December 5, 2014

500 Days of SALSA!!

I have a secret. I have had a debilitating phobia throughout my life. I may have done a number of brave things in life, but I have always been afraid, no, terrified of the very notion of dancing. Jump out of a flying plane at 11,000 feet? No problem. Perform on stage in front of thousands? Been there and done that in style. Shake a leg? God save my soul!! My default reaction to the topic of dance has always been to physically take a step back.

All that went for a toss one late evening, in the second half of July 2013. I was having coffee with a friend, who in the course of a free-flowing discussion, expressed her intention to learn to dance salsa, and that she needed a partner. As always, the mention of dance triggered a 'fight-or-flight' response within me, but for some reason, I chose the 'fight' option that night. Maybe it was the cold night air, maybe it was her pleasant company or maybe I was feeling particularly brave in the 'face-your-fear' kind of way. Perhaps my brain had resigned itself to the inevitable, after 3 years of half-baked promises to myself, that only ended in secretly following all dance studios in Pune. Nevertheless, something just fell in place, and thus kicked off a new chapter of my life that has proven to be quite the adventure, and changed me in many ways, some good, some arguably not-so-good, but most of them quite irreversible!

Today, I celebrate 500 days of salsa.

I celebrate the first time I stepped into the studio for my Salsa Level 1 batch.
I celebrate learning a new art form absolutely from scratch. and really, really struggling with it.
I celebrate not giving up when others did, and reaching a bare minimum level of proficiency at it.
I celebrate my instructors who put up with my obnoxious level of attention to detail and tendency to break down and analyze every single thing.
I celebrate experiencing the rush of a new obsession, and falling head-over-heels in love with the music, history and language.
I celebrate 4 international dance congresses and countless socials, where I made tons of new friends and shared numerous beautiful moments.
I celebrate my first on-stage dance performance (after kindergarten!) at an international salsa festival.
I celebrate 500 days of facing my fear and coming out on top (most of the time, at least!).
I celebrate working hard and getting better continuously, to a point where I can now inspire other people. I am humbled and honoured to be able to give back, in any small way I can.
I celebrate a studio that feels like my second home and a mad, mad gang of people who are practically my extended family now.
I celebrate going for dance lessons, and returning with life lessons.
I celebrate that I have broken through the glass ceiling, and that I will continue to work hard and grow at a brisk pace in the days to come.
I celebrate this serenity that I feel within me since the last few weeks whenever I step on the dance floor, because I no longer dance to face my fears, for there are none left.
I celebrate that I now dance for the joy of unbounded expression through being one with the music.
I celebrate that dancing gives me the same indescribable feeling inside my heart, that playing guitar does.

Today, I celebrate my next 500 days of salsa. The journey has only begun!



Ashwini said...
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riturhs said...

Cheers to the 500 'HappyFeet'!! Many more to come:)

Simar said...

Dancing is the music of life.. Keep dancing and celebrating life..