Saturday, January 26, 2008

Very satisfying Saturday salsa

Back from the continuing Saturday On2 Salsa workshop. Man that challenges me! In a good way. But it's hard. And incredibly fun. It feel likes burning new grooves in my brain. I've read about that the very slightest bit - how the brain has certain patterns and when you learn something new, you create a new pattern. For those old enough to remember, the visual is a record, the needle riding the grooves.

When I'm in this class, I can feel the burning happening. It has to do with timing. (um, and coordination of the timing with my body and all the isolated parts there within!) It's this funny balance of learning something new and different, and learning it enough so that it makes sense. I'm a terrible athlete, with almost no eye and hand coordination (which I've noticed is a real liability particularly when I driving -particularly making left hand turns. I can't tell how much time I have...hmmm. although i guess that's not exactly eye hand coordination but more like speed/depth perception. Oh well, I digress.)

But I've always had good rhythm. I hear music rhythmically. So at first it's like, ok, no big deal, I'm just feeling the music here, but then there's a new move that challenges my fundamental timing. It's from the music of course still, but in a different way I haven't moved before. Sometimes I literally feel like my head will explode. I can't even think about it consciously. But I just remain, and repeat, over and over again. The verbal counts somehow making a dent in my brain patterning until it's there. It's impossible til all of a sudden I'm doing it. And not only am I doing it, it feels just right, and it's really, really fun.

I made a joke months ago about calling salsa dance my zen practice. It's come to be not a joke at all. The attempt, the showing up, the being open to the effort, the proceeding without judgement shutting me down, it's an amazing practice and it's been enormously fruitful. And did I say fun? It's unleashed a joy that I hadn't realized was dormant. I'm making the minimal effort, attending one or maybe two classes (90-120 minutes each) a week right now, (rather than daily with the extra 4-5 times a week out in the clubs like many of my "peers") but it's ok. It's still spilling over. The joy remains and spreads.

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