Saw a video of myself social dancing salsa for the first time this weekend. My friend recorded a good minute of me and my other friend dancing without me knowing. The second it started, I wanted to cringe.
I still bounce.
I thought I’d finally gotten rid of it, but it’s still there.
I might as well be running — that’s what my dancing looks like here.
Salsa is supposed to look like you’re walking, but I still have a jog-step. Jogging is my natural gait, and it totally works its way into my dancing. I can’t make salsa look like anything more than a partnered aerobic workout. I still look like I am being flung around rather than led.
To be fair, I remember feeling clunkier than usual when I was dancing that day. I was dancing to fairly fast music on rain-dampened Granville Street pavement, in grippy-soled new sneakers, which made me lift my feet more. Also, I always feel like I am being flung around when I dance with people who use very precise, crisp signals and movements and expect you to know what they want you to do, and the person I was dancing with was one of those advanced people.
But I know these details only account for a fraction of my clunkiness. (If you haven’t seen my earlier post about my clunkiness, you can read about it here). I need to concentrate on thinking “walk walk walk.” I also need to get rid of my instinctual urge to add a bounce before my spins.
Taking salsa lessons has certainly improved my dancing in the sense that I am now much better able to follow more advanced leads (last year, I could barely follow the friend I danced with in the video at all), but the stylistics of my dancing itself is still crap.
I wonder if my body will ever wake up and smell the salsa.