I just returned home from a quick trip to Phoenix to attend a family wedding. It was a lovely, relatively small event as weddings go. There was a live band playing lively, danceable music. And the guests got up to… ummm… jump up and down, and swing their arms wildly, unless it was a slow song playing in which case, couples moved together in a parody of old-tyme ballroom dancing with wildly swooping arms mimicking what was supposed to have been a led turn for the woman.
In the meantime, Marina and I were off at the far side of the room near our table, actually dancing. And certainly, we were not feeling as awkward as those on the dance floor looked!
Many people feel embarrassed to dance in public – especially at social occasions like weddings, office parties, and the like – simply because they don’t know how. At the wedding, once the band started up in earnest, many people cleared out, avoiding what is for me the best part of any wedding (it certainly isn’t the yucks attempted by the best man during his toast to the groom).
With holiday party season fast approaching, now is as good a time as any to get in some new moves—especially if this whole dance thing is pretty much new to you. As I shown many times in class, it’s not that hard to match a salsa beat to a lot of contemporary and pop music (my current favourite is Ed Sheehan’s “Shape of You”). With the leading and following skills developed in one dance style, like salsa, it becomes easy to fake a dance to music for which the rhythm does not lend itself to a salsa step.
The other thing to consider is that, as a reasonably skilled dancer – whether it is in the lead or follow role – you’re able to hold your own with a relatively inexperienced partner and give them a really good time. Both of you look great and you help to make the evening for a non-dancer. For instance, I had the opportunity to dance with the mother of the groom and one of his aunts to their sheer delight.
Why am I mentioning this today, in this week’s “Mark’s Lead?” (aside from having just returned). Simply this: If you haven’t been to class for a while and feel you might be rusty, or if you have yet to join a formal class in the vicinity, this might be a great time to come out for some lessons, some brushing up, and some practice as our social calendars will begin to fill up. Be the life of the party! Be the envy of your friends, and impress those special someones whose eyes you might want to attract by building your skill. And most of all, be able to fully enjoy great music and great company when we…
See you on the dance floor!