Thursday, June 14, 2012


On our second day in Quito, we got to have a unique experience: a salsa lesson in Spanish! Nearly everyone (including our professor, guide and teaching assistant!) packed into a small dance studio off of Avenida Rio Amazonas for a private lesson. Our slightly eccentric teacher started us off with basic but energetic bodily warmups for our arms and legs. After the first song, we were already a little tired out!

We then moved to learning "el paso básico" along with the beat: "¡uno dos tres, cinco seis siete!" our teacher yelled. (Whatever happened to counts four and eight is still a mystery to me). While we didn't get any videos of ourselves dancing, here is a video of the basic step for you to try at home:

We then paired up, boys on one side (as well as some girls willing to take the lead for the night) and the girls on the other. Things got tricky when the "boys" had to now learn the steps backwards! After "el paso básico", we moved on to side steps ("el segundo paso") and turns, all to the count of "¡uno dos tres, cinco seis siete!" I was a lead for the night, and I definitely had some trouble keeping up with all the directions (¡"el segundo, básico, segundo!")! Things got even more complicated when we started to incorporate the turns--definitely turned in the wrong direction several times.

All in all, despite having two left feet and very little concept of a beat, I can now say I know the basic steps of salsa! Will I be able to do them on my own to my own music? Probably not, but I'll definitely be pulling out my moves at the salsa clubs in the Galápagos!

To end, here's a video of some world-class salsa dancers!

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