Lesson 18: Sambaaaaa

Happy Friday, dancers!!!

A couple days ago, I had my lesson. This wasn’t even a big deal.

I was kind of thrilled, though, that this time entailed not much of anything. It’s almost painful to do nothing but just drill technique and steps again and again and again. Plus, I think my supply of seemingly unlimited brainpower tends to crap out after a while.

Teach and I discussed our weekends. I told him about how I shopped and partied in an awesome club and he told me about Manhattan Dancesport. I wish I had been there! Really only for him and Emmanuel and Liana, though, even though just watching the competition is fun. The energy level at Manhattan is absolutely insane.

After that, Teach pretty much just grabbed me and started dancing samba. See, I keep thinking I can’t remember my choreography, but then when he does something wrong, I hit him with, “Actually…”

We hadn’t done samba in weeks! And we didn’t even know if that would be our routine because he kind of just threw it together so he would have some bones to build on. But I remembered quite a bit of it. “Nooooo that wasn’t it, you wrote bota fogos, inside turn, THEN Argentine crosses – ” I must have been so annoying. It’s okay though, my teacher has the patience of a saint.

No, that’s not true at all. Not even a saint. My teacher has the patience of God himself. It’s hysterical because it drives me crazy at times when I’m laughing even though I’m frustrated at myself and I lash out at him because I feel like fighting, but no matter the circumstance, he just does not engage.

I showed him what he had come up with before, so he grabbed my phone and wandered around the ballroom marking it while I stood there practicing…something. I find it fascinating how dancers choreograph. Before he solidified it, he held my phone out to me and asked if I could give him a samba. I started scrolling. “How dirty do you want it?” I asked. “As much as you want,” he answered, nearly bouncing with anticipation. “I’ll give you a really nasty one,” I said, then played “Gordita” by Shakira.

He heard the song and nearly burst out of his skin with excitement. I stood there in amazement as he bounced his way around the ballroom, dancing the routine. “That’ll work!” he scrambled back over to me and we danced the whole thing through. After that, we ended up just doing pieces.

My question in my mind here is, when did I become so sloppy in samba? This used to be MY dance – the one whose syllabus I could recite backwards. I definitely felt like my arms were flying all over the place and I was very confused because half of it felt like Teach was throwing me around, but at the same time, dancing the samba felt so easy and natural to me. I’m gonna need to figure this out.

While I was looking for some awesome samba picture to put up here, I found this by accident – Franco Formica doing a rumba demonstration with Kristina Moshenskaya! Whaaaaattttt.

I thought it was fascinating to see these two dancing together! Franco really is incredible – he gets so much juice out of his movements that he looks like he’s hardly moving. On the other side of the spectrum, Kristina is someone I absolutely know for her speed and precision. I wonder what the story is behind this dance happening…


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