Note: the following blog is written from the perspective of a follower. As a follower, I am operating under the assumption that all followers are awesome. Sorry leaders, just role with it.
I like to pretend that it was some profound immersion into the culture that led to me thinking about salsa during Salsa class. Of course, being the cultured person that I am, on a subconscious level, I realized the pivotal role that food and music play in a persons self-identification. In all honesty, I most likely was thinking about chips and salsa because I was hungry, but that doesn’t make for a good story, so we’re going to go with the first one. Anyway, I’m in salsa class and I’m thinking about chips and salsa. I started to think about my fellow salsa students, each exuding a personal level of interest and concentration to the task at hand. I thought about how just like all of the different ingredients in salsa each of the students were very different personalities. You would think that the same personality would be drawn to signing up for salsa class, but what has been wonderfully exciting about attending these classes twice a week has been the fact that everyone I’ve met is a completely different type of person.
You see there are the tomatoes. I’d say these are the majority of students, being that they are the “tryers.” Most of these students are blessed with some basic internal rhythm. They repeatedly work towards getting better and are most likely to be seen coming to class constituently. The tomatoes are unfailingly getting better. Thank goodness they are the base of the Salsa, without them there would be no dip!
Then come the onions. Ohh the onions. Most onions have an incredibly high opinion of their skills. While they are doing well in their progress, they somehow always manage to be one beat off from both the music and the rest of the class. Luckily just like the onions in Salsa they are not endured on their own. If you only taste onions, you most likely wouldn’t ever eat Salsa again. Yet onions are mixed with other ingredients, and as the class rolls on, new partners come along and the onion is fortunately the next followers problem.
My personal favorite are the green peppers. I’m sure that there are many followers out there that do not appreciate green peppers, however in my opinion the green peppers are the reason to Salsa in the first place. They are always trying something new and are a bit ahead of the class. They add a crunch to the bite and they excite me with moves that I know must be soon to come in the lessons.
Now, ladies, trust me, I have not forgotten about the “real” reason that I go to Salsa. I don’t necessarily see the cilantro as its own separate personality. I view it more so as a garnish that lands randomly amongst each of these other ingredients. The extreme beauty of the cilantro is unrivaled. They make the dream come alive of being whisked onto the dance floor by a dashing man who can spin you with ease and control. Ahh the cilantro… I look forward to the cilantro.
The optional people are of course the jalapenos. These are clearly upper level students who have decided to grace our class with their presence. They are frankly the wild card. At times there are none, or too few. This leads to a comfortable but relatively dull class. I mean, a girl likes some excitement once in a while. However there are times when there are just too many. This can be incredibly overwhelming. Too many Jalapenos in a lower level class can be frustrating because it makes one feel like an uncoordinated buffoon. That’s right, I used the word buffoon and frankly I don’t know why it isn’t used more often. For now I’ll stick to my green peppers thank you, but don’t you worry jalapenos, my tolerance is quickly building for spice.
Of course there is the lime, which is what I dream of becoming eventually. The limes are usually women who have made it through all of the lessons as a follower and are usually very skilled dancers. These renegade limes have decided that they want to learn to lead. While their skills are respected and their input is appreciated, they are a bit sour because as previous followers they are fighting instinct. Yet you wouldn’t eat salsa without lime so I accept them with their sour twist and all.
Finally, the lemon. All of us tomatoes, green peppers, onions, cilantros, limes and jalapenos bow down to the lemon. The lemon is the instructor. Too little lemon and all we can taste is the chip. We’re unsure what to do and we fall back on skills that haven’t been developed, eventually ending up as one large pile of crappy dip. Too much lemon and we feel manipulated. Our bodies feel tense and our moves contrived. Our lips pucker from the sting of an overzealous lemon and we reconsider coming back in a week.
In my class there is just enough of every ingredient. (Yes even the onions) This class has reminded me that there are new experiences out there to be had even if its something as simple as trying out a new dance class near to home. I truly appreciate this salsa class in which everything is brought together in a melody of spice that we happily layer over our salty chip of life.