I've been salsa-dancing.

I mean, not uninterruptedly, to the exclusion of all else, since last I wrote to you at the beginning of the month.  I've been doing other things as well: I had some delightful guests come to stay. I got pummeled by the first few weeks of classes, and saw seven films at my new obsession, the Atlantic Film Festival.  I spent some 20+ hours exercising.  But in making my account to you of where I have been all this time, I want to be sure to testify that yes: I have taken up salsa.

And it couldn't be more delightful: my sassy teachers started us off with the most basic deprogramming of our belief in our own lack of rhythm and grace.  We spent a half hour playing air-guitar (losing our inhibitions), walking rhythmically in a giant circular conga line (asserting that every single one of us could, when push came to shove, keep a beat.  Because if you lose the beat in a conga line, push most definitely comes to shove.), and somehow by the end of our first hour we had learned the two basic steps of the salsa.  My first day of dance class was also my first day of the new semester, so I got to observe the introductory lesson plan from both teacher's and student's perspective.  This may be the first time I have actually taken a class since I started teaching my own: I was astonished and impressed by how clearly I could see the structure of the lesson, and how smoothly it all came off.

Since then we have learned the basics of partnering: how the lead communicates the next move, and how the female partner receives it.  This latter is particularly difficult for me - I always find myself anticipating what the next move should be, rather than waiting for a signal.  The result is chaotic: better to follow your partner into error smoothly than to anticipate correctness discordantly.  So salsa is proving to be quite the weekly psychology lesson for me.  (I also learned that when I am concentrating really hard on something, I can't look my partner in the eye.  What's that about?)

At any rate, my apologies for the brief silence of Sycorax Pine.  Here's hoping it will be a bit more garrulous around here from now on.

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