“it is never too late to be what you might have been”. I realized my childhood dream of learning the basics of at least one dance form during my adolescence and thus enrolled to a one month salsa class organized at our college. According to me, there are two types of dancers, one that dances like no one is watching and the other kind who dances like every living or non-living organism is watching. My Capricorn husband who was my then and the only boyfriend I have ever had belonged to the latter kind. “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change”. Alas, that challenge doesn’t look like one when you are in love.
Capricorns always like to know everything about the territory they are entering into so my Capricorn boyfriend decides to watch a video of the dance form and asked me “what if you don’t have a partner? To which I replied casually “they will assign” and he immediately enrolled to the class who until then enjoyed dancing only at Ganesh Visarjans without being socially awkward.
So, after the video it was time for the “google it” drill, that read “a dancer shifts their weight by stepping, the upper body remains level and nearly unaffected by the weight changes. The weight shifts cause the hips to move and my husband almost had an imaginary slipped disc. I somehow managed to convince him saying we will get some wonderful memories to narrate to our kids and now the most domesticated sun sign had to fall for it so he agreed.
After the initial warming up, the instructors started off by explaining the preferred dress code that included formal shoes for men and heels for women. Now, my partner is 6’ 2” tall and I on the other hand feel sometimes that my daughters will grow taller than me in a few months so heels sounded visually comforting. However, my partner is one of those who don't mind wearing a pair of formal shoes to a pub during happy hours but while dancing??? and that too when you are trying to separate your hip from the upper body? I had begun to lose my battle here. “so, you can put this in your resume?”, he added. His first dig at ruining my dancing dream.
Also, in this dance form there is a lead dancer and there is a follower; so the instructors decided to make each one of us dance with different partners each day just for us to get the hang of it or it may also be because it is a form of social dance like you dance to socialize. So my partner grins “you are a south Indian not a Cuban”. For those who don’t know, we south Indians bond over a cup of hot filter coffee.
He reluctantly agreed because there were two other tall girls who looked like Anne hathaway and Deepika Padukone, but the reluctance showed more on his face than the excitement so my friends were like “so cute” and I was like “yeah, my foot” and “my foot” was not the slang but a reaction to the stampede that had begun while doing the basic Salsa step with my partner. The only step where the feet movement is not rhythmic is when you turn your partner around so you can guess what must have happened with our height difference. I was sautéed deliciously. I guess the instructors had already given up on us by this time which got proved in the next incident that I am going to narrate.
Then the partner switch was proposed by the instructors and I was like “ok, let me get this right and teach him when we do it again”. Just, when I was gearing up to the offer, I heard my guy vehemently decline the offer by saying, “No, we are here to dance only with each other” and my friends were like “Awwwwee” and I could read the instructors’ faces though smiling, but actually said “yeah man, we are all uncultured people to dance with random people”. There was only one other girl in the room whose partner was a Capricorn (yes, I usually take note of everybody’s sun sign) who looked at me with empathy because Capricorns can trade anything to keep their reputation intact and here my Capricorn was actually safeguarding the other girls from stampede and his reputation from being sautéed.
So, then it was happily ever after since we danced like nobody was watching us because there was actually nobody watching us! Now, we do have a nice story to narrate to our kids.
This write up is dedicated to all those girls whose partners look obedient even in their passport photos, but only you get to meet their spirit animal.