It'd been months. My favorite teacher left town, then I got really busy. And stayed busy. September, October, November, now December rolling by without making it to the studio that had been my regular haunt for over a year. No Sunday nights at Dallas. Missing it for legitimate conflicts but also knowing I'd hit a crossroad. Good enough to be a little impatient in the classroom, not good enough to really hold my own in the world. (And don't even get me started on the foot pain.)
Luckily, a couple of weeks ago an On2 beginner's workshop came round that fit into my schedule. I'd been waiting - it's a different beat count, one that the better dancers seem to enjoy. I'd meant to step up and check it out last winter, but another student's "It's hard!" deterred me. I'd missed the summer series because I thought we were going to Fiji. Then watched those in that series zoom ahead. So I was thrilled when this one came around. Five Saturdays 10:30-noon. Great to be back in class, and surprise! My favorite teacher back around to lead it. Salsa moves to an 8 count like this: 123,567 - emphasis on the 1 and 5, a hold on the 4 and 8. With On2, it's 123,567. Emphasis on the 2 and the 6. Right away, On2 felt way more natural. It's how I hear the music. It's actually what I thought I was looking for in the first place. Funny now to realize that part of my lagging and losing the beat was because while on1 I was hearing on2. So excited. But still perplexed - 90 minutes a week isn't nearly enough. Should I go back to the regular on1 classes? Will I get too confused? My film and family life conflicting while I'm even just thinking about it.
But tonight was the monthly salsa social night. John and I were having a mellow time at home. I finally finished The Abstinence Teacher (which I LOVED!!!!!), and spent some time catching up on Friday Night Lights. I start musing aloud, "Should I go?" "It's so hard to go there. I haven't been in months. Will I even know anyone? Will anyone dance with me?" John says, "You should go." I answer, "Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to walk into that place?" He laughs, "I can't believe you do it at all. You should go! You always have fun."
So I did. It's only $5 and 10 minutes away. Not too many people there but I run into one of my favorites immediately. Then another. Then still another who shows up a little later. These are nice guys who love to dance, who I've been in classes with a long time, guys whose leads are getting better and better. Nice guys who are happy to give me a turn. It's a mellow and empty enough that I dance consistently. And I'm thrilled. Because it's the simplest most wonderful kind of fun. Exhilarating and hard and just joyous. And there's been something about the persistence. I'm not exactly the most dogged individual or disciplined. But this is something that's taken time and commitment and overcoming fear (however petty) and embarrassment and self consciousness. It's challenged me on so many levels so simply, so wonderfully. I've hung in. I've progressed. It's great to be back in the saddle again.