When I first heard of the salsa course comprising 13 workshops that my office had organized I was thrilled to bits. I applied immediately and was rejected. (Apparently there were many other thrilled takers in the organization.) So much so that they announced a second batch and I applied again. This time I was accepted. Hooray!
I had that floaty feeling I get when I feel something big has happened. This will be the beginning of the rest of my life I thought. I had always wanted dance classes but somehow it had never happened. (Read: I am a Lazy Bum.) Now here it was handed to me on a plate and I was going to make the most of it. What did I expect from it? To learn dance of course. Daydreams of being crowned “Worldwide Queen of Salsa (Senior's competition)” played through my head.
And then came the big day. My class was at 6-30. By 6 I was ready and fidgeting at my desk. By 6-20 I was upstairs and looking around for my classmates. I saw a long stream of men with skullcaps heading for a room and I thought I should ask, just to make sure. “Is this salsa class?” No, came the curt answer. It was Ramzaan and they were reading Namaaz.
By the time I located the class I was 15 minutes late and the last one to get there. A stern look from the instructor with the John Abraham hair made me feel sorry for myself. That first class, as we learnt the steps, my plans of dazzling people with my innate dancing talent looked bleak. Something I hadn’t accounted for was all the touching strange men you had to do. And very unattractive ones at that. I think that was the prevalent feeling among all the class (male and female alike); and the instructor (George) quickly explained that if a man’s hand slipped; not to slap him straight away; but to just pick his hand up and place it back firmly where it belonged, i.e just under your shoulder blade.
Midway through the class George stopped his count abruptly and asked, “what are you doing?" I shied like a nervous horse and turned to face the worst. Luckily he was looking the other way at another couple dancing. The man looked on the verge of a nervous breakdown. “Why are you holding her with tissue paper?” I noticed that the man in question had tissue paper stuck to the palms of his hands, and he was holding on to his partner like she was a hot dish straight off the stove. “Er…I didn’t want to get sweat on her…”
“No, no. it doesn’t matter! We all have to get used to the sweat.” He then went on to smilingly explain that he often got so sweaty that he had to quickly change out if his shirt into a new one. I think I heard a few ragged female cheers from the back of the class.
So that was the eventful first class. Of the 13 classes there is now only one that remains. I’ve missed 4 of the 13, two because I was on leave and two because I didn’t feel like hopping around like a bunny rabbit at the end of a long, hard day. (of course, I later realized that’s precisely what one should do at the end of a bad day. Rabbits – except for when they’re being hunted down and eaten - are rarely stressed.)
I feel sad that it’s all going to end so soon, and my life will settle back into the go-to-work-go-home-pay-the-bills routine without a dash of salsa to spice things up.
Let’s see. Maybe I’ll take up something new. Like bungee jumping.