Salsa Nights in Manila

Looking from a distance, my heart is filled with amazement, excitement, and some kind of ache and yearning to dance. I don't know about you, but looking at someone gracefully dancing to the rhythm as if it was the most natural thing in the world sparks a little bit of jealousy in me.

So I came one Thursday night to Chihuahua Mexican Grill to learn Salsa, and of course, get a legit Fat Taco while I'm at it (I have not had one since I left LA!). I saw a couple of people dancing Kizomba, which is probably the sexiest thing I've seen all week, lol. At that time, I was clueless about the difference between Kizomba, Salsa, Samba, Reggaeton, Bachata and other Latin dances. All I knew was that dancing was made for me, and I was made for it, regardless of how good I am. Haha! For some people, the beat just calls out to you, and you know you have to get moving. It's the same thrill I get when I think about travel and adventure. It's a different feeling -- even if I'm dancing like a crazy, mad woman alone in my room.

In reality, this is what I really look like. Hahaha!

Thankfully, there was a gentleman going around the room looking for new Salsa partners. The whole time, all I had in my mind was: it's probably horrible dancing with a newbie. But thank you for bearing with me, cute gentleman. I had to look at my feet for the first few songs, but I was able to at least dance while looking at my partner's eyes before the night ended.

Kizomba dancers at Chihuahua Mexican Grill at Fort Bonifacio. Photo grabbed from Salsa in Manila facebook page.

I went to Brasas for another night of dancing the day after. All this while working an eight-hour job and doing boxing on the side, plus a mountaineering activity the next day (someone stop me from killing myself!). This was courtesy of The Salsa Project of the Manila Salsa Congress, where they host different Salsa nights at different restaurants every week.

Enjoying Latin Dance at Brasas at SM Jazz Mall. Yes, I am somewhere in this photo! :D

Tonight was a little better, and I was able to dance with more partners and feel more confident about throwin' my hips around despite my untrained footwork. I feel like a natural, haha. And I'm really thankful for all the guys who taught me! Yay, you people are awesome for giving this girl some sass!

This is pretty much what it looks like in Brasas :)

Needless to say, I fell in-love with Latin dances. At first look, it would seem like it must have taken them a while to practice the dance to make it feel so natural. In reality, it is a free dance. The guy takes the lead, but in the end, it's the woman that shines. They complement each other, and it's beautiful to see how the guys take responsibility to keep you from bumping on other dancers, or to gauge on how fast you can follow the lead, or lead you back on track; and how the girls would have to trust that their partners will catch them, or that they're creating beautiful and fun moves according to the rhythm, or that he won't leave you completely clueless. It may seem like there's a power struggle when you hear the word "lead" but it all boils down to respect for each other's duties and realizing that both are equally important to make the dance work its magic.

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