Out of all the things I set my mind to, I think learning how to dance has been the most difficult skill to acquire. I've been practicing dancing for almost three weeks now, and I put in four hours a day or more on average.
Why learn salsa in Cali?
Well, from my understanding, Cali is the self-declared salsa capital of the world and its unique sped-up style of dancing is what draws people. There's a bit of history to this, but I won't pretend I know everything just after reading a single blog post on it lol.
Honestly, I didn't plan on learning how to dance here but all the conditions were almost perfect. For starters, almost every single new friend I met here in Cali was extremely interested in learning how to dance, so it was infectious. Secondly, all my friends that visited Cali spent almost six months here, maxing out their visa. And they all loved it. For me, that means a lot.
Thirdly and most importantly, I've met some amazing women while I was hosting travelers at home, and also while traveling. They all seemed to love dancing and even tried to teach me. It was so hard though, since they aren't instructors and instructors know how to teach the steps of a *lead and of a follow.
A lead is the person that is in charge of the dance footsteps and is normally the guy.
The follow does exactly as the title says, they follow and listen to all the subtle cues to know where to step and what to do next.
Both roles are quite difficult, but holy shit does it look beautiful when a couple with chemistry dances!
So the real reason I want to learn to dance is to connect with my dance partner on a very deep level. Imagine speaking to someone in a language only you two can speak?. That's fking special, man.
Somehow, in the end, it always ends up being about human connection for me. I guess that's just what I value the most right now.
If you've never done any dancing before like me, you'll feel like you have two left wooden legs haha. And that's exactly what happened to me. My movement looked like my entire body was a tree stump lol. Okay, that's enough...
So dancing is especially hard for me because I just hadn't worked that part of my brain that connects creativity with my body. What made things even worse is that I'm not exactly musically literate nor did I ever listen to single salsa song prior to taking classes 😅
And believe me, it is very important to like the music you're dancing to be able to flow, freestyle and look natural. In another post, I might probably write a long guide on how to approach learning this new skill since I found the best dance schools in Cali so far and have been progressing surprisingly well.
Dancing was also very challenging because I prefer learning theory before getting into the practical part. And with dancing, you need to do both, simultaneously. Also, being technically inclined isn't very helping for dancing because thinking too much does not help in finding flow and rhythm.
I think this really does depend on how well I progress in the next couple of weeks. So far, I feel pretty good with my progress, but I could do way better. My goal is to be good enough to do social dancing which is dancing at clubs/parties/social gatherings. And since I'm naturally a technically-driven person, I would love to teach salsa dance in the future after I surpass that little threshold where I learn the fundamentals very well and can finally flow with the music and dance naturally.
And it goes without mentioning, but I would love to meet beautiful women and share an electrifying connection on the dance floor ;)