Ms. Erin Feldman is a woman of many talents, and she shares her favorite happy talents right here with five dances. I’m so envious of her abilities, and I wish I lived where she does to join her in lessons. Thanks to Erin for continuing The Happy Friday Series! Now put on your fave Gypsy Kings and read on! Thanks for playin’, Erin!
A few years ago, I decided to take swing dance classes because I wanted an activity that got me outside the house and helped me to make friends. I soon switched to salsa; while I enjoyed swing, the classes didn’t attract people my age nor were there many opportunities to go swing dancing in the city where I was living. Salsa was another matter. Salsa was the dance of the city. Classes were offered at multiple studios and multiple times per week. Gads of people attended. Salsa happened at some venue almost every night of the week.
Because of my longstanding relationship with salsa – I took lessons for almost two years and went dancing most Friday nights – salsa is one of my favorite dances. I can’t help but smile when I hear a salsa beat. It recalls memories, and it makes me happy. Other dances make me happy, too; to learn and dance salsa necessarily means learning and dancing other dances.
My five favorite and happy dances are:
Salsa. As I’ve said, it’s my dance. I may be a guera (fair or light skinned), but I can dance salsa. In fact, the few times I’ve attempted country dancing I’ve been told I dance like a salsa dancer. A compliment? I don’t know.
Cha cha. Cha cha competes with salsa for my love. Cha cha isn’t quite as frenetic as salsa occasionally can be. It has a beautiful rhythm. Besides, a cha cha line dance exists. It’s complicated, but it’s entirely too much fun. Another plus is that one doesn’t need a dance partner for the cha cha line dance.
Merengue. I don’t actually like the merengue all that much except for the fact that I often danced it with some of my friends. We would join hands and spin each other and go around and around until we were tangled like pretzels and laughing so hard that we couldn’t breathe.
Tango. I love and admire the tango. I’m not very good at it because it’s entirely different from the other dances. Control comes exclusively from the frame. While observers note the ochos and ganchos, the strength behind those moves comes from the center. Even if one doesn’t intend to pursue the tango seriously, it’s a good dance to learn. It leads to improvement with the other dances and teaches one to be more attuned to following the lead.
Swing. I still love swing, probably because it’s the dance my mom taught me. She’d grab my hands and make me dance around the house with her. Swing actually can be divided into two camps, East Coast and West Coast. They’re both quite different from each other, but they’re both equally fun.
What about you? Do you have some favorite dances? Does dancing make you happy?