43 Comments

  1. Cristi
    June 8, 2017 @ 2:37 pm

    Love the awk photo. I’m hoping to see the Brady Bunch bop next wedding we go to. Plz don’t stare into my eyes while doing it though.

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 8, 2017 @ 4:32 pm

      lol! No promises

      Reply

  2. Jill at Reading the Book
    June 10, 2017 @ 9:14 am

    Your post title made me laugh, and I didn’t stop laughing the rest of the way down! Gold star for trying and giving it your best shot, and it sounds like you had fun and weren’t as bad as you thought you were! Based on trying salsa dancing myself in Cuba, a good partner definitely helps! And alcohol… 😉

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 10, 2017 @ 9:30 am

      Thanks so much Jill. I am happy you enjoyed it! And you hit the nail on the head with alcohol tip, haha!

      Reply

  3. Aysha Frost
    June 10, 2017 @ 9:34 am

    Great post, loved the humour in it. Sounds like you had fun anyway. I’d like to give it a go, but I know I know I’d be utterly useless.

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 10, 2017 @ 10:16 am

      Thank you, Aysha. And who knows, maybe you’d surprise yourself!

      Reply

  4. Kendal
    June 10, 2017 @ 12:36 pm

    I was laughing the whole time! Sounds like such a fun experience, even if your hips do lie (;

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 10, 2017 @ 10:55 pm

      Haha, thank you!

      Reply

  5. Rianne
    June 10, 2017 @ 5:32 pm

    This had my laughing all the way through, great post! I definitely know the importance of a good partner. I met my Colombian husband while out salsa dancing, I was a complete beginner and he was the first one who made me feel like a kind of decent dancer. Nowadays we get loads of compliments when we dance, which makes me very proud 😀

    I do think it’s important to learn to dance in a room with no mirror, a mirror would probably have put me off. Everytime I take a dance lesson in a studio with mirrors I think I look completely awkward as well! And I can’t do any of the elegant hand gestures and elaborate feet movements like the Colombians!

    Oh and by the way, the Colombian spirit is definitely all about having fun, social dancing is not a competition!

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 10, 2017 @ 11:29 pm

      Oh my goodness! What a story you have! You should be very proud of your dancing. I appreciate your thoughtful comment and you’ve made me feel like there is still hope for my dancing!

      Reply

  6. Kelly
    June 10, 2017 @ 5:45 pm

    I give you so much credit. I am a horrendous dancer and so related when the guy said you had good “spirit”. That is what everyone says about me when I attempt to “tear it up”. Love your honesty and your attempt at this. I tried a few dance classes and was never invited back, if that gives you any idea of how it went.

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 10, 2017 @ 11:29 pm

      Haha, at least we tried, right?

      Reply

  7. Richelle
    June 11, 2017 @ 12:49 pm

    I love salsa dancing! I’ve been going out to salsa a lot in Beijing, but I’d love to go in Colombia. As you can imagine, the salsa scene in China isn’t the best in the world 😉

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 11, 2017 @ 2:16 pm

      Haha! Salsa in China sounds like a worthwhile experience itself

      Reply

  8. Alissa
    June 12, 2017 @ 9:41 am

    I appreciate the tone in this post! It’s conversational and engaging, and I think will resonate with anyone who has ever been scared to salsa dance 🙂 I do want to comment on the “is it more challenging to salsa as a man or a woman?” discussion in this post, though… While the salsa scene is fairly gendered and binary, women don’t have to follow and men don’t have to lead (in Colombia and globally). I think that it’s important to break down assumptions that people of x gender have to do x role (and that otherwise it’s some sort of transgression of gender). In salsa scenes around the world, you’ll find dancers who both lead and follow, and it’s my opinion that the best dancers know how to both lead and follow.

    Beyond that, it’s a bit offensive to all of the followers out there to assume that following is the “easier” role in the dance. While leading has a different set of challenges than following, it’s not inherently more difficult, in spite of the fact that the lead decides which turn patterns to use, etc. For example, I find following to be much more physically demanding than leading. Regardless, both roles are essential to the dance. My two cents from someone who leads and follows in salsa, but whenever I see or hear comments like this I find it pretty disappointing. It plays into the assumption that the man’s work is inherently more challenging and valuable (and that the woman’s work is inherently less important!), which is something that we need to unlearn in all spaces, including the dance floor.

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 12, 2017 @ 10:51 am

      Hi Alissa, I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. I also appreciate you taking the time to write a constructive comment, respectfully explaining your perspective.

      I do understand where you are coming from and I realize that not only men lead and not only women follow. For that reason, I purposefully noted “male role” and “female role” to indicate these roles do not necessarily need to be filled by the gender that is noted. I was not terribly explicit in this explanation, but I chose not to be, because I was writing about my experience as the lowest level of amateur.

      Basically, my intent was not to undermine anybody’s skill or experience as a dancer, especially because it is evident that I literally have no skills to speak of. The only purpose was to poke fun at myself and maybe give some readers a little push out of their comfort zones as well.

      Again, I did not mean to offend and thank you for your opinion.

      Reply

  9. Claire Summers
    June 12, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

    As I read this I’m preparing for me first salsa class! Haha. I’m a professional contemporary dancer but Salsa is a whole different ball game! I’m hopeless. Good to know I can learn in Colombia too. I move there in October 🙂

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 12, 2017 @ 2:12 pm

      What coincidental timing! Well as a dancer, you will at least have fundamental rhythm, but it will definitely be a different challenge!! Where are you moving in Colombia? That is so exciting! Good luck with your classes!

