Posted by: Cathy | November 9, 2015

Salsa as Personal Development

Here I am going out for salsa lessons!

Here I am going out for salsa lessons!

The Universe told me to try salsa, which I did last Monday. I got three “calls” from the Universe, and I finally answered “Yes.”

Here’s the backstory …

I love Italy, which doesn’t have anything to do with salsa, but it was essential in my path to salsa. Loving Italy and wanting to travel there more, I decided to study Italian language. I like languages and have studied French since middle school, and I’ve always wanted to be multilingual, so I was happy studying Italian on Duolingo.com. When I finished their Italian module, I was browsing in their forum for other stuff that might help me on my Italian fluency path. One woman asked about finding conversation buddies, and someone pointed her to ConversationExchange.com, where I decided to put up a free profile. I said I was interested in Italian and French conversation partners. I was promptly swamped with Italian natives wanting to practice their English! I chose a few for correspondence, and now I have a new friend in Rome who will go with me to a football game in a few weeks when I’m there on vacation.

I also received a few messages from French conversation partners and one lives in Paris and loves to dance; he takes classes multiple times each week. In our first Skype chat, alternating French and English, we talked about his dancing and he said he’d be happy to teach me next time I visit Paris, but encouraged me to take a class in the meantime. I said, sure, maybe I’ll look into it, planning to look maybe after the new year. That was “call” one.

Literally the next day, I read an article by Cheryl Richardson where she talks about learning personal lessons in a salsa class, some things that I know are challenges for me: “Relax, release, let go. Trust others to take charge. Allow yourself to be held, treasured, danced.” That was “call” two.

So I looked up dance studios near me – one offers different dance styles on a rotating monthly basis and guess what the beginning class for November was? Yep, salsa. That was “call” three so I said, dammit, I better sign up!

The actual class …

I was nervous but I signed up in advance so I wouldn’t back out at the last minute. I’m an introvert, so going alone to a dance class where I’d need to dance with strangers was intimidating. But I knew the Universe had put these pieces in my path so I would notice and I felt obligated to follow the breadcrumbs.

The class was pretty good actually! Almost fun, except that I was a little nervous and maybe a little tense. There were six or seven couples, and a few obviously knew each other already. I was one of 3 solo ladies, one was 8 years old, and there were 2 solo men plus the teacher. I got to dance maybe 3/5 with the teacher and a little more than 1/5 with one guy and a little less than 1/5 with the other guy. The first guy was a little stiff too, which made it a little more awkward, but the second guy seemed nice and I wouldn’t mind dancing with him again.

I plan to go again next Monday. I hope then I might be able to relax and enjoy it. Then I’ll be away on vacation and I’ll have to see what classes they offer for December or January.

The lesson …

Noticing messages from the Universe is one thing, but you need to act on them.

I’m proud of myself for accepting the challenge and going to one salsa class, but that’s not the end of it. There’s something here for me to learn, and one class opened the door for me to receive this lesson but it’s just the beginning. I need to keep following the breadcrumbs.

The lessons for me are trust, following, letting my guard down, being vulnerable, going with the flow, allowing myself to be led and held. Just thinking about how valuable these lessons will be for me is making me teary.

And who knows … it could lead to an amazing dance experience with my conversation partner in Paris, or I could get something I can’t even anticipate yet. Who knows what else I’ll receive as I open up to these life lessons through salsa.

I had to hear the Universe calling, pick up the phone, and say Yes.

Do you hear the Universe calling you? Have you picked up the phone? What will you answer?

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