May 30, 2008
I went to Bodeguita del Medio last night and met up again with Yvonne and Gustavo. I got there about 8pm when they were just finishing the class and they were learning a rather difficult-looking turn sequence. Yvonne said that the first hour of class is really basic, just the basic step, but at the end they teach a more difficult move. I think I'll go next Tuesday just to learn whatever they're teaching and to get to know some more people.
In the US the end of the lesson signals the start of the night, but not so here. The end of the lesson is where "all the good salsa dancers" meet and then they head to another bar for drinks and hanging out until 11pm when they come back to Bodeguita to dance.
We stayed at B de M because Gustavo had a dinner he had to attend there, so we danced to salsa songs whenever one came on (the band plays a mix of latin music for dinner, not all salsa). It was pretty cool.
Oh- and I have to change my previous assessment- it seems they DO dance more of the linear/New York style salsa here than I thought before. I guess I just danced with lots of Cuban style dancers on Sunday. I am so happy that they dance linear!!!
Hanging out with Yvonne, Gustavo and Javier was good practice for my Spanish, too. Javier speaks some English, but he said it's hard for him. Yvonne is German, but has been living here and interacting in Spanish for so long that it's easier for her to speak in Spanish than English these days. Gustavo speaks both, but he's happy to speak in his native tongue if everyone understands. So I spent 4 hours speaking in Spanish, it was awesome practice!
Anyway, around 11pm the good dancers came back and the band fired up a set of salsa. Wow. I remember the first time I went to a real Swing club and saw them dancing and I thought, "I have to learn this" because it looked like so much fun. This was the same. I'm probably still more comfortable with Swing than Salsa (I never have to really think about my feet and whether I'm dancing to the beat in swing, in salsa I sort of do), I know that with regular-enough practice it will become second nature. I'll totally be going back there to practice.
I only stayed til midnight because I hadn't intended to stay out all night. B de M closes at 2AM and everyone then heads over to Capitan Tequila because they're open til 4AM. I don't know if I'll be one of those people who stays up til 4, but I definitely will stay til B de M closes.
I'm looking forward to dancing some more! Yvonne is going on vacation for 2 weeks and then she's back for a couple weeks and then she goes to Germany for two months, so I gotta get my face known with her friends so that I'm not relying on her as my "in" with the good dancers! lol.