Make your dancing count

WHEN I was in Year 11, a dance instructor told me I was the worst student she'd ever had.

Instead of wallowing in my two left feet I chose to turn that negative into a positive; Miss Bollard was just jealous of my funky moves. I'm an individual... right?

Needless to say, I haven't let her comments affect my life.

I get my groove on quite happily at any old occasion; but I'm under no illusion I'll be starring in Beyonce's next music video.

A few weeks ago Weekend reporter Melissa Gulbin penned a story on the healing powers of dance and I thought I'd put that theory to the test.

What one should I try? Krumping? Too hard. Ballroom? Too elegant. Square dancing? Too square.

I settled for Salsa.

With Latin American and Cuban heritage, this style of dance lends itself to sexy, exotic and voluptuous participants.

It's more of a couple-based discipline and frequent "socials" on the North Coast have done wonders for its popularity.

Upon enquiry at Sassy Salsa, a dance school based on the North Coast, I was assured you can begin at any level and wear whatever you like.

Which is perfect for me as I was a complete beginner and don't own a sequinned bikini top.

I attended Wednesday's beginner's class at 6pm.

There were eight attendees varying in age and skill and the instructor, Daniella, made sure everyone felt welcome.

The first task was to conquer 'basic step'; right foot back, step together, left foot forward, step together.

Counting is very very helpful and every time you reach number seven it starts from the beginning.

Some good tips include: Keep your elbows tight; Connect your thumb and middle finger with palms facing out; and Don't drop your heel.

As a solo salsa sailor I was paired in turns with the instructor and a helpful young man who most certainly didn't need to be in the beginner's class.

As a woman I had it easy; it's the man's job to lead and all I had to do was follow.

By the end of class I could twirl under my partner's arm and sort of had the basic step down.

The cool-down involved some very fun Shakira-style bum-shaking.

My salsa recommendation is to let loose. You're only going to enjoy this class if you throw self-consciousnesses to the wind and shake your thang.


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Topics:  dancing lifestyle salsa

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