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. 😛