Let's get something straight...I can't Salsa.
And now there are witnesses to prove it.
The other night I was getting ready to go out with Scott and meet some friends. Our destination? El Floridita in Hollywood. A Cuban restaurant with Salsa dancing.
My kids could tell I was going out because I had clean hair and I broke out the leather jacket I only wear when there is no chance it will be assaulted by sticky fingers.
"Where ya goin'?" Izzy asked.
"I'm going to a Salsa lesson." I answered.
"You're going to make salsa?"
"No. I'm going to learn to dance Salsa. Salsa is also a word for a kind of a dance. And I'm going to learn how to do it."
"Because I can."
And that was the end of it. I thought, "There's a good lesson for the kids. Do something new because you can. Yeah!" Then I took off.
I was determined to be the best in the group.
When we started, all was going well - until I pissed off some chick with big hair. We were supposed to switch partners - which I did - but didn't see me do it so she told the teacher "I guess she doesn't want to move." I glared at her. That'll show her.
Then the women were passed around the circle of men to practice our basic step. I had it. 1, 2, 3, - 5, 6, 7...The teacher was dancing with my friend and said "This woman here has a perfect grip. See this?" I nodded, but I was imagining what he'd say when it was my turn to dance with him "Now THIS woman's REALLY got it!" He'd be touched and amazed by the hot combination of my grace and aptitude.
I took my turn with the instructor. "Put your shoulders down. Relax."
"Really?" I thought. "Can't you see how good I am at this?"
"Loosen your wrists. Like this." Then he bent them for me.
I did some steps with him. This'll show him how good I am. I bet I'm the fastest learner he's ever had!
"Don't put your weight on the back leg. Do it like this..." And you know what? Another instructor came over in her fancy salsa shoes and they did it for me - like I needed another example. The young girl who twisted and stepped her moves with the grace and aptitude I thought I had smiled at me like I was an old lady.
I drank another mojito.
Giving up on being the best in the class, my next partner and I came up with our own combination of Salsa and "The Hustle." We called it "The Sustle."
The partner after that and I stumbled through a few moves and laughed that we felt like we were Cuban speed dating. We agreed, I wouldn't make the cut.
Then I was back in Scott's semi-capable hands.
1, 2, 3, - 5, 6, 7...1, 2, 3, - 5, 6, 7...
We muddled through together and laughed at our complete ineptitude. We had some moves...they weren't good, but we had great time.
I've heard it said you should "dance like no one is watching."
Well, tonight, that's exactly what I did.
It wasn't pretty, but by the end of the night, I didn't care if it was pretty.
I simply danced because I could.