Sunday, 22 May 2016


The dance group I joined was dissolved in late April due to too low number of students to make running classes cost-effective for the school. As people were dropping off along the way, firstly two groups were merged into one and then, as number of folks eager to continue went down below five couples (from sixteen on the onset), it all went phut.

Truth be told, I did not look out actively for a new class. I owe taking it up to someone else, who induced me to move my arse and sign up for a class in a totally different style, in a totally new place (Warsaw, downtown).

The choice, though as I need to stress not entirely mine, is challenging, as Latin dances are featured with high complexity in terms of body movements. Merely moving around to the rhythm is far from enough. To get it right you need to practice a lot, have a good teacher who knows how to explain what you don’t… feel and you need to have… knack for it.

Bachata is one of those Latin dances geared to make the most of the proximity between partners. If you plan to take it up, you need to realise it and not be perplexed by it. The course I have signed up for is focused at learning to dance universally, not to learn to dance with your partner, therefore participants switch between partners several times during the class. It requires some openness from couples who come over, yet if someone does not accept it, no one coerces them to pop round. As yesterday I was telling my friends about the classes, they came up with comparison to swingers’ parties… Which is an unjustified parallel.

Compared to the previous school, the set-up and style of running classes are worlds apart. In the new place a class begins with a quarter-long warm-up, while the remaining 45 minutes are spent dancing and participants are given more free rein when it comes what exactly they want to practise. On the other hand the drawback is a still big number of people, so before some of them drop off you might not reckon the teacher will come around to assist you every time you struggle to get it right.

The climate of the school smacks of what sometimes is depicted in dance films. Side street in eastern Śródmieście, entrance in a dim gate, stairs down to a basement, tiny interior, steamy inside, smell of human sweat in the air… Ideal conditions for making new friends ;-)

All in all, glad I’ve found one more activity to get the stress out of myself. I have no idea how long I carry on with this, as I am aware of my limitations and dancing Bachata is not a piece of cake.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t lack self-confidence and am not about to give up shortly after the word ‘go’. Growing mature is about realising both one’s strengths and weaknesses. One should make the most of the former, leverage on them and boast about them. But when it comes to the latter, one should strive to overcome them when possible, but if not, know when to stop and back away in dignity. Both partners must draw pleasure from dancing; if one is dissatisfied with the other, the other one should not be indifferent about it. Otherwise it ain’t gonna play ;-)

1 comment:

DC said...

Any chance you've seen the Japanese film "Shall We Dance?" (1996) It might not be easy to find, but considering this post and a few of your previous ones, it might be a film that you would enjoy.

It's about people finding connections to each other, however awkwardly, and trying to find out what makes them happy in life. It's very well done, gentle, funny, and without the completely predictable plot that so many Hollywood movies have (although the US version did get good reviews - I didn't see that as I tend to prefer original versions.)

If you can find it, I highly recommend it. Good luck with the lessons!