Po czterech latach nauki oto co udało mi się napisać "na kolanie" podczas dwugodzinnego czekania do lekarza. Wrzucam ten tekst ze wszystkimi błędami, jakie popełniłam w swej niewiedzy. Jestem z siebie bardzo dumna, bo przed kursem nie byłam w stanie napisać więcej niż "I'm seventeen years old. I have two older brothers" - czy ktoś jeszcze pamięta te pierwsze teksty, których uczono nas pisać w podstawówce? Tyle lat nauki w szkole, a ja nie byłam w stanie poprowadzić najprostszej konwersacji, czy napisać łatwego tekstu. Oczywiście musiałam sprawdzić kilka słów w słowniku, ale było ich tyle co palców u rąk, więc i tak jest nieźle. Myślę, że to jest najlepsza rekomendacja dla szkoły International House. Nie mogłam podjąć trafniejszej decyzji. Nie wiem, czy ktoś kiedyś był tak bardzo dumny jak ja obecnie jestem. Wydaje mi się, że zasłużyłam na porządne wakacje. Jutro Grecja :)
It happened to me seven or eight years ago. I started to attend a free salsa course at a bar called “La Salsa”. I had been dreaming about dancing since I saw “Dirty Dancing”, a film story that was set in 1960s, when dance styles like mambo, fox-trot and cha-cha ruled on the dance floor. When I first saw “Baby” and Johnny dancing magic mambo, I was in secondary school. Up to then I read many books and saw thousands of love stories on a TV so I was naïve and full of dreams (not much has changed since then). Being like “Baby”, who was taught to dance as a professional dancer, was my daydream. I identified with her, because I hadn’t had dance skills, just like her, before she met Johnny and became a wonderful dancer. I could easily see myself in that position. You can only imagine how strong her picture becoming a dance floor star influenced my imaginary. So it was just a small step from dreaming about being her to doing something to help myself to become a great dancer.
When a friend of mine suggested we can go to a new salsa club, I didn’t think twice. We arranged to meet one day and went to “La Salsa”. As soon as we entered the room, with the bar full of exotic drinks and the dance floor full of people, with the crowd around the tables and loud Latin music, I felt like finally I’ve found the place I belong to. I immediately fell in love with salsa music and dance, because when we stepped the door the very first thing we saw was “rueda”. It’s kind of a dance style when four or more couples dance together in a circle to the commands of the leader. The dance includes changing partners a lot, arms lifting, quick steps and very dynamic rhythm.
I stood there like a lunatic and watched the rueda dance with a big, dreamy smile on my face. And I was daydreaming. Through my mind flashed pictures of me dancing like “Baby” with her Johnny in “Dirty Dancing”.
That very first day in “La Salsa” club my new goal occurred to me. I wanted to be contemporary “Baby”, a beautiful young girl, who’s learning how to dance with a handsome boy I met on the dance floor (Actually it was my destiny but I didn’t know it yet).
So I started to attend that course twice a week or even more and my love to salsa was rising every day. I was learning first steps and turnovers and finally I was asked to join rueda. It was a month or so and they said I was ready to learn rueda! I like to think it happened because I was a quick learner and I had natural skills of feeling the rhythm and dancing although I hadn’t been aware of having those before.
It took another month before the owner of the club suggested that I should permanently join the group of dancers he had created from course participants. They had given few performances already and they were on a really high level of rueda comparing to me. I was told that they were preparing themselves to another show and they needed someone who will fill in the absence of one girl. I immediately said yes, without thinking and fear. The fear came after but I managed to forget about all the stress I should feel knowing myself and my fear of public appearance. All those disappeared when first sounds of music came to my ears. It has always been like that and it is now. When I dance I forget about everything around me. I forget faces looking at me, names of dance figures I should remember. There is only me, the music and my partner. My moves come from my heart and all the dance figures are placed in my brain so deeply that I can’t forget them. As I said, it’s always been like that - when I don’t think about anything and just feel the music and the rhythm, just dance - then I do my best.
But I forgot myself and missed the main topic, so now we have to go back one or two steps in the past. This always happens when I speak about salsa- I forget about my listeners. You just have to forgive me.
So we are back to my first live performance. Let’s go now to my flat, where I’m preparing my costume. Remember: I’m imagining myself as a “Baby” from the “Dirty Dancing” film. I know there will be my future husband (we don’t know it yet, but we know I was in love with him already) as one of the dancers. So I need to look perfectly. My choice then is simple. It has to be my new, grey cotton dress. Never in use, especially while dancing. Plus comfortable white ballerinas as a last hint of brain works. When I’m looking at the mirror I’m feeling like a princess. I am thin (not like now), I’ve got long, blond hair, I’m young and my dress is looking really sexy on my body. You have to know I wasn’t thinking properly while preparing my clothes. I should remember then that I didn’t know how my dress would work during such activity like dancing in a small room. I should remember my body, which doesn’t work well with sweat. I should remember all of those! But who thinks when there is a handsome man on the horizon! Definitely not me!
Now let’s go back to the club. Let’s leave me alone with my daydreams and my stupidity. When I stood in a circle with other couples, in front of everyone in the club, waiting for the first sounds of heat salsa music, I felt a little nervous (but in a good way) and very excited. Finally we started to dance. Owww, what a fun it was! I did my best! In fact I danced like a butterfly. My dress eddied around my legs so beautifully and lightly! That time everybody was watching me and surprisingly I liked it very much. It felt so good! At last I was “Baby” from my dreams. I felt so beautifully and nicely dressed. You couldn’t imagine my self-satisfaction. We were planned to dance twice with different routine, so we had a little break in the middle of our show. It was either time to go to the bar or to the bathroom to check your appearance. Unfortunately I chose the second alternative. It was a big mistake. Now I know I should go to the bar instead! Because in a mirror I saw my perfect look ruined. I saw a horror! I saw two ugly big dark sweat stains under my arms. The really noticeable stains. And I danced like that! During the dance I’d lifted my arms so many times I couldn’t count it! What a dreadful situation! Now I knew they watched me because of my stains, not my dancing! And I thought I was so talented! Yeah, in having stains under my arms rather than dancing. That was my special ability!
That thought was so embarrassing I wasn’t able to feel fun anymore. I was dreaming about staying in the bathroom forever! Eventually I returned to the main room to give the second part of the show with other dancers, but now it was a nightmare! I was so stressed about my dress that I was able only to think about those ugly stains rather than about the steps. Since the “bathroom visit” I made so many mistakes that I can’t think about it now without shame. I know I let down my group but it was stronger than me- that thought about stains was chasing me for the rest of the dance. It was a stupid mistake, putting on something I hadn’t tried before. I won’t make it anymore. I should know myself and my body better and guess what will happen. But I was obviously so blind and stunned because of my future husband’s appearance (I still don’t know how it’s possible that he wanted me after all, after he had seen me with sweat stains bigger than my head! But I guess it will remain the greatest mystery of life).
Now I’m much wiser. I know that if I hadn’t been so stupid to try a completely new dress for an energetic dance like that, I wouldn’t have felt so embarrassed then and now, when I’m thinking about it. In the end it turned out to be a great lesson and it taught me a lot. I’m going to be smarter for the future and not going to give any more reasons to my husband for leaving me or even think about it J