||[Jan. 15th, 2016|12:32 am]
So, I finally got around to dancing.|
I was all set this morning. I wasn't yesterday morning. I wonder if I just decide what I'm doing in the morning and justify it later?
Anyway, the second half of the work day was turning to shit in my hands (although lunch with folks was great), and I felt my mood dropping. But, hey, people were out in a pub, so I chugged a red bull (I don't know if it really did anything) and hung out in the bar, ordering some food, and drinking one pint; partially because I didn't want to be drunk for the dance lesson (I was planning on zero), and partially because nobody else was drinking at that point. BUT with work, I needed the one (and it was with food).
Decent food, decent booze, a warm pub, and friends cheered me right the hell up. And I left in time to get there.
When I got near, I nearly didn't go in. I have no idea why. But eventually, I wandered in.
Turns out that even though the class was at 8:30, the first class was running over, so I had to go up to the pub, get myself a soft drink and wait for half an hour. Once the warmth got back into my body, I was nervous, but knew I was going to go. Once I tottered down again, I found that this particular class was free (it was introductory), and that if I wanted to book this week, I could get a 50% discount. (I went back to that desk later, but nobody was there, so I'm not sure what to do)
So, I dropped my stuff at the cloak room, and then they had a warm-up. We were directed to move, shake and generally just feel the rhythm of the music. I was far less nervous warming up than I expected to be. Really. Normally, I'm self-conscious, and even more self-conscious. But I just looked at the situation and thought, "This is to get the blood flowing, and our bodies used to movement. It doesn't matter if I screw up, so long as I'm moving."
Then we got the introduction to Bachata, explaining that there were three flavours: Traditional, Sensual and Fusion (a mix of the two, taught in that night's class). We learned the basic steps, then turns (which are still a mystery to me), and some other moves. The teachers were friendly and funny. They split us into two camps, men and women.
Sometimes I just go for the easy life, so I stood on the men's side. We partnered up and moved into hold as we tried the individual moves. After one or two attempts, we'd then switch partners.
The first one or two times, I was looking down at my feet, but after a while I realised that the eye contact was important. So I tried making eye contact. I thought I might have a problem smiling (I generally do any time I'm consciously smiling), but this time it just came naturally. I said, Hi when I got a new partner. We tried to do our thing, and then when it was time to move on, I thanked her.
As time went on, I tried to concentrate more on the energy and spirit of the dance than the mechanics of it (although, I know I messed up as much as any other beginner, but that's somewhat the point of being a beginner, isn't it?)
Some people I clicked with, and we were on the same wavelength. Some led more than others, some were concentrating on the mechanics of it all, some were watching their feet, sometimes we missed the start and were desperately trying to catch up. And I really enjoyed dancing with all of them. There was one partner in particular, and she was intense. She made and kept eye contact, and had her own smile. Her smile had a hint of mischief, and the feeling that she was looking for energy rather than mechanics, and she seemed very in control. She was a ball of interesting energy. I did my best to meet that. I think my best dance was with her.
At the end, the instructors encouraged us to stay for the club, as it's a great way to cement what you've learned. I didn't. I wanted to catch the people who might take my money.
Then I bought a water and flaked out to get my bus (by then, it was a good 2 hours after the class was meant to start).
I left with a weaker, short-lived version of a buzz I associate with... um... afterglow. I felt a little light-headed but good. The cold didn't bother me as much.
I think I got the right dance, and the right night. I'm looking forward to going back.