Monday, February 11, 2008

Salsa (not the food)

So I went salsa dancing the other night and I realized there are three levels of salsa dancing. There are:

1) the couples who can twist and turn and look like they know what they're doing, and "know" that they know what they're doing. These couples are both impressive and annoying because they're so damn proud of their skills. But they also seem mechanical, as if they're not dancing for enjoyment, but just to show off. Still, part of me is pretty envious of all that wiggling and wagging. They tend to be dressed in very light clothing and comfortable shoes.

2) the couples who don't really know what they're doing, but are smiling and moving so much that they don't care. I like these people - for lack of skill they make up with good attitude and smiles. They tend to wear very stylish clothes, as if the fashion can make up for certain deficiencies. Fooled me.

3) the total beginners who are looking around for tips and also not to look like complete fools. Still, you have to admire their willingness to try something new and be a literal fish out of water. These couples are wearing sweater vests, slacks, and really baggy dresses, almost as if they're at a math convention (not that I would I know) or an academic talk.

I fit between 2) and 3), which is probably generous but you know, my ego likes to do that. The other thing about salsa is that everyone is very friendly. It's as if everyone remember what it was like to start dancing and all the missed steps and initial awkward stances, and tries to be accommodating. It's like being in the Catholic church - all are welcome, which is a nice, though it does tend to devalue things a bit. I suppose salsa would have more of an allure if there was some sacred council preventing the teaching of such moves without rigorous practice and passing of arcane tests (much like martial arts) but that would probably just end up being parodied in a Will Farrell movie. Or should be, at least.

Shaking the booty, and encouraging you to do so as well.

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