We were both whacked out of our heads and tired as we walked through the main walkway at Imperial College London. Whacked from working like nutters on our final year projects in the computer room. But one thing we could never miss was the transparent dance practices that were going in the junior common room. There was magic going on there, true magic as dance couples practised their routines. It was a surreal moment in the geeky haven.
About three years later I was now doing a PhD at Imperial and salsa classes had now moved to the main floor of the Mechanical Engineering Department where I was based at. This time the classes were even nearer to me and this main floor also had a glass wall that was clearly visible from the main road. In fact even today you can see classes going on there 🙂
By this time I had been playing in my band, sung in a choir, played hockey and generally done quite a few things. It was time to take the plunge and go dancing instead!
That and a bar in High Street Kensington known as Bar Cuba was also another great place to start learning to dance salsa. So I went for it…I remember the first class, there were loads and loads of people there. And couple dancing seemed a bit strange at first…not to mention rather clumsy.
I have to admit, there were loads and loads of false starts in the beginning. I’d go classes for 3 or 4 weeks in a row and then stop for a year. Try the same again next year and then go back. There were quite a few personal and mental challegenges to be overcome and I just wasn’t dedicated enough to it at that time.
But in late 2006 that all took a turn for the better, I discovered a new class at ULU. It was much smaller and you got to know people there much quicker. By that time a major event in my life had also happened. I had lost my dad in a sudden death, my world was shaken…and a major conclusion was that life is too short, you might as well do what you want to do…
It wasn’t easy to start off with, there was a mental routine to learn, a physical one to execute and a lady to deal with (spelt “lead” backwards) all at the same time (“You shouldn’t be doing this, do that etc.,” oh my god here comes mummy again!)
But week after week I got better and better and slowly upped it two classes per week by hitting another class at a club near Leicester Square. Asking a girl for a freestyle dance after class was tough man, really tough as a guy beginner especially in that club setting, but I gradually got over it…the more I freestyled the better I got.
So that’s how I started it all off, hopefully I will also write about how it is going now and any other dance related magic, who knows what you will see here eh?