      Reply

  10. Ricci – When In My Journeys
    June 12, 2017 @ 2:34 pm

    I admire your spirit. You may not see those people anymore who thought you were awkward, so might as well be crazy all the way and just enjoy the moment. Or even if you do see them again, well at least you had fun and collected some good memories plus you had acquired a new skill too.

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 12, 2017 @ 2:39 pm

      Thank you, Ricci! This was the exact pep talk I would have with myself before my lessons or going out for the evening!

      Reply

  11. Whitney aka Mrs. Millennial
    June 12, 2017 @ 2:42 pm

    This was super funny. Thank you for sharing your awkward story, was exactly the perk-me-up I needed this afternoon!

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 12, 2017 @ 2:44 pm

      Aw, that’s so sweet! Thank you for reading!

      Reply

  12. Bob R
    June 12, 2017 @ 6:35 pm

    I spent a month in Cali a few years ago and never once made it to a dance floor. I regretted that later.

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 12, 2017 @ 7:54 pm

      The first step is definitely the hardest (no pun intended!)

      Reply

  13. Jas from My Suitcase Journeys
    June 12, 2017 @ 10:47 pm

    Hahahhaa so glad I’m a gal too. I’ve always wanted to try salsa but I have zero talent for dancing. At least I wouldn’t have to lead! This sounds like quite the experience though and I’d love to try it some day.

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 13, 2017 @ 8:58 am

      Haha! Definitely worth trying and it is super fun (after you get past the initial awkwardness)

      Reply

  14. ada
    June 14, 2017 @ 9:21 am

    Wow that seems like a amazing experience! Your pretty brave I am not sure if I would be so confident after 10 lessons 🙂 But I would definitely would love to try those classes in Colombia!

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 14, 2017 @ 9:52 am

      I presume you are using the term confidence very loosely, haha! It is definitely a fun experience!

      Reply

  15. Marlies
    June 14, 2017 @ 9:22 am

    I love your spirit! haha. Also like the way your write, made me laugh 🙂
    I have never tried salsa but also not sure if I can get over the awkwardness haha

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 14, 2017 @ 9:51 am

      Thank you! I think it is more about accepting the awkwardness, haha!

      Reply

  16. Corinne
    June 14, 2017 @ 10:38 am

    This is exactly what I would do when in South America. My daughter tried to teach me to roll my hips…it wasn’t working…we laughed and laughed. I would totally try it again!

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 14, 2017 @ 10:39 am

      Haha! I love it! Nothing better than laughing at (with…?) yourself!

      Reply

  17. Cw
    June 14, 2017 @ 2:42 pm

    Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement! This is so worth the try

    Reply

  18. Wanderlust Vegans
    June 15, 2017 @ 8:42 pm

    I would love to learn how to Salsa dance! How fun would that be to learn in a country Thats always dancing. Our friend is Columbian and her hips dont stop moving.

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 16, 2017 @ 8:54 am

      It is SOOO impressive!

      Reply

  19. Tara @trailheaders
    June 16, 2017 @ 11:42 am

    What a fun post and experience. Good for you trying to do something that is intentionally out of your comfort zone! Thanks for sharing. Just dance!!!!

    Reply

    • Cali
      June 16, 2017 @ 5:08 pm

      Haha, thank you!!

      Reply

  20. Zoya
    June 17, 2017 @ 4:25 am

    Haha! Your post is hilarious – good for you for giving it a go! Taking salsa classes in Colombia sure does sound like a whole lot of fun! Not sure I would be able to pull it off though, my dancing skills are…well…horrible!

    Reply

  21. Iza Abao
    June 17, 2017 @ 9:33 am

    It sounds really fun to learn salsa dance in Colombia. You get to be with the people who are passionate about salsa dancing so it will be easier to develop your dance moves. You are right when you said you have to feel it. Salsa dancers have a beautiful rhythm and make it look so easy. It was so nice that you had a chance to test your skills with an excellent dance partner. Be more confident next time because he said that he liked your spirit. You had the right attitude probably that’s why he kept dancing with you. Cheers to you!

    Reply

  22. Bruce Schinkel
    June 18, 2017 @ 1:20 pm

    Love the honesty … there’s definitely something to that NA vs SA hip ability! I’ve also been know to “have good spirit” when forced onto the dance floor.

    Reply

  23. Riely
    June 19, 2017 @ 1:36 am

    Such a fun feat to learn how to salsa dance in Colombia. I applaud you for challenging yourself even though dancing isn’t your best strengths. And it seems to have paid off a little as you got to dance in Cali with a partner multiple times! I would say that made your lessons worth while.

    Reply

  24. Michelle | michwanderlust
    August 29, 2017 @ 6:44 am

    I did a few lessons at Dancefree too and totally loved the place! I went in the opposite direction from you – from Cali to Medellin, so didn’t get to try out my new moves in Cali, haha. I did do one taster salsa class in Cali which was crazy confusing – in Medellin they explained to me that the footwork in the Cali-style salsa is so complicated, even salsa pros from other countries get confused. So don’t feel too bad about it! Anyway the most important thing is to have fun, right? 🙂

    Reply

    • Cali
      August 29, 2017 @ 9:02 am

      Haha, exactly! But why can’t there be just one type of salsa….lol

      Reply

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