Don’t dance? Book It Anyway! – Why this non-dancer learned to Salsa in Cuba

Photo holiday Cuba

I nervously waited for my Salsa lesson.  My heart was racing. I was seriously second-guessing my decision to sign-up for a dance lesson in Cuba.  Me – a clumsy, uncoordinated girl – why did I think I could learn to Salsa?  Maybe I could come up with an excuse and get out of it.

Then it was time. I walked up the stairs wondering what I was getting myself into.  My instructor greeted me. He was friendly, personable and boy did he didn’t waste time!  He immediately begun teaching me about rhythm, how to listen for the beat, and the importance of understanding the music.

Salsa holiday in Cuba

Then he pulled me onto the dance floor. I had no time to be self-conscious.  Before I could express my reservations about dancing, my instructor had me dancing the basic steps. He started with the 1-2-3, 5-6-7 basics. In Salsa, you pause on the 4-beat and the 8-beat.  I practised these steps on my own – over and over and over again.  This went on for at least 10 or 15 minutes.

Then he extended his hand with an encouraging smile. He took my hand in his, placed his hand on my back and drew me in closer.  Once in position, we started with the basic steps – 1-2-3 pause 5-6-7 pause. I stared at my feet (in an attempt not to step on him). It didn’t take him long to tell me to look up, maintain eye contact, and just feel the music.  This was easier said than done.  That method went well for a matter of seconds… then I stumbled over my own feet.  I stopped and apologised.  The process repeated a number of times: looking at my feet, looking up, stumbling, stopping, looking at my feet, looking up…. you get the idea.

Salsa Holiday CubaEvery time I tried to stop and profess that I didn’t know what I was doing, he smiled kindly and repeated his instructions.  He seemed so confident that he could make a dancer out of me that I actually believed him.

His confidence in his teaching skills was well deserved. He knew what he was doing. Eventually I started being able to keep my head up without stumbling. It was longer and longer between needing to stop. I was actually getting into the rhythm of things.

After an hour the lesson was over. I thanked him and expressed how impressed I was at his teaching skills. He’d done it. He had me dancing the basics within the hour.  I’m not saying I could go compete or anything, but I’m glad I took the chance.  It is certainly one lesson I’ll never forget!


Vamos*Cuba offers Salsa holidays for solo travelers and groups.  Want to know more?  Visit: 


This post is part of Follow Me Friday at Feet Do Travel  Follow Me Friday by Feet Do Travel

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