Archive for July, 2012

There are no Sorries in Salsa Dancing
July 18, 2012

And yet I can’t stop saying it. I’m gliding along, following my Guatemalan instructor, Mauricio, when I accidentally miss a simple step. “Sorry,” I blurt out.

“Don’t say sorry.”

But I’ve never been able to get the cross-spin-turn step (not actual name) down. I couldn’t do it back in Ottawa, and I’m not any better in Quetzaltenango. I can do all the other easy steps: the basic step, turn, open, spin, cha cha cha, throw in some jazz hands, spin-turn (not actual names). Somehow I always mess up the cross-spin-turn. Stressing myself out, I move threw the whole thing too quickly, ending by plopping myself down like an elephant, with flourish, in front of my flawless isntructor.

“Sorry,” I blurt out again, without thinking.

“Don’t say sorry,” Mauricio reminds me while switching out with anther instructor. Erika, my second teacher, will be working on making me sexy.

Lesson 1: After a spin, lift your fingers, slightly pinched, as though you’re holding an egg.

I attempt it, knocking my neighbour in the head.


Lesson 2: Pull arm over head, sweeping hair over face while seductively wiggling hips. With less room for disaster, I manage this one quite well until I catch a glimpse of my gyrating self in the mirror and burst out laughing.

Erika: “Don’t say sorry!”

Just then a beginner American student with two left feet looses his balance  and crashes into me. He returns to his partner seconds later, without a word of apology. I imagine he’s an expert dancer by now.