Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What I learned about myself from salsa dancing

In a former life, I used to be a well-trained salsa dancer. Even to the point where I taught the stuff. Four years ago, my heart was broken and I completely quit salsa. I have danced again on and off with a few friends, but never to the level that I used to. Thus my reluctance to go salsa dancing. I don't enjoy dancing when I know my level is not where I want it to be. The same used to happen with volleyball, although I've been playing fairly competitive in the last couple of months.

My good friend S re-ignited the spark by offering me a free ticket to Atlantis Night Club (on Richards and Drake). I didn't even want to go, but she was so kind and thoughtful that it was almost a sin for me to say no. Thus I went just for a short while. I have learned a few things about myself through this short foray into salsa.

a). I still hate cliques. The salsa 'scene' in Vancouver is filled with cliques. I admit that it may have appeared as though I belonged to one when I danced competitively, but truthfully I was never active part of any. Nevertheless, I could recognize many faces (and I am sure they recognized me as well). It was sort of strange. I bumped into people that I knew from before, some of them were friends (very few), some were former dance partners (eek) and a few others were simply members of the cliques I mentioned whom I saw at dance practices. Awkward.

b). I still got *it*. My skills are by and large nowhere where they used to be, and I am not as good a dancer anymore, but I could see flashes of my former self throughout the night. Granted, it was very helpful that I bumped into my friend Carolina. She is a very good dancer, and I really enjoyed the chance to talk to her and share a few tunes. I am sure that if I were to get back into dancing, I would be able to dance competitively again. I don't have the time right now, nor the energy (nor the money -- dancing does require investment!) but I figure that in the future I'll be able to do it.

c). I am still passionate about dancing and about salsa. I could not tell you how many times I have asked myself whether it is worth it for me to get back into dancing salsa. My professional life is leading me down a completely different road, and thus I am not sure that I can invest the time, money and energy to get up to speed. But the passion is still there.

d). I am very lucky with regards to my friendships. Carolina and I had only talked through our respective blogs, yet the minute we met on the dance floor, we immediately connected. It was like we knew each other for decades. And she's a really good salsa dancer, so we had a really good time. I hope we can hang out more in the very near future.

Volleyball is my passion. So is dancing. Sometimes, I have sacrificed my passions for the sake of my professional development. However, I really look forward to a future where I can pursue these passions freely. It won't be long before that :)

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