Friday, April 29, 2005

i WILL be the next salsa queen (or something like that)

last saturday after the femtech meeting, nikki a. and i headed over to the local coffeehouse to chat. we settled in for our conversation and ten minutes later was interrupted by a sista who told us they were about to start a free salsa class and we had to move.

i TOTALLY believe in the idea that situations present themselves to a person for a reason, so i took this as a sign that i needed to seriously pursue my interest in salsa dancing. we decided to stay for the class. at first i thought i was gonna be surrounded by a bunch of svelte folk who danced like they had wings on their feet, so i was a little intimidated. once the class filled up and i took a look around, i realized i was looking at folks who looked just like me: black and a little hesitant. these were regular folks, not professional dancers in this class. thank goodness, cuz the last thing i needed was someone sueing me cuz i stepped on a foot and broke a couple of toes.

it started off aiight. the teacher threw a few moves our way and nikki a. and i looked at each other like "yeah, this is the same stuff jessica taught us in arizona". at first we looked like gifted dancers cuz we "caught on" so quickly. i didn't have the heart to tell the teacher we weren't complete novices, so i just silently went through the motions until we got to a move i didn't already know.

once we got to the part where we had partners, things got both interesting and painful. the interesting part was trying to locate a partner who i felt comfortable with. the painful part was having to stare into the brotha's eyes for a minute straight once i found him. i look him straight in the eye and don't let up. meanwhile, the brotha is nervous, looking at me for a couple of seconds and then looking away...ANYWHERE but into my eyes. i could tell he was nervous cuz he even started sweating a little. i smiled in an attempt to calm him down, but he simply wasn't having it. he just kept standing there, sweating, his eyes darting to various parts of the room.

i should have known i had picked the wrong partner.

when it came time to twirl me around, this cat yanked my arm and damn near tore the thing from the socket. it went like this...he grabbed my hand, yanked my arm up, then twirled me around. by the time the twirl was over, i realized only the strength of the tendons in my arm prevented me from being a new one-armed salsa dancer. he looked at me sheepishly like steve urkel right before he says "did i do that?"...

i just smiled weakly and told him he was a bit forceful but he'll get the move down before the class was over. we tried it a couple of more times, each time my arm was yanked a little less painfully as he got more comfortable with me. then we switched partners and i breathed a sigh of relief.

the next partner was this shorty. he was cute and it wa obvious a brotha had skills cuz this was his very first class and yet he had the moves down cold. i'm standing in front of him, looking down at him (yeah, he was THAT short), and i couldn't help but think back to this brotha i used to date when i was at famu. the famu brotha was short just like this cat, and i dated him after telling myself for a month that he was too short for me. it didn't work out between us, but i can't hate on the kid...he had the goods when it came to um, extracurricular activities.

so anyway, back to the shorty in front of me in the salsa class. he's staring me up and i'm staring him down and then the music starts. we're both moving in sync and it's obvious we're on the same wavelength. he takes hold of my hand and then softly lifts it above my head before twirling me around. shit, i didn't even realize i had been twirled until after i was facing him again. he was that smooth with it. brotha moved like the rays of the don't even see them moving and the shadow becoming longer. all you know is that you suddenly have sunlight in your room so you stand in front of your bedroom window with your eyes closed, basking in the glow of it. it's not until you open your eyes minutes later that you realize the sunlight has moved on another window.

he's definitely gonna be a great salsa dancer if he keeps coming to the classes...

my next partner was a girl. she tried really hard, but the thing about salsa is letting the BROTHA lead, so her twirling me around went against the nature of the entire dance. on to the next partner...

who turned out to be the most critical and negative one in the bunch.

it was obvious the cat had taken a couple of classes before this one. i guess he was in the "i'm the salsa king mode", cuz every time i moved he had something negative to say about it, like i was one of his friggin subjects or something. i wanted to twirl so my foot landed in his ass, but that's not a legit salsa move so instead i just let him twirl me while i silently cut him to shreds in my mind.

gotta run, but i'll be back to tell the rest of the story...