Pulling the Plug: A Salsa Snafu


On the back of all those films about people taking up a dance class and discovering that they:

  • Had a heretofore unknown talent for the mooooves
  • Met the hot, flexible, sartorially-blessed person of their dreams and
  • Danced their way through all the problems in their life

I, alongside two friends (who’d never had the pleasure of watching people try to teach me a new skill before), decided to take up salsa.

What can I say? We’re suckers for a Groupon voucher.

So off we went to our first of six beginner classes, with boogie on our minds and trainers on our feet (handy tip: don’t wear trainers to a salsa class. Turns out it’s hard to glide like a sexy dance demon when your feet are stuck to the floor) and I have to say, the first class was great! There we were, absolutely nailing that three step move, imagining all the inevitable dramatically lit dance-offs we’d be instigating, come our next shit night out to El Barrio. It was only a matter of time before the man of my dreams came shimmying out of a dark corner, took me by the hand and danced me off to the finals of whatever competition imaginary salsa impresarios go to these days.

Aaaaaand then life got in the way.

I had to work late on some events and then I was away and before I knew it, four weeks had passed and I’d not been back to the class. My salsa dream was circling the drain.

But I refused to pull the plug. It was a beginner class and salsa’s basically those three steps, right? It’d be no bother. I’d already explained to the instructors and they’d said it would be fine. How bad could it be?

And now for my second piece of salsa dancing advice:

Never trust a salsa instructor. Sneaky sneaky salsa instructors.

In I piled, apologising profusely for my previous absences.

It’s not a problem, they said. The moves are easy, they said. You’ll pick it up in no time, they said.

And then proceeded to use me to demonstrate the moves they’d been learning in my absence.

Four. Friggin. Times. One for every class I’d missed, presumably. Whoever said vengeance is a dish best served cold has obviously never accidentally pissed off a salsa instructor.

By the third demonstration, I’d decided to own it. Was I doing the moves correctly?

Hah! No.

Was I enjoying the experience?

Also no.

Do I live happy in the knowledge that no-one in that room was ever getting those moves right with me being used as an example?


Shameful, perhaps, but it’s the little things that keep you going.

Anyhoo, after an excruciating hour and a half, I came to a very important revelation:

Salsa may not be the dance for me.

But fear not, dear reader!

Next stop, Zumba.