Friday, January 13, 2012

Not All Latinas Can Dance!

image from smu.edu


Growing up my parents listened to Vicente Fernandez, Jose Jose, Pedro Infante and other well known Mexican singers. If there was a party, music was one thing playing on loud. Family relatives would dance or sing while others remained seated. I wasn’t into dancing. I would sit there, listened and watched people enjoy the party. It was boring often times to just be there. No guy would come up to me and ask me to dance. I don’t know if it was because I was a “big” girl. Yes I was taller then the average Mexican guy and I was overweight. What were the chances that a guy my size or taller than me would appear at a Mexican party? Not likely. Unfortunately, I never encountered a tall Mexican to dance with.


Now as an adult I remain seated when its time to dance at a party. I don’t know how to dance. Some relatives on gringos side of the family think I can dance to Spanish music. It’s a generalization that all Latinas can dance to any type of music. In college I took a salsa class. Learned a little bit but never got the chance to hit the dance floor at a real club. The class was filled with gringos and gringas, the instructor was a Latina. She would say “you need to let go! sueltate mujer, sueltate.”

I wasn’t successful at learning salsa. After a couple of classes I gave up. Why do I need to learn anyways? I don’t go out and dance. All my Latina friends knew how to dance. I was more worried about passing classes and maintaining a high grade point average to keep my scholarship.
When I was dating gringo he tried to teach me the two step. It’s the basic for dancing country music. How did I react to that? I tensed up and started worrying about how I looked. Couldn’t seem to move. Even though he’s my size, I froze up! I gave up and got back to my seat while he continued to dance with his sister.

A couple days ago gringo brought a brochure that had information about classes for adults. He asked me if I wanted to take a dancing class. My response was “No, how am I going to look? I am old to be going to a dance class! His response was “Come on, some other teachers are going to take it. It will be fun!”

Do I lack self confidence? Why do I worry so much? Am I the only Latina who can’t dance?  
Jeanette

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