Salsa Dancing 

I have only just realised that I neglected to write about our love of salsa dancing.  Trudy and I enjoyed dancing together from the first days we met, but I never considered myself to be a good dancer, as when I was younger to learn new dances had proved quite difficult for me.  I really seemed to have two left feet!  So, years later, after the Albany Club was taken over and changed, and we had stopped playing squash and our children were older, Trudy told me she had heard about Salsa classes and wanted to go so much, that she said if I did not want to go, she would go on her own! 

Trudy went to sign up and enrol without me, and I decided I had better go and have a look.  A sample class began, and I had a go, it turned out to be good fun, I loved the music, and although it was quite a challenge for me, I was hooked!  So, we both joined, and after a while we discovered 'Latin Motion' who gave lessons and then some time to practise with really great music.  These were run by Mauricio Reyes and Zain, and they made learning a lot of fun, I could not believe how many different ways they devised to spin a partner and the footwork was complicated at times. 

The method of teaching was to gradually teach one routine by breaking it down into short parts, each part was demonstrated and then we all tried to copy it, usually we had to repeat it a number of times, but each time we had a different partner, and only after everyone could do it correctly, were we shown the next part.  This was great as we all got to know everyone in the class.  What was not so great, was the embarrassment when with a new partner, one got something wrong - this happened a lot with me in the early days.  Especially, after having reached the last part, when we were asked to put it all together, I often found I could not remember everything!  Trudy was much quicker at learning it all, I believe she had quite an advantage having studied ballet for many years before. 

Thank goodness after persevering over a considerable number of lessons, I eventually began to feel at ease and was able to enjoy it even more.  We met some interesting people from all walks of life and thoroughly enjoyed those evenings.  We both loved it and we remained active members for many years till we emigrated.   

Once we had moved to live in Switzerland and Spain, we hoped to continue dancing salsa, however we were shocked and could not believe how extremely late at night any dancing begins in both countries.  Before midnight, not much happens, and it can be nearer two in the morning when the dancing really becomes popular.  Much too late for us.  For a while we found some Spanish classes that began much earlier, so we went quite a few times, but our Spanish was not good enough and we kept getting things wrong.  Before dancing as couples there was usually a warm-up, rather like line dancing, to learn new steps, and now and then a spin turn was involved, but not always a complete spin turn, sometimes it was only a half turn.  So many times, Trudy and I found ourselves looking at everyone else, as they surprised us by only doing a half turn! 

Later, we joined a class in Estepona that was also amusing, and we were made so welcome, (we were the oldest and the only non-Spanish there) and having been a few times, we were amazed at how friendly they were towards us, even with our language problems. 


We found a jive dancing group in Spain and they held more frequent classes as well as dancing dinner party events, so we joined them as they started so much earlier. 

<                   Page 65                  >