My secret superpower is apparently Latin Dancing
February 8, 2016
When I posted three-hundred-and-twelve-pounds! When did that happen? this morning, I also posted it on Facebook and Twitter.
Out of nowhere, my Bogota, Colombiana, dance partner at the wedding reception I attended as padrino, Sandra, popped into Facebook comments and wrote, ‘te recomiendo que sigas bailando!!,’ “I recommend that you keep dancing!!” Then she Messenger chatted me, ‘te recomiendo que sigas bailando,’ “I recommend that you keep dancing.”
She and I danced a lot of the night when I wasn’t drinking Johnny Walker Black and leading a conga line. Even though she did most of the leading, I didn’t step on any toes, any feet, and actually received the compliment, from a lifelong sophisticated Colombian dancer, to keep on dancing!
Apparently, I know how to dance Salsa, Merengue, Lambada. I think being in Colombia around native Latin Dancers activated me. And I’m sure the Whisky helped.
I had forgotten because I haven’t been a Latin Dancer since since I was 26-32, from 1996-2002. My dancing superpower went into hibernation, disappeared into the dormant places of the mind, temporarily lost, until activated, just like in the Bourne series.
Maybe I can convince my lovely girlfriend to come with me to The Salsa Room to take come dance lessons. It’s close, right here on Columbia Pike. May be we can take a pilgrimage to Cafe Citron, where I would dance and dance and dance over 15-years ago! I checked and they do have dance lessons you can sign up for. Easy peasy.
Well, it’s not that surprising — though I was surprised when my hips started moving to the Afro-Cuban jazz and my feet mostly knew what to do on their own.
My mother, Barbara Ann Dunn, and her parents, my grandparents, Jimmy and Flo Dunn, were obsessed with dancing. My Nana and Pop-pop danced together their entire lives as a regal couple. I can remember them as members of the Belmar Fishing Club and of the Knights of Columbus and in New York City for Seaman Paper Company celebrations and events.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, apparently.
I really hadn’t couple-danced much until 1996. That year my dad took me along to Fajardo on a gig he worked for GM Parts and while in Puerto Rico with him for two months, the El Conquistador staff adopted me, and proceeded to teach me how to Latin Dance.
I once asked one of my teachers if she would like to move to the US proper and she said, “no, I would never fit there. Americans have it very bad because they aren’t raised to dance. White Americans don’t dance but we here are brought up with dancing in our blood.”
When I returned to the States I ended up going out with my friends and we ended up with some DC girls who wanted to take salsa lessons at Habana Village in Adams Morgan, and my superpower was reactivated and then I became obsessed for a while.
When it comes to dancing, I feel like the Jason Bourne of Latin Dance.
There’s even better news. Salsa dancing can burn up to 480 calories per 60 minutes for someone weighing 180 pounds. For me an hour of Salsa could easily be worth upwards of 500-700 calories/hour.