Salsa With No Chips


You know the scene in Dirty Dancing where Jennifer Grey first meets Patrick Swayze in the staff only bar ("I carried a watermelon") and then awkwardly grinds on his knee? That's the only part of the movie that I've ever related to.

As much as I wanted to be the shining star that shimmied, shook and sexily strutted herself across a stage, dancing was never my forte. So when Fred signed us up for salsa lessons, I was jacked. Maybe all I ever needed was a little private instruction to unlock my inner dancing goddess. And I had visions of Fred and I becoming Fred and Ginger, gliding our way across our wedding dance floor—the perfect dance partners.

"If you can count, you can salsa," our instructor assured us the first day. And for the most part she was right. I got basic step down without a problem, and even started swaying my hips, emulating her style. I was starting to feel more like the "I've Had the Time of My
Life" Jennifer Grey and less like the "I carried a watermelon" one.

I looked over at Fred who was beside me (we hadn't partnered up yet, while we were learning the steps). He clunked around in his work boots and I began to get concerned about his remedial math skills. But eventually he got it and we partnered up

That's when I realized just how deadly those work boots could be. He managed to step on my toes (and I was wearing high-heeled sandals, thank you very much) THREE times. So much for my new pedicure.

And I also realized one of Fred's not so endearing traits— he's a perfectionist. As we were learning new, more complicated steps, if he could not pick it up immediately, he would get very frustrated. On one of the spin moves, he made us practice it so many times that I began to get dizzy.

At the end of the class, our instructor noticed my ring. "you know, we do couples wedding classes," she said. "You bring in your song and we'll choreograph a dance for you." I looked down at my broken toenails and up at Fred's furrowed brow. Um… I think we'll stick with slow dancing.