Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sunny's Salsa Saga - The Beginning

So I finally decided to write about Salsa. Let's start with why I didn't want to write about it at first and why I decided to write now.

Why not?
- Because when I started to learn Salsa I didn't think I had much to say.
- Then it took over all my spare time so I didn't have any time to write about it.
- Then I found that I had way too much to say about it and didn't have that much time.
- I didn't think I was qualified to write about Salsa, especially things that would sound like advice or teaching.

Why now?
- I just gotta!
- There is so much to say about it that I can't keep it in and can't say it all to all my friends for fear of boring them.
- I am really passionate about Salsa.
- All the advice and teaching stuff is just my experience and opinions based on my learning journey. If I can make that clear to my audience and not pretend to know more than do I will be fine.
- I have a lot to share and who knows some of it might even be useful to somebody somewhere.

What next?
There's way more to say than can be done in one post so this will be an ongoing series on my blog.
I would absolutely love to hear from my readers about what I write. Any comments, criticisms and above all their own experiences on this topic would be very welcome.
I am hoping that salsa people will comment and share their thoughts.
In this current post I will only give the background of Salsa in my life.

So we start...
I first started learning Salsa about 5-6 years ago. Why did I start? There's a story.

Once in a while I used to go to clubs with friends. Like normal nightclubs. And even though I could not dance to save my life, I still used to get on the dance floor and "dance". No, alcohol was not involved, I just get more courageous when I am with friends and the music is good.

Every time I went to a club, there would be one brief period, like maybe a few minutes when I would be a dancing and I would be totally in the zone. At that moment I connected so well to the music that I disconnected from my surroundings. Even at that moment, I wasn't doing any amazing "take back the streets" steps, in fact I don't even know what steps I did, if any. But that few minutes period was worth the whole effort of going out...call it Nirvana, meditation, happiness, what you will.

After a while I started thinking about how I could extend that period to more than a few minutes and achieve it more frequently. I don't really like going to clubs, so when I started looking for dance lessons I didn't look for that kind of dance. Salsa was very popular at that time in the UK and a friend of mine told me about this place on Charing Cross Rd. where you can have an intense one-day class in Salsa. Kind of like a crash course. A good place to start.

One Google search told me what there was to know about Salsa Rapido at Bar Salsa in London. I took the first 5-hour long beginners class and loved it! After paying for the class once, it was free to repeat during the next two months and I did it a few times.

Then I found a 10-week Salsa course with City Academy with a weekly class. After the intense-information-overload type class with Salsa Rapido the one-hour a week class that taught one or two moves every week seemed too slow even though the teacher was really great. I did meet several good people in that group though and it was then that I created a Meetup group called "City Academy Salsa" to connect with my classmates and other people who wanted to go out and practice together. The group still exists even though I dropped out of the course after 6 weeks. I made it open to join by anyone so it has more than 150 members today.

But, my Salsa journey did not continue that smoothly. After dropping out of City Academy I dropped out of Salsa. Honestly, I don't remember what changed. But I work as an IT contractor and move around a lot. So something like that happened and my Salsa stopped. I never forgot it though and wanted to get back to it. Recently when I moved again and it seemed like I would stay in one place for at least 6 months this time, the first social thing I sought out was Salsa.

Fortunately there was a local class every Wednesday and it was close enough for me to walk to it. So my Salsa journey started again, and this time for realsies.

More in the next post...

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