As a way of continuing to find a new balance with social life, family, community and fitness, I decided to Google salsa dance in Mayaguez. I didn’t come up with any definite answers but a guy we met on the beach a few weeks ago told me about salsa dancing in the nearby town of San German. I finally got there tonight. As Trevor was rocking our daughter to sleep I quickly got ready and headed out the door.I had no idea what the bar was like. I wanted wear pockets so I could keep my key and $$ on me at all times. And as I drove the 25 minutes there I remembered that girls should not leave their drink unattended. You know, rape drugs and stuff like that. Noted.
My trusty GPS took me right to where their Facebook address said. I passed some (wild or not so wild I really can’t tell) horses in the road and one stray dog on my route there. I arrived at the address at about 9:30. The dancing was supposed to start at nine but I figured getting late was okay because, well it’s Puerto Rico. There was no bar there. There was no business there. There’s a police station and some very dark apartmenst.
What did we do before iPhones? I quickly got online and found another website that had the correct address. I plugged it in. I was only five minutes away! Awesome.
I drove straight over there and was excited to hear salsa music coming from the bar. But when I slowly cruised by casing the joint I saw about three guys and they were standing at the bar. No dancing. Okay well maybe I was there too early it was only about 9:30 after all. I filled up my gas tank at the gas station next door and cruised down by the bar again. One more guy was sitting outside smoking. humph.
I’ve been swing dancing for nearly 15 years. In Madison I was a big fish in a very little pond. I would walk into the dance confident, a little bit cocky, and like I owned the joint. I was surrounded by friends, I knew what to expect and honestly it’s where I flourished the most. Dancing comes pretty naturally to me. It’s one of the few things that does. So I was expecting to go out salsa dancing, walk into a busy room of salsa dancers, grab the best dancer there and show my stuff. Heck I can think I can fake tango reasonably well. I could fake salsa. Although it had been about 13 years since I went out salsa dancing ha ha
I know what it’s like to be a newbie on the scene because, sadly enough, sometimes I didn’t treat newbies so well on our swing scene in Madison. When I went out dancing I wanted to hang out with my friends. If I was only there for a limited amount of time I wanted to make sure that my dances counted. And were fun. Sometimes dancing with a newbie can be very rewarding if they’re an out-of-town dancer who already knows how to dance. When I taught a lot of dance lessons, I would dance with more beginners because how else are they supposed to get better? Quite frankly though I will admit, sometimes I was a Lindy snob. Going into a new salsa scene I fully expected to be snubbed. So I was ready to get my cocky game on and prove my worth. So when I saw an empty bar I kind of felt deflated. That means I would just have to go in with a bunch of guys trying to speak Spanish and buy a drink which I really didn’t want to drink alcohol. I drove myself there and I’m such a lightweight these days I don’t want to overdo it. My forte is in dancing not drinking or speaking Spanish…
So I did what any adventurous girl would do. I stayed in my car and drove around until I saw more people arrive. Ha ha. During my driving I saw another stray dog. I sat at the gas station for a while. At around 10:22 I saw people actually dancing! I parked in the little lot, texted Trevor, and headed in.
But when I got inside nobody was dancing. doh! I ordered the Sangriiia (Sangria in a juice box. yeah!) even though I really didn’t want to drink alcohol. I just sipped it one or two sips. Looking kind of out of place (though everyone seemed friendly enough) the one late 20-something guy on the dance floor motioned to me to come on over. I immediately left my drink unattended and ran towards him.
Turns out that he’s there every Tuesday to give free salsa dancing lessons. Just my luck! Instead of trying to show off with my half assed salsaing I got a one hour and 10 minute free salsa dance private lesson. In English. His name was Alvin. And he was a pretty good teacher. I think he was impressed with my skills though little bit of my swing dancing corrupted my salsa dancing. We had fun and he was in full teacher mode. But I think he was having fun too. I got the lowdown on some more dancing sites in my town and Rincon. He said he is at the Bullpen Bar every Tuesday night. I told him I’d be back in a couple weeks.
I headed home, saw the third stray dog of the night, and ran over a chicken (no not a live one. One that had already been rotisseried. Why was that in the road?)