Salsa!!! I was in love with the word even before I came in contact with the dance form and then I wished I were contended knowing the dictionary meaning of it .
But when you are young, you tend to think of yourself as Hercules’s sibling and it was in one of those foolish moments, I decided to shod my dancing shoes and master the dance.
And thus began a rocky journey ….
It was the first day of lessons and about a dozen of us wannabe dancers assembled at the stroke of 18.00 hrs in the dance studio in eager anticipation of the next course of actions. What came next was something we were not prepared for. The side door suddenly flew open and a ball the size of a dinosaur’s egg came rolling in towards us. It was only when the ball stopped right in front of me, I realized that the ‘ball’ had tiny eyes peering out of it, limbs attached to it and ahem a bust. And then suddenly to the alarm of us all it started speaking in a shrill high pitched voice,” Good evening, class. My name is Bubble and I am your salsa teacher and I am going to make Spanish Dancers out of you brutes”
Looking at her I thought she would make a better Spanish omelet of herself. But to do justice to the lady, I must confess the name suited her to the T and she was a great dancer as I later came to know.
Anyways with that little greeting, Bubbly set about the phenomenal task of teaching us salsa. Of course, it was then I realized that shaving a lion with a rusty razor would have been less intimidating than learning those complicated moves.
But God’s don’t give up and definitely not this demi goddess. After a while things were pretty okay, except for a little problem. I JUST COULDN’T DANCE WITH A PARTNER! and considering salsa is essentially a couple dance I was in deep trouble. I would either try leading the dance, which is the job of the male partner (whatever happened to women’s liberation) or not respond to his lead. Either ways it would frustrate my partner to no end and soon no body wanted to dance with me …. Booooohooooooooo sob sob ….
And then came the day when it rained....
It was a gloomy rainy Saturday and Carrot (that’s actually my red haired friend Ashvin) dropped me to class and that’s when I saw HIM .. Him was this tall, dark and needless to say attractive Greek God with a smile which could light up a thousand cities. He was standing at the entrance of the studio and casually glanced in our direction before resting his eyes on Bubbly who was bouncing with joy at having to teach this Adonis. Well, he was an amazing dancer and maybe the good Lord was smiling on me, but he took the mantle of being my unofficial teacher. When Bubbly gave up on me, he would patiently take me through the steps. And he would also ask me out for ice-cream after class, which made all the other girls green with envy. We-el, I always knew I had the ahem.. X factor, except for the fact that it never surfaced all these years, but then better late than never they say .
More of such idyllic ecstatic days passed and I was more and more convinced that he had totally fallen for me and I waited for a verbal confirmation from him. And then the D-Day arrived. It was the last class of our beginner’s course and just before class he came rather breathless and urgently asked me to wait for him after class in the parking lot . Boy did that thrill me to the bits and the rest of the class passed as if a dream.
True to his words, I saw him waiting in the parking lot looking devastatingly handsome and as nervous as a newly wed bride ( heh heh I love that sentence)
As I joined him there, he smiled nervously and muttered incoherently about the weather in general before suddenly blurting out “Do you believe in love at first sight?” Wow Did I?! I must be better than I thought, love at first sight huh? I smiled smugly at the thought . Nodding my head in agreement I waited for him to proceed . “Well, then you’ll know what I mean , my life has not been the same since that rainy day !!” Cleopatra, that’s what I was, I told my self with conceit. I nodded in complete agreement. “ I knew you would understand “, He enthused” After all there is something about red hair you know ! “ Red Hair ??!! Now, wait a minute what red hair was he talking about? Was he color blind or something ? I looked at him uncertainly . “ Your friend , of course !” he spluttered, “The one who was with you that rainy day . I can’t tell you how much he’s been on my mind. I was wondering if you could introduce him to me? “
Good Lord !! This must be a nightmare !! I stared at him in dumb amazement. My dark handsome prince – a ‘fairy‘ ! And I thought it was me and my charm!! Cleo must be laughing in her grave or pyramid whatever it was….
That was the end of Salsa classes for me. And Ashvin just couldn’t understand the alternating angry glances and puzzled looks I gave him for weeks.
But revisiting the experience, I realized it was not such a bad deal after all. At least I got to learn the dance, something that was a near impossible thing earlier. Well, something good did turn out of it, romance or no romance.
I am now considering taking piano lessons, I wonder if Ashvin will be free to drop me ….
Copyright (c) Neha Shinde