for me and the chance to see and correctly follow the move at least once. It’s why I’m anxious that I was not able to take Salsa Level 4 last term and missed out on all the important fundamentals I should know for these levels of classes.

I’m relieved that I survived my first Salsa Level 5 and 6 classes without pissing any of my partners off. I am the first to beat myself up for not getting a move right, and I did not kick myself today.

I will do my darned best to keep up with the classes. Somehow, I will have to teach myself how to syncopate and do advanced level hesitations on my own, while working my way up to more and more spins.

One of the leads who just moved up from Level 4 is doing Levels 5 and 6 together this term, and if a lead can do it, I feel that I should challenge myself with it as well. Learning the lead seems a billion times harder in these levels!

I’m totally guilty of never practicing any of my salsa (or other dance) moves at home, but I am going to put in the time to get these advanced moves down so I don’t hold anyone up.

Think of it as a challenge within a challenge. πŸ˜›

You can do it!

Here’s hoping!

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