The Bull Pit that I first went salsa dancing has since closed, so I was on the scout for a new place to have my salsa fun.
Alvin told me about La Naza and we finally met up there earlier this winter. The joint is miniscule, and the band and bar take up the entire building. So the people spill out into the street (where there is a little bar set up outside). You can peek in at the band through a couple of doors and a window. They are fun! Strictly salsa music played here.
The bar is situated in a neighborhood, and they have a special deal with the neighbors that they will play loud music only on Tuesday nights until a certain time.
The first time I arrived a nice guy on the street directed me to an open parking space (where I had to pull up onto the curb like all the other cars) and he tucked my passenger side view mirror in. Then he asked for a dollar to watch my car. Well….not wanting repercussions for NOT paying the dude a little dollar I have him once. Since then I have parked elsewhere.
The dance scene is a little hard to break in to, so I was glad to have Alvin ‘pimp’ me out a little. He was happy to walk up to guys he didn’t know but he saw could dance and ask them to dance with me. And of course, I dance a lot with Alvin. The guys seem pleasantly surprised that this gringa can dance. yippee! Alvin told me about fights breaking out about asking people to dance that might’ve come with another gal. uh…..
I may be oblivious, but it’s awesome to be in an environment where it’s all about the music and the dance. Sure, there are a lot of people sitting and people watching. If they were watching/judging me I choose to be ignorant. I do stand around alone occasionally if Alvin isn’t there yet or goes to get a beer. I try not to stand there too awkwardly. Lemme tell ya- I have a hard time understanding the rapid Spanish here, but add loud music and imbibing to the mix and I’m lost. But I’ve been having good experiences the three times I went, and I know if I keep going the regulars will come to know that I can dance well. Then maybe I don’t have to be sheepish and have Alvin chase down guys for me. This’ll be a fun adventure to keep going and become a regular. I know it’ll never been the same feeling as going to a swing dance back in Madison, where I was a big fish in a small pond, but this new experience is one to be embraced and celebrated. I feel lucky.
But watch out for dancing right into a pothole. The dangers of a streetdance…