Today, I saw red. My head was so close to exploding that I actually yelled “ARGGG!” in the middle of my salsa class.
Everyone around me probably just thought that I wasn’t getting a new move and was feeling frustrated about it — but that wasn’t the case at all. I was just plain pissed.
It was the first day of my Salsa Level 4 class. I have been waiting two whole months to take the class. My original plan was to take it concurrently with Salsa Level 3, but I made the mistake of asking if I could take it, and was denied.
I knew/know at least three or four girls at my studio who have taken Level 3 and 4 together and 5 and 6 together — some who have had no salsa lessons outside of the studio, and they were able to do so because they weren’t stupid enough to ask if they could do it.
I felt pretty gypped when I couldn’t take Salsa Level 4 last term, but I was pretty much over it after I realized that the combination of taking Spinning Fundamentals, Ladies’ Styling, Intermediate Cumbia, and Salsa Level 3 was already leaving me too dizzy and nauseated to handle another class on top of that.
Today, there were at least three girls who were Level 3 or lower who stuck around to take the Level 4 class, and the fact that they were able to do so just yanked out the less mature, “It’s not fair!” part of me.
I fully understand the reasoning for why classes should not be skipped. The classes build on one another, so if you don’t know the moves from the last level, you will struggle and you will impede your partner’s progress. I’ve danced with countless leads who don’t know what they’re doing, and know just how frustrating this can be.
But I also know that I can catch up: I managed to get through Intermediate Cumbia without taking any of the Beginner Cumbia lessons, though I struggled through the first three lessons to learn the basics. I have also attended all of the ladies’ styling classes, merengue, and cha cha classes, all of which overlap with the moves used in salsa. I feel like I deserved a chance to at least try. The fact that so many other girls have been able to do what I couldn’t is just… @#!$#%%#$^%
Ultimately, the person I am angry at is myself, which is what makes me so infuriated. Because I knew that no one else would have bothered to ask.
My challenge was to see how much better I could get in a year, and I am taking that deadline seriously. It’s not that I mean to stop dancing when the year is over — it’s just that I really want to see how much I can accomplish with only a year of lessons. Because I was not able to do Levels 3 and 4 in two months, there is no way I can get to Salsa Levels 7 and 8 by the end of the year.
And that makes me sad.
Ultimately, I am mad because I am sad.