Yesterday night was the first time in a while that I’ve had this much fun- and the reason? Latino Night with Spin 360 at L’ appartement Beirut. And what a combination that was! Not only was the music and atmosphere amazing, but the place is utterly charming and I just want to go there and sit and read and have my coffee.
Now, I’ve been taking Salsa classes at Spin 360 in Ashrafieh since November. This all came about because while I was in Malta in September, we went to a Latin pub and they had a Salsa night. I was asked to dance but couldn’t catch up to the steps or the rhythm and felt horrible about it. A couple of months later, when I was feeling particularly down because of work, I decided to sign up for classes. I chose Spin because it was the closest to my house and because their Facebook page looked super inviting.
Flash forward a couple of months and I now know the basics and a bit of styling to get by on. I’m nowhere near good but I can manage to get through a song.
But because of that, I had been very hesitant to go to the many Salsa nights they throw around the country. I can’t begin to tell you how my excuses I used to get out of going to Nova on Friday: I’m tired, I’m sleepy, I don’t want to go alone, my fiance doesn’t dance, it’s too late, etc…
Until I was told that our very own dance school was holding their own Latin night just a couple of steps away from the studio. I suddenly felt excited to go even though it was a Wednesday and at 9 PM- too late for me to be out normally. But I said, hey, why not, time to do something new for a change.
So we went. My first impression? Wow these people are good! I’m definitely going to embarrass myself here!
Everyone seemed to know the steps to everything: Tango, Cha-cha, Meringue, Batchata, Salsa, Rumba, even the Jive! I only knew how to identify which songs are which based on the melody. But I was just happy to be in a zone where things seemed familiar and far away from the ugliness of work. It had been a really tough week.
My first attempt to dance came early. Elie from Spin asked me to dance a Meringue with him to a Pitbull song. I knew the song but not the steps but Elie is such an awesome teacher and partner so I didn’t really feel like I was messing up. He spun me around a couple of times that I’m still dizzy till now. But I came out of it with a huge smile on my face!
Then a couple of songs later, and after taking in everything that was going on, a complete stranger came up and asked Aline, a Salsa classmate of mine, and myself if we were Salsa dancers. No hesitation whatsoever, I said yes! But I warned him I was a beginner and he would have to watch out.
He didn’t and it didn’t go well. I felt like everything I had been learning did not really apply. I was pleased with myself though that I got the courage to say yes for the very first time and give it a shot with a stranger. Lately, I have been struggling to find my courage with many things so I’m glad to know it’s hiding somewhere.
After sitting down for quite some time and watching people smoothly navigate their way through the different styles, Elie asked me to dance once again, this time to a Salsa.
I took a deep breath and gave it my best! My hair kept getting in the way but I didn’t mind it. I didn’t count steps but it didn’t matter. I felt dizzy at some points but I persisted. The more I spun around and stepped, the happier I felt- and I didn’t want the feeling to go away. I ended the dance by jokingly telling Elie that the instructors at Spin were doing a good job and that he should keep them!
The only downsides were that I didn’t get to dance as much as I wanted.
Everyone seemed partnered up and I guess the fact that I was there with my fiance, who doesn’t dance, hurt my chances at having a stranger come up and approach me (at least that’s what Ahmad said).
Yet, this was only my first time and I’m sure that I’ll be going to these things more often. These particular Latino nights are held every last Wednesday of the month so if you’re interested, join us! Even if you come just to watch, the dancing is beyond impressive and will leave you entertained!
So the moral of the story? If you feel like doing something, just go for it. Don’t feel intimidated by other people and their skills. Practice to become better than them- and just have fun and listen to the music!
PS: We seem to be suffering from a shortage of males interested in Salsa so if you’re reading and want to give it a shot, I recommend you try the classes at Spin 360 on Fridays. You won’t regret it.