Rock step step. Rock step step. Rock step step. On and on I repeated these words as I practiced the art of salsa and bachata last saturday night at the Majestic Dance Studio in St. Louis, MO. Little did I know, it wasn’t as difficult as I had always thought it would be. Or maybe my instructors were just that good!
Watching ballroom dancing on TV has always kept me in awe of the beauty of dance, but also slightly scared at the prospect of contorting my body in ways I’m pretty sure it won’t go. I know I can freestyle. But when it comes to following a lead, I have TWO LEFT FEET. So I hesitantly signed up for an evening of salsa dancing lessons fearing that I would step on a few toes and possibly fall flat on my face.
We began with the basic salsa step and practiced each new twist until we were comfortable. Before I knew it, the instructors had us salsa dancing in less than 30 minutes. I couldn’t believe it! I was moving in different directions, turning gracefully (without getting dizzy) and even comfortably following a lead. The best part was the ease and friendliness of each instructor I practiced with.
In order to learn, I need two things: steady growth in my skills and positive reinforcement. I definitely saw both quite quickly. Each of my instructors, Josef Scherer, Loraine Ebel and Alex Borodko (owner) had a knack for making me feel confident with every new step. They all truly share a joy for teaching and it shows. They also were patient with every single one of my questions.
Get dizzy on the turns? Just find a focal point at every half turn and look straight at it. Want to move your hips like the pros? Don’t try to shake your hips from side to side or do a figure 8. Thrust each hip forward with every move. Before you know it, you won’t even think about it. Wonder what the next move will be? The dance is like a conversation between you and your partner. He tells you where to go next and gently nudges you there. Just relax and feel him communicate with you.
It wasn’t just me that was thriving on the dance floor. I could see the other bloggers enjoy the experience at the special event held for us. Everyone was eager to learn more and get back to the dance floor after the break. The men were just as excited as the women. We all definitely worked up a sweat within the first five minutes. Now I know why they say ballroom dancing is such a fabulous workout.
Interested in learning more? Majestic Dance Studio is hosting a Salsa Date Night on June 27 from 7:30 – 9pm. Beginners are welcome. Sign up here. The studio also teaches private lessons for individuals or couples. And even more surprising — one of their instructors, Joe Elvis Alway-Baker, choreographs Bollywood dances for South Asian weddings and their guests. It’s a pretty impressive dance studio with a talented and eclectic mix of instructors and I can’t wait to learn more!
I was invited as a blogger to attend their Blogger Salsa Night and received a gift card for a private lesson. All opinions are my own. Images courtesy of Majestic Dance Studio.