10 WAYS LEARNING SALSA IS CHANGING ME
I’ve always been fascinated with learning about other cultures- two years ago when Ricky Martin’s La Mordita song was a constant on my playlist, I was being influenced by everything Latin American- including binge watching Narcos, Jane the Virgin, picking up a few Spanish words, and falling in love with Mexican food, their music, dance and carefree attitude. So it was a natural decision when I wanted to work on my health and do something fun whilst at it- I decided to enrol for Salsa classes. Tried persuading my hubby to join the same with no avail and I decided to do it alone.
I’m so at ease
- talking to 1000’s of strangers be it at workshops/support groups I facilitate or presenting at International conferences
- dancing soloto Bollywood music in bathroom/living room /dancing with friends – no problem with any of that. But holding another guy’s (who’s not my spouse) hands and move in sync to music – BIG PROBLEM.I remember the 1st few weeks of my intro course to Salsa- whilst the instructors were on about the ‘frame’ we had to maintain- I had to work on not shaking/trembling & overcoming the feeling of wanting to run out of the room to a safe space. Add wearing pointed heels which I hated and still do(if you know me- I chose comfort over beauty every time & believe that sneakers, sandals & flip flops are mankind's best inventions) – it was another first in my life to buy heels not just to walk but trying to dance ‘gracefully’(insert rolling eyes emoticon here!!)- SO MORE BIG PROBLEMS!!! Talk about stepping out of one’s comfort zone- this was more like free falling into an abyss!
For me being in the job that I’m in, and the person that I’m -I strive to be empathetic to all the stress that my clients/friends/family are facing-it takes a lot out of me emotionally and physically – I knew that I needed a space where I could be just myself- where I’m not a social worker,mental health professional,wife, sister or mother – just somebody who is trying to learn something new even though it scares the s#@*t out of her!! It’s about self care. After a year of being on this journey, it’s now my stress buster- I make time for salsa-it’s one of my self-care routines where I get to move(gracefully or not) to soulful music and in the company of adults who want nothing else from than me than to have a good time! And I have made some great friends for life there which is an added bonus given that our lifestyles weren’t conducive for socializing opportunities.
The first thing that always makes a good first impression on me be it people, organizations or community is how ‘inclusive’ or ‘multicultural’ they are. I’m so impressed with the diverse group from all races and ethnicity that come to our dance studio. I’m also impressed with the sense of community the dance studio Soul2Sole (https://soul2sole.ca/) fosters by having free inclusive events open to the community members throughout the summer months at the Streetsville community square. If you are passing by or accidentally see me waddling like a duck in any promotional picture or video- just ignore that and remember that I was having a great time whilst waddling and felt awesome belonging to this dance community.😊😊😊