Of heels, stylizing and Dirty Dancing
Last night’s class marked the end of my second full month of learning how to salsa and over the weeks, I’ve noticed that an ever increasing number of my female compatriots have purchased dance shoes with heels of varying heights. I know my time is coming soon (if I decide to stick with this which is dependent on finances more than anything else) and while I’m looking forward to being able to turn with greater ease, I still worry about the havoc they will reek on my already scoped out knees. But I’m a lady after all so what do I need with functioning joints? Men will just bring me stuff. That’s what chivalry is all about.
Onto other “lady business,” namely stylizing. This is a term that’s applied to doing sexy/sultry things with your arms as you are spun and turned and handled in whatever way your partner deems fit. In last nights class, our instructor wanted us to be sensual.
Unfortunately the “sexy/come hither” face our instructor demonstrated was similar to the look of the girl in Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” when she says, “Oh my god Becky, look at her butt.” It more of sexy/bored sneer.
In addition to screwing our faces into some semblance of sexiness, he wanted us to raise our right arms above our heads and bring them down sensually, our hands parallell to our ears, practically caressing and touching our necks, which some of us achieved with varying degrees of success.
During the break, one woman was struggling with the the arm motion-hip jut so one of the other students set out to break it down for her. After a few failed attempts at the arm move, this student explained it by using Dirty Dancing. “Remember in Dirty Dancing when Patrick Swayze is teaching Baby how to dance and he has her raise her arm and bring it down kind of slow and sexy?” We nod vigorously. “Do it like that,” she ordered. (The “move” is around :31 in–unfortunately the YouTubes won’t let me embed. You should watch the whole final scene because nothing you are doing at work can be more important than the end of Dirty Dancing.)
After that explanation, the woman had a much easier time bringing her arm up and down with a lazy sexiness, which proves that Dirty Dancing isn’t just the perfect salve post-breakup or the perfect movie to watch when you’ve got no plans for Halloween–it can also teach anyone, even this Jewish girl, a lesson or two in sensuality.