My friend Minka was a little inebriated when she asked me if I wanted to be her dance partner, and I wondered if she would even remember. The part of me that loves the basement and solitude hoped it was all a joke, but the bigger part of me that knows no basement is an island wanted to go. Minka did remember, and we went to salsa for beginners at Ryles. Surprisingly, the class was mostly single guys. When I think of dancing, two images come to mind. One is couples. The other is chubby me, in middle school, in my white tiger sweatshirt, like a young Patrick Swayze. The confident, chubby me had nothing to lose but weight, and I lead my classmates out onto the dance floor many a middle school hop.
At the salsa class I wore a brown linen shirt. This was a bad move. Nervousness plus the concentration needed to memorize and repeat salsa dance steps, the thumping music, the heat of human beings in motion, produced a profusion of sweat. Not a good look in linen. By the end of the class, the instructor Suzanne had us practicing twirls. Part of my trials and tribulations with twirls was my hesitancy to reach above my head. My shirt was in bad shape by this point, especially under the arms. I struggled mightily with twirls, but the basic steps I have down. Three steps forward, a pause, and three steps back, the changeover to side stepping. I think we are going back next week. Maybe I can pack on a few extra pounds between now and then, practice twirls in the basement, in a white tiger sweatshirt.