I really like to dance Salsa.
I am not a great dancer.
I am not even a good dancer.
I am an OK dancer, who stays within my abilities and physical limitations. My goal is to provide an enjoyable dance with my partner, without a) boring her or b) trying moves that are beyond her experience.
The high I get from having a really good dance with a partner I connect with is truly amazing. This may happen one or two times a night, or sometimes it doesn’t happen at all.
I decided to take some lesson with a teacher who is coming in from Toronto. My goal was to try and move my abilities to the next level. The teacher is very good, and has an extreme knowledge of how to move and how to become better dancers. The classes have been intensive, and very informative.
I have hated the classes.
I usually like salsa instruction. My learning experience in Tokyo is still one of the high points in my life ( taking lesson from an Argentine teacher who only spoke Japanese and Spanish while I only spoke English made for an interesting couple of hours every week.)
Why did I dislike the classes?
It may be that the physical level and ability of the students in the class were so different. There were quite a few young dancers from the local universities, who have the body awareness to pick up the ideas very quickly. It has been interesting to see how quickly some of them have advanced and progressed. When it was my turn to practice with these students I felt I was holding them back.
It may have been forcing me to realize my limitations. My body/ mind interface has never really ever worked right, and I have not treated my body well so it can be a real frustrating and painful experience to know what I want to do, but not being able to do it…
But these are things I have dealt with before.
When I was teaching photography, one of my main goals was to try and instill the emotion of and in a photograph. Teaching technique in photography is easy. Teaching artististry and supplying passion is difficult.
What I have been missing from my dance classes was “the passion”. I was missing the passion, the joy, from other students and from the instructors. The instruction has been really very good. I understand more about the technique now than I did in the past. I think I have progressed a little bit as well, but by concentrating on my lack of technique, I almost lost my reason to dance, I almost forgot to experience the passion or joy of dance.
My goal is not to be the best dancer on the floor, my goal is to be the best dancer I can be, more importantly to connect with my partner and enjoy doing it.
My life has always been about the chase of my passions. Sometimes this leads me to great pain and hardship. Sometimes it fills me with joy.
Luckily I have been able to find this joy on the dance floor with others.