The following Latin Dance Life story was sent to LDC from a dancer named “Ohio Salsa”.
“Dear Kizomba girl from cruise…
I was on the Latin dance cruise last year. I was interested in Kizomba as a second dance so I had about five beginner group sessions under my belt with about ten dances. I had enough basics to hold my own as a newbie and was excited to be there on my trip of a lifetime.
It was Saturday and I ventured out on the Kizomba deck of the ship. I danced twice to start…a little shaky at first but OMG exhilarating. The sense of community, sharing, and belonging was thrilling and now I see why its popular. You appeared to me a beautiful and Asian. All smiles I asked you to dance. You smiled and said ‘Ok’. I started with “heartbeat” to find a grove with you.
You suddenly went in to this pelvic grind undulation move that left me speechless. I tried to follow you as to not let you down but then you stopped in the middle of the song and asked, “How long have you been dancing? How many years….um…. months…..um…..days?”
I was floored.
I said with a smile, “I’m new but have enough to get by”. You then said (hand on heart) “I’m an advanced dancer from TX, do you even know what a ‘box step’ is?” (lol…I still don’t). I thought “Wow ok! I wasn’t ready for that”. Then in the middle of the deck in front of God a country and everyone you proceeded to teach me Kizomba. Smacking my knees and legs if stepped incorrectly…much like you would if you were disciplining a toddler.
I have never felt more defeated and like crap in all my dancing experience more than that moment. I don’t know why it bothered me…perhaps I put you on a pedestal or put too much burden on you.
Thank heaven the song ended. I left the Kizomba deck (head down) and went back to my cabin immediately. I thought “Why am I here? I suck”. I started reviewing my videos from Kizomba dance class and thought… “Was I that bad? She didn’t even let me lead a single move before she humiliated me.”
I never danced Kizomba after that on the cruise and that memory still impacts me. I know it shouldn’t have, but it did.
So dear girl from cruise, choose your words carefully. We were all new once and in this instance your words crushed my fragile dance spirit.
With advice from my warm friends back home at the studio I have continued on my Kizomba journey fueled not by hurt buy by your harsh words. If I see you again let me apologize ahead of time for not asking you to dance…I’m sure an “Advanced dancer” would be more than happy though… ;- ).
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