On Saturday night, Johanna’s friend, Dalila, and her husband Juan, invited us out for a night of salsa dancing. My first thought was, “Great, I really like Dalila and Juan.” My second thought, “You moved to Colombia, you are not Colombian, you are white, very, very, white.” Johanna reassured me that I would be fine, and even practiced with me at the apartment. I was feeling better, until we danced by the mirror. I dance like a cadaver.
The club was small, the music was loud, and we met up with about 10 people that spoke Spanish. My choices were: embarrass myself with my mouth or with my feet.
I embarrassed myself with both, but it started with my feet. Johanna took me out on the dance floor, where I proceeded to stomp around like Frankenstein. Soon, I was sweating from dancing, and I wasn’t feeling quite as nervous. I realized, just like learning the language, people love that you are trying, and are willing to help.
With Johanna’s help and the help of a few friends, I started to loosen up. The copious amounts of Aguadiente passed around the table didn’t hurt either.
A friend of Juan and Dalila’s, who teaches salsa, gave me some free lessons and, by the end of the night, I went from cadaver to walking dead. Baby steps.
While Johanna and I didn’t know many people, they all showed us a great time and treated us as if we were old friends. Don’t underestimate the kindness of strangers.