Salsaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! (the Cuban dance not the Mexican sauce)

 

The Venue: Brass Bell Salsa Classes

Before the class

Last year when my sisters and a nieces were in Cape Town we went in various groupings to some Salsa lessons in Muizenberg. The teacher was great but once all the family members had hived off back to their respective corners of the globe and I decided to carry on, she hurt her leg and the lessons petered out…

So I was delighted to hear that another Salsa class had sprung up from the ashes of that one, this time run by a young couple (Ryan and Natalie) and now held at The Brass Bell in Kalk Bay.

My sister C is currently visiting from the UK so we went along last week to see what the new classes were like and I am totally hooked – more so than I ever was last year.

Why I Love Salsa

1. I LOVE the venue – a wooden floored upstairs room with windows opening out to the sea – surfers visible in the waves

2. The teachers are great – they make it fun and they’re gorgeous and encouraging and super friendly

3. There is great energy in the class but you also learn quite a lot. And laugh a whole lot! Esp if like me your balance sucks and you fall over when you have to do a double turn…

4. Watching the ‘Improvers Class’ (after the Beginners Class) is also entertaining and you learn from them too.

Our salsa teachers Natalie and Ryan

salsa teachers Natalie and Ryan

Sadly after the first time I sprained my calf muscle and ended up at physio believe it or not (insider joke… “let it goooooo in the colour of your choice”) but this week I was back in action and stretched before and after the class and so far so good *holds thumbs*

But perhaps the most entertainment of all comes from having to circulate and swap partners. This freaks some people out (like G who refused to go to even one lesson on finding out he would have to dance with Other People) and to be sure some of the men get super sweaty. And they’re mostly not hot young boys with ripped bodies. Ok none of them are – they’re hot and sweaty middle aged men for the most part. BUT on the whole they are fun, easy going and not pervy as one would expect. However you do get a range of dance experiences depending on your partner and here’s a short list on

The 7 Men you may Meet at Salsa Class:

1. The Know it All: This man (who may or may not have long curly dark hair but not in a good way) is a beginner himself but tells you all the time what you’re doing wrong. He does this to all the women, you find out after he’d destroyed your confidence. Then you notice that HE’s doing it wrong. All of it. You (literally) move on…

2. The Sweaty Man: He has a heart of gold and is very sweet but when he lifts those arms to take you in a dance hold all you see are two giant underarm wet patches. His hands are clammy too, and when he spins you around you slip out of his grasp and fly out the window into the sea. Not really. Not usually.

3. Mr Smelly: He always eats an entire bulb of raw garlic right before the lesson. Or so you’d assume. He also smokes. His teeth are yellow and you have to hold your breath the whole time he’s partnering you. You pass out sometimes but that’s ok, it gets you away from the smell.

4. The Boep. (for non-SAffa readers a Boep is a beer belly). He may be a nice man if you could get close enough to see him. but you’re permanently quite a way away as his boep is in the middle of you. he can barely reach your hands. On the plus side, if you trip and fall into him it’s a soft landing.

5. The Ex-pro: He’s a little older than the others and looks like life hasn’t been easy on him but MAN can he dance. You feel like a pro and leave his arms convinced you have perfected the evening’s new steps. It’s like dancing on air. My personal fav.

6. The Instructor himself: This man (in our case) is super friendly and really encouraging. He corrects you without making you feel like a stupid child. He also, like #5, makes you feel like you CAN do it – as long as you’re partnering him.

7. The woman : Often there are more women than men at dance classes so one of you may end up being a man for the evening. This can be fun, or a disaster depending on the woman. Usually though you both laugh a lot and learn nothing.

You may be wondering why I endure this torture and even claim to enjoy it, but I do. For all I love being in water, I have to say the Salsa lesson is for me the BEST form of exercise.

And it always ends with a beer 🙂

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12 Responses to Salsaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! (the Cuban dance not the Mexican sauce)

  1. Mrs Redzxber says:

    *the boep* made me laugh! I have also danced with each of these… classic!

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  3. Graeme Sacks says:

    You’re inspiring me to go back to salsa class…New Year resolution perhaps.

    I’m just wondering which of the men I am…I don’t have a boep. Possibly the only category I might fit into is Mr Smelly….but since I’m unable to smell my own breath I’m doomed to remain blissfully ignorant!

    Now you’ve made me too nervous to go back to class. Perhaps I’ll try therapy for a couple of years first? 🙂

  4. groupiemom says:

    hahaha amazing. and totally true. still it sounds like loads of fun, i miss dancing…..

  5. Very entertaining! 😀

    I have been teaching salsa for years, and you are right…

    Don’t forget ‘Mr Sleazy’, from whom there is no escape when he has you in close hold, and manages to turn every move into an opportunity to grope or rub up against his partner.

    By the way your venue looks nice too!

    Stuart (Plymouth, UK)

    • Hehehe I have been fortunate enough not to encounter Mr Sleazy yet… wait, let me qualify that – I’ve met MANY Mr Sleazys but none at Salsa till now. But I am sure if I keep going he will eventually turn up!

      Nice to have a reader from Plymouth! I stayed there on and off in the 90s visiting friends and my best memory is of Cap’n Jasper’s take aways at the harbour. Is he still there? Do you still get your tea in a mug if you pay a deposit for it?

  6. raevision says:

    Two weekends ago, I had dinner with a bunch of Israelis and about four Spaniards — yes, hailing from Spain — and more specifically, a Spanish guy nicknamed “salsas,” which is apparently the generic term for all types of sauces. I don’t know why I cared to share that here, except maybe to say that despite his nickname, he doesn’t salsa.

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