Initially Lost For Words – But Then I Blurted This Out…

You may know from previous posts that I am learning to dance salsa.

It is part of my effort to fully embrace a Spanish way of life.

Dancing salsa is a lot of fun and the parallels to learning a language are quite remarkable.

I went to my fifth class last night.

The way it works is that there are three classes all taking place at the same time but in different rooms.

The beginners (that’s me!) go to a separate room and strut the basic 1,2,3…5,6,7…1,2,3….5,6,7.  We then get given a move to work on for the rest of the class.

Intermediate and advanced dancers spin and twirl and learn all sorts of dance contortions on the main dance floor.

When us beginners learn a move, we get into a circle and pair up with a partner so we can practice.  Then after one or two attempts at the move, all the girls move on to the next bloke in the circle of dancers.

So you get to meet a lot of new people as the ladies circulate.

Some are talkative and introduce themselves.  Some aren’t and don’t.

The move we were working on is called The Wrap.  Basically the guy turns the girl into a close hold and then spins her back out again.  It looks very impressive when you do it right.

If you are interested, here’s a video I found on YouTube that shows you the move:

After trying out our new move with about 6 different partners, my next partner introduced herself as “Hope”.

She then went on to say “I am Spanish!”

Well you could have knocked me down with a wet copy of the Salsa Gazette!.

After pondering on how to start a conversation only the other day, here I was with a live Spanish speaker… who couldn’t escape!

The basic beginners hold in salsa is a “man’s palm up, girl hooks hands over palms” affair.

But if she tried to get away, it would be quite easy to turn that into a basic arm lock!  Or even a strong neck hold!  I knew the Aikido would come in handy at some point!

[Just for the record for any liberal politically correct types who have nothing better to do… this is meant to be a humorous, ironic, piece of observational humour … think comedy soap opera/farce wrestling scenario – and in no way is seen to promote, endorse or encourage any form of violence or aggression against women… especially Spanish speaking women.  It pains me that I have to make that clear, but in this day and age trolling seems to be the only thing some people can do!]

So back to the story.

Hope has just announced to me that she was Spanish.

And that’s when I was momentarily lost for words.

What do I say?



More “errrrrs’.

And if we didn’t already have enough Mmmmmms, here are some more:


I had to say something because we were about to start wrapping again and I knew I would only have her captive attention (minus any headlocks!] for a couple of minutes.

She had already said this:

HOPE:  Hello.  My name is Hope.  I am Spanish

Here is how the rest of the conversation went:

ME:  Me llama Michael

HOPE:  ¡Habla español!

ME: Entiendo un poco, y hablo un poco español.

HOPE: Ah. Su nombre es Miguel [Michael in Spanish]

ME: Ah… sí

HOPE: [In English] How long have you been learning Spanish

ME: Aprendo español por dos meses.

HOPE: Muy bien.

I should have stopped there whilst I was winning.  But I thought I would thank her for dancing with me.

I mumbled something along the lines of:

ME: Muchos gracias por bailar con mi.

I don’t think it was grammatically correct, because she corrected me my saying “conmigo”.

But… I got the message across.

So not only do I get to practice a bit of Spanish, I learn some too!

I was understood.

It felt good.

…Though there was a downside.

Throughout the rest of the evening whenever we got to dance together, she would say stuff in Spanish.

What it was, I have no idea.

I just smiled at her each time and either said “Sí” or “muy bien” as confidently as I could, and then threw her into another wrap move to distract her!

I knew the salsa would come in useful!


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