Salsa Dancing Is Easy, Fun And Fitness Rolled Into One


I’ve had “take a dance class” on my list of things to do for years now. When I was younger I took jazz and ballet. Not seriously mind you. My Aunt claimed we were related to the great prima ballerina Anna Pavlova but if we are she didn’t hand down any dance genes to me. But I’m not uncoordinated. I’m just not a natural. Maybe Dancing With The Stars has inspired me.

I found a salsa class for beginners through Meet Up. It’s was $15 so what did I have to lose? I signed up and went.

The class took place in one the many rehearsal places in Manhattan. They are cramped and the halls are filled with wannabe dancers and singers and actors all filled with hopes and dreams. I was just looking to get through class, have some fun and break out of my rut.

It took me a while to find the classroom so I walked in late and the class of three people. LOL! Yes, 3 people and they had already learned the first set of moves–the basic salsa step. I put my things in the corner and started right in. This was easy, as I had done this step in an exercise class before.

I could have been the mom of everyone in the class. They were all so young. Two men and a Japanese woman who I found out later was taking her steps back to Japan the next day. The guys were outwardly nervous and shy. Probably learning to dance to pick up chicks. Hahahahaha! But I had to give them credit for trying. And we were certainly a mixed group and that’s one of the things I love about New York. Here no one cares how old you are, where you come from or what you look like. It truly is a melting pot.

Class proceeded at a fast pace. We learned the basic step, the Cuban, Susie Q’s and even got to try dancing with a partner. The partner dancing really through the guys for a loop and for once I was happy to be female. Partner dancing as a guy means the basic step you just learned has to done backwards so as not to step on the partner’s feet. Not sure I could do that.

If you don’t want to pay for a class, there are plenty of YouTube videos like the one below from Howcast.

The teacher also challenged us to do the steps at different speeds and to dance whatever we each individually wanted to dance. That truly put another level of difficulty to the steps. It wasn’t a herd dance then. It was free styling like you might “find at a club” stated the instructor. I laughed to myself. “Me at a club?” I know Meet Up has dance events for boomers so I will have to try that out and see if I still remember the moves.

In the end, I was sweaty and smiling. I was very glad I went and I’ll do it again sometime but with different shoes.

Best part of this dance experiment was I tried something different. And for over 50 knees it was gentle.

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