It seems I spoke (or wrote) too soon.
Last week, I wrote that I love being led in salsa. While that still may be true, it might take me more than three classes to learn how to follow, even when appropriately directed.
Last night’s class seriously ratcheted up the difficulty level. To the right hand turn, the instructor added the left hand turn. I haven’t been this flustered since learning how to drive (I’m sure it was great fun for the other driver’s ed students in the car with me).
But as hard as things might’ve been for me, they were harder for the guys who had to lead us through the motions.
I was proud of myself early the class for allowing a male partner to turn me the wrong way. I knew it was the wrong direction and I went along with it anyway. Bonus points for me!
However this victory was short lived. A few times I encountered a partner with what I inwardly termed “a stiff wrist.” What is he trying to accomplish, I wondered as I turned and he pulled me. As I moved onto the next guy it hit me–he was trying to lead me. He was trying to pull me towards him to do the turn instead of merely letting me do the move as though it was choreography.
It only got worse from there. The instructor added a sly maneuver that was tripping all of the guys up–in the middle of the turn the men had to switch hand, grasping mine with their right instead of left. After a few different partners forgot about this switcheroo, I started offering my right hand to their rights. I thought I was doing them a favor.
What I was actually trying to do was lead though few of the males seem to mind. Then I got to one of my favorite partners. When I unwittingly extended my right hand, expecting him to forget to reach and take it. He started cracking up. “Are you trying to shake my hand?” he asked, laughing.
So what’s the potential love lesson in all of this or is it merely an amusing anecdote? I think the takeaway is that if the consequences aren’t particularly dire then maybe you should let your partner occasionally lead you astray, allow him to fumble while you chuckle to yourself. Sometimes love means letting someone twirl you the wrong way or accidentally drop your hand while stepping on your toe–and you say nothing about it.
Until I have any videos of myself dancing that are worth watching, please enjoy this salsa dancing puppy.
(h/t Andrew for the video)