Bailar que bailar...

Trip Start Oct 05, 2006
Trip End Dec 06, 2006

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Sunday, October 22, 2006

ay ay ay...

How I love Salsa! I donīt mean the chilli sauce, although thatīs nice too! Of course, in between the spanish classes, scary bus rides in chicken buses (so named because they are a) often carrying chickens, and b) passengers are crammed in like battery hens), and helping out on a youth project, I am managing to squeeze in the odd hour or several of Salsa dance class.

Salsa is an incredible dance, or rather style of dance. It's energetic, yet smooth (ha, sometimes), it's fun, yet serious, and the music is a treasure trove of classics and funky new stuff. It's incredible what songs can be adapted and turned into a salsa music, given the right drum beat and the necessary twiddly bits on the trumpet and piano. Here's two examples of mainstream songs that I have found myself salsa-ing to in recent weeks: Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive', yes, that 70s gay disco classic had a complete makeover by the Cuban (?) Salsa diva, Celia Cruz, (spanish title is Sobrevivir) and it's now a top salsa hit with a rather strange beat...the other one which was even more strange was the softly lilting ballad 'yesterday' by the beatles. This was just hilarious, firstly as it was started in english with a heavy spanish accent, then in the 'break' it kicked off and went full on latin. What artistic license!

Thereīs a stage that many people reach when learning to dance Salsa, that shows them as serious Salsa students. When I first encountered this phenomenon, I chuckled, in fact I thought it was hilarious. Whatīs the gaff, I hear you cry? Well, itīs all about shoes. *Take a look at the old dancing shoes vs proper dancing shoes in the attached photos...* (The first two files are photos, and the second two are media files - yes, actual videos of me dancing salsa here in Guatemala! Wow, how cool is technology!! Recommended that you only attempt to play these if you have a really, really good broadband connection!)

Yes, when I first started Salsa-ing, I thought that it was fine to rock up to class in hiking boots, flip flops, trainers etc and try to float across the floor as elegantly as Torvill and Dean sans ice. I chuckled to myself at the other students hauling bags to class, ībooks in there? did you come straight from spanish class?ī i innocently asked one time. Oh no. This is a bag of dancing shoes!!!! aargh!

After a while of clunking around (ok, merely days), I decided that I too needed to embrace the girls shoes brigade and dance like a girl, rather than the long-haired oaf from Agadoo, and lo and behold on this trip....I have brought my dancing shoes halfway across the world. Yes, I may skimp on how many pairs of socks to bring, but there was no way I was leaving the dancing shoes behind! Now, stop rolling around on the floor with laughter. Is it that hard to believe, really?

Hasta pronto!

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