May 2000, just finished my last day in high school and will be crossing the stage. In three months, I will begin a journey in the world of learning. My mind a empty hard drive ready to be loaded with new software and updates.
As I move away from home, to a university dorm, and then to my own apartment, I learned a variety of things. Some of these things self-taught, some learned by taking a class, and some requiring time and practice to learn. Throughout my years attending college I learned how to dance by joining a dance club and reinforcing it with a class, private lessons, plus going to the clubs and social dancing. Dancing is like any sport where you have to practice in order to get better and it helps to have a dance partner to.
The internet began to take over our life when I was attending college. I began to teach my self html and css to built my personal website,plus to add it as a skill that I could sale to employers. During my last three years in college I took addition classes such as photoshop and programming to enhance the skills I already acquired.
Living in an apartment also meant frequent visits to the swimming pool area during the spring/summer seasons. A get away visit from all the learning and stress of attending a big university. I was never a big fan of hanging around the pool area beside the beautiful college girls working on their tan and wearing their bikini. One reason is that I didn’t know how to swim, so I stayed away. In fact I was just never taught how to swim when I was little. It just happened that I needed an elective class and an easy class to boast my gpa, so I took a beginner swimming class. I took the class three times. Each time improving and learning how to swim and float. By the end of my first time enrolled in the class, I learned and mastered how to float. The second time I got down how to breath when doing the free style and still practicing how to recover when I needed to stop awhile in the pool. The toughest challenge was being able to tread water awhile being in the olympic swimming pool. I was finally able to do that when I took the class again for a third time. Yes!, a third time, but it paid off in the end. I was comfortable swimming on my own and now I had a good reason to hang out at the pool area. Any guy would say, just to check out the beautiful girls is a good enough reason. For me, now I wouldn’t feel like the only one in the pool who would just sit and stand in the pool and couldn’t swim.
How did I get so interested in dancing or to be more specific, salsa dancing. Well before I answer that let me tell you a little secret. I never knew how to dance nor was I taught when I was growing up. You would think your parents would teach their kids how to dance, if they know themselves. I know my parents do because I’ve seen them do it at weddings and at my cousin quinceanera. Quinceanera! that brings up memories when I was the trick in standing in one, but never told I had to dance. I was just about 7 and was shy and really wasn’t into the whole dancing thing. I remember feeling like Frankenstein, very stiffed and not having a clue on what I was doing. As I moved on through my teenage years, I avoided any dance related activities. Just was scared and felt lost of not knowing how to dance. The only dance related activities I didn’t skip was prom. I did dance once, but it was that free style dance which I probably look stupid since I had no rhythm and look like a robot.
I had hope that was the last time I would dance, but that didn’t happen. Summer came and I was soon in the middle of a freshman orientation where I had to spend the night in the dorms for a few days. During that time I found myself dancing again with a girl I didn’t know during a dance for incoming freshmen. Again felt lost and stiff because it was the free style dance. Soon, I found myself living in that same dorm room, living away from my parents and a new world to explore on my own. One night I was walking the campus at night as my friend went off partying or getting hazed by their fraternity. I walked into a building with a ballroom where they were teaching salsa to a large group before a dance. I have to admit, it got me curious for a moment which got the attention of the girl watching the front door. Asking me, would l like to come in, but I refused and continued my evening walk around campus.
Drawing and listening to this Spanish song, that make you want to dance:)
Do you love to dance, sing, write, sculpt, paint, or debate? What’s your favorite way to express yourself, creatively?
Expressing myself… I have several ways of expressing my creative self, but if I had to pick my favorite one, that would be dancing. Dancing salsa and merengue it just so much fun and a great workout. It great way to release all that stress inside of you, plus you get to meet people and socialize. Sometime dancing is not the only option I have in my arsenal of expressing myself.
I like to express myself through photography, art such as drawing, blogging, and just started experimenting with writing. As you can tell from my blog, I just completed writing 101. Art, I’ve always love art, but lost touch with during my busy college days. A year ago I decide to get in touch my artistic side, and starting drawing. My photography side, I’ve been doing that since I was little, but got more interested in it when I was high school and brought my own film camera, a SLR Nikon FM10. Still use it today and it what I shoot with. You can check my photography blog here.
It about 9:45pm and I hear my phone ring. I answer it and its the cab driver, saying that he is here at my apartment. I walk out of my apartment dress to impress. Of course I have my black dress shoes on, along with black slacks with a black belt and a nice button up black, dark gray, with some gray color shirt that has these design pattern go straight down. I hop into the cab, sitting right in back of him and tell him congress and 2nd street. The cab drive say, “yes sir”. “Where are you heading off tonight?” I reply going Salsa Dancing at The Copa. The cab driver response, O I hear that a great place. Are there a lot of hot chicks that go there? Que No? I remain silent, but then he says, I bet all the ladies go after you because you a good dancer. Si! You a good dancer? Looking at me through his rearview mirror. I reply, I know enough to make a small impression?
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When was the last time you felt truly rejuvenated and energized? What made you feel that way?
When I was in college Thursday nights were the day I always look forward to. It was night that a few of my friends and I would go to a Latin Dance club and social dance. We would get their about 10pm and of course there was a dress code, so you had to dress to impress. My female friend would dress up either in a dress or black slack pants with a very attractive shirt. Sorry not really knowledgeable when it come to female clothing. Also having their dancing shoes on. Me, I would be dress up in black slacks and when nice button up dress shirt and of course wearing my dressing shoes. As we walk into the club we could hear the Latin music playing as they finish the free beginner salsa class for people who came early and learn how to dance. After a few minute the band would walk up on stage, tuning their musical instruments and they then light are dim down and here we go. The band start playing and it a salsa songs. Slowly, you see couples walking onto the dance floor and guys asking a girl in the club, “want to dance?”. Actually you know because of the hand gesture. Me, I ask one of my female friends. Within a minute into the song the dance floor is filled with couples dancing. The guys leading their female partner, turn them, not once, but twice, and if the girl can really follow him, multiple turns. With the turns, the ladies dresses gliding up in the air, as she use her hand to keep her dress from gliding to far up. At the end of the turn you see a big smile on girl’s face. Myself keeping an eye out making sure I don’t run into someone and my dance partner doesn’t either. Then turning her and leading her away from the other dance couple whose getting a little to close us. As the song approaches it ending, people are sweating, but smiling and enjoying themselves. Then the songs ends and without being a lip reader, exchanging, “thanks you for the dance” as people walk to the side. