A couple of weeks ago I went salsa dancing with my best friend. Neither of us had tried it before, but I was getting extra credit for my Spanish class, and it was free, and I had nothing else to do, and you would have to be missing a couple of wires to pass up that combination.
I was a bit nervous about how the evening would go, given it didn't get off to a very good start. We had a little bit of trouble finding the room it was in, even though the class was taking place at my school. In my defense, it was in the P.E. building, which I didn't exactly knew existed. No one takes P.E. in community college, sheesh. Then, of course, there is the ten minutes or so of awkwardly waiting for the class to get started. When ever I'm in a new situation like that, I always use that time to a) scope everyone out to see if there is anyone I know, or if anyone has a flashing neon sign over their head screaming "HELLO I'm A CREEPER" , and b) avoid eye contact. Maybe I'm rude, but there is nothing more uncomfortable than getting stuck in a conversation with someone who won't stop talking just because you happened to look at them the wrong way. Luckily, I wasn't alone, and my best friend Lisa is a good person to have with you in these kinds of situations, if you catch my drift.
The class began with the teachers splitting up the boys and the girls so they could teach each group their parts. Automatically it became clear that some of us would not be getting a partner. The girls outnumbered the boys two to one.Yet, when the time came to find a partner, one man came running up to me and asked if I could dance. Yes, that's right, I was one of the first people picked. By an old man. Apparently, I have some kind of appeal to the older crowd, because I have a history of getting hit on by the 60 and up bracket. But I couldn't turn this guy down, especially considering the lack of gentlemen in the house. So, before I knew it, I was being spun, thrown, and thankfully not dipped by a complete stranger.
That was the trend of the night, actually. Even though the teachers taught us one dance, everyone else insisted on improvising and doing their own thing. One minute you're doing a simple front to back step, the next you are being thrown across the room in a triple spin. I swear, there has to be a loony toons episode about this.
Apparently, my ineptitude got to my dance partner, and after 20 minutes or so he thanked me and moved on. After that, Lisa and I traded back in forth with a very nice guy we had met the same night. He was a pretty good dancer, but I was also about a foot and a half taller than him, making our turns a little... uncomfortable. On top of that, there was one step in the dance that required me to put my arms straight in the air while he turned me, putting his face right at my arm pit level (which by this point was working overtime). All I can say is sorry, random dance partner.
One thing that was interesting about the night is how quickly you have to become comfortable with a complete stranger. Salsa is a pretty close type of dance. You barely learn a persons name, and then boom. Personal bubble gone.
Before the night was over I was asked to dance one more time; by the best looking guy in the room. He was d r e n c h e d in sweat, but by far one of the best dancers there. That was when I thought, "Yeah. I can see why people really Like this".