Week 45: Cuban Salsa Dancing

Back to my two left feet we go. Not happy that I’d given dancing a good enough crack, the finance team at work urged me to go Cuban Salsa dancing on the hope they could save my dancing hopes.

I have to say, what great fun this was. I was surprised at just how many people turned up. At a guess, around 50 people turned up, all around my age?! It was quite unbelievable.

What wasn’t unbelievable was just how bad I am at dancing. We started off with a big warm up where we would move side to side to a beat, with the occasional spin, jazz hands, etc. At this point I thought, I can dance! I was giving it a bit of Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Belair at this point. This the kind of dancing, I normally do in the mirror.

Then we split into groups based on Salsa dancing experience. I went in the beginners group, where I got the timely reminder. I CANNOT DANCE. I don’t know what it is, but I just have no dancing ability what so ever. However, the environment being so relaxed and the music made this quite fun. Messing up became hilarious.

Cuban Salsa Dancing

Sofia our teacher was very patient. The key was keeping the steps in threes… One, two, three. (Miss out four for some reason).. five, six, seven. One, two, three. Five, six, seven. One, two, three. Five, six, seven. Then we’d learn all sorts of moves, whilst changing partners every now and again.

As there was one more male in the group, there would be a point where I would be dancing with the air pretending my partner was there. Good comedy value at least. I probably messed up with every partner.. but by the end of it, dare I say it, I was getting the hang of it.

I’d look around the room at the more advanced groups and some of the stuff they were doing was unbelievable. Who knows, maybe I could actually one day get rid of my two left feet!


Week 23: Charleston Dancing

The more normal side of my life involves full time work. It was during work, where I was challenged to do this week’s challenge. I booked Charleston Dancers, Savoy Kicks, for some pre-match entertainment before a T20 match on Sunday afternoon. It was then, my boss and Chief Executive said “There’s a comfort zone challenge for you”. Bugger, I though in my mind, I’ve got to do it. You can see the Savoy Kicks in the video below.

As current world champion of worst dancer on the planet, needless to say, this kind of activity is outside my comfort zone. I can make any dance move look awkward.

I agreed to come to the hour beginners class, hosted by Elena, who promised me she could teach people of all abilities. She needed to be a good teacher and she was.

We started by learning the basic Charleston steps and then proceeded to break the ice by Charleston-ing around the room introducing ourselves to each other. I was one of two men at the class, with the other 15 people being women.

I have to say, I found it extremely awkward to begin with. Running across the room doing extravagant, camp dance moves, is not my cup of tea. I never got comfortable with the camp dance moves if I’m honest, I just seemed to stop caring so much by the end of the session. Let’s be honest, I don’t have much face to save anymore.

We were taught a quick routine, part of which, was a move called ‘the scarecrow’. I thought to myself at the time, I might call all my dance moves the scarecrow, as they are brilliant for scaring birds.

The Scarecrow
The Scarecrow

By the end of this, I just started laughing at myself, as I often do with these challenges now. How can I be so bad at dancing? I mean, I’m actually trying hard to be in time, and still mess it up!

This was right up there with the most uncomfortable of all my challenges but Elena and everyone at the class were very accommodating and friendly, and my partner even said she was gutted I wouldn’t be there next week! She’ll probably miss laughing at me…

The challenge is still out there for someone to be able to teach me to dance!