Having never been the most coordinated person to begin with, I’ve tended to avoid formal dance instruction. However, when our agency announced that they would subsidize half of the cost of a four-week salsa dancing class, I convinced Mack to join me to overcome my misgivings.
Held in the dim and grungy basement of the Chinese Multicultural Centre, the venue wasn’t meant to hold a dance class, but our upbeat and energetic instructor made the most of it. Alex, originally from Chile, has been teaching salsa full-time for several years through his company E-Town Salsa, and is aiming to buy his own studio. In addition to salsa as dance, he also teaches a cardio salsa class.
Alex was the ideal instructor for a haphazard group of employees, many tired from a long day at work. Acknowledging that most of us (if not all of us) didn’t practice what he taught us from the week prior, he was patient in reviewing the steps in a warm-up format at the beginning of each class. Moreover, he encouraged us to let go of our inhibitions, and did his best to try to get us to “shake it up” (though for the life of me I couldn’t move both my upper and lower body at the same time).
Because the majority of participants registered as individuals and not as pairs, we had to continuously rotate partners. While it was both a challenge and a learning exercise having to adapt every few minutes to a new partner, I would have preferred to have had more time to get used to dancing with Mack. I also think the group would have benefited from seeing an entire dance put together – his fiance (and performing partner) was present only for the first class, and after learning a series of steps in isolation (with the exception of one “sexy combo”), it would have been a nice treat to see professionals string them together.
So while I’m not quite confident enough to dance in public, this was a fun introduction to salsa where I did “shake it up”, heh. If you’re thinking about enrolling, Alex will be providing a taste of his instruction this weekend at La Kantina (10805-105 Ave). Details here.