Damn. That Martine sure knows how to move his hips!
I like to think of myself as a very uninhibited and confident dancer. But during the salsa lesson we filmed tonight, I found keeping up with the 5'2" Guatemalan dancing machine quite the challenge. There we were, all lit up and on camera in the middle of a popular Antiguan club, trying to look natural while Martine marched us through a very demanding "Salsa For Dummies" boot camp. Every time I turned, he twisted. Every time I twisted, he turned. Every time I locked into a groove with him, he threw in an extra spin just to keep me on my toes.
Did it ever. Before I had time to notice I was "perspiring," I got lost in the rhythm, the hip swaying, and the liberation of sensual salsa dancing while the rest of the club and curious onlookers seemingly drifted away.
Cheesy confession time! Tonight's dance lesson reminded me of my favorite movie, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. Don't laugh. Especially if you've never seen it. In the movie, a blond American girl is schooled in the art of salsa by an attractive, free-spirited Cuban (re: Martine) who shows her how to break free from the shackles of society's repressions and unleash her inner passions through dance. Or something like that.
As Martine dipped me for the umpteenth time tonight, I couldn't help but replay scenes from the Dirty Dancing sequel in my mind, and realize I was acting out the real-life version of it, dancing passionately and connecting deeply with the music while a group of strangers watched on. My adrenaline pumped and my confidence soared. Our lesson is now just a memory (and a piece of footage!), but I will always cherish it and think back upon it every time I dance. I'm just sad Martine won't be there next time to encourage me with his wise words: "Come on, move your hips...sexy, sexy." Hopefully I can keep his spirit with me!