I went to Cusco to immerse myself in the spanish language. This is hard to do if one does not embrace at least some of the culture, though I would like to immerse in as much of the positive bits as I can.
And you can’t really immerse yourself in Peruvian lifestyle, without dancing salsa. So when I planned my trip I added Salsa lessons to my itinerary of 4 weeks of Spanish classes and weekly excursions.
Holding to the portion of my personality that is overscheduled and overstressed, I planned a great deal of activity in my trip. 6 hours of Spanish Classes per day for two weeks and four per day for two weeks. With an excursion every weekend, including a 4 day trek to machu picchu, and one hour of salsa every day for every week, it is easy to see that I would not be able to complete all of it.
However, I did my best. I didn’t complete all of my salsa lessons, but I did taken 24 classes. I have improved my ability a great deal since living here. The main thing is to practice. It is easy to remember steps when you practice them ten times in a row, but you have to use them with the flow of the music
I gained enough confidence to practice at the clubs in front of people other than students. I have to thank my teacher at Salseros Cusco for that. So thanks to Francisco you’re awesome. http://salseroscusco.com/
I am beginning to loosen up and step with a little bit of that gringo rhythm, the white spice. It isn’t much, but it is better than being a robot on the floor.
Cusco, is a great place for Salsa. The high turnover of tourists, means that the learning environment is open. For every expert there at least 15 people just starting and another ten who know a little bit but still trip over themselves all the time. It is fun.
In the absence of other activity, Salsa is a great option. While it is true that I missed Hot Yoga and Tennis, you can get a lot of exercise dancing for two-three hours a night. And It was a lot of fun to practice what I learned.
Dancing is another language and sometimes it is easier to communicate in. I love getting out there and looking like a fool. And As a decent gringo salsa dancer, there are so many partners to dance with. It is much more fun than just going to the club and bending opposite knees for a few hours and drinking way too much.
Salsa is a great dance. There are many different types, but if you know one you can learn them all. Like Spanish it is spread throughout Latin and South America. There are also many places in North America and throughout the world. It is likely that if you live near a decent sized town or city big or small, you can find Salsa. The best thing is finding the clubs where the Spanish Speakers go, it is in these places that you see that salsa flows like blood through bodies, a river through their souls. The dancing is incredible.
A word of encouragement…
If you are a girl you are especially lucky, because if you know basic one and two, and how to twirl, you can do anything. All you have to do is relax and follow the lead and you fly on the floor.
It is harder for men to begin, because men are the lead. I think a lot of guys get frustrated by this, also it is possible that they get frustrated when they see their girl in another’s arms on the floor laughing and dancing and enjoying herself. But remember, she loves to dance.
And She really wants to dance with you!
So learn some moves and remember, if you don’t know what you are doing, just keep dancing, you can always do meringue.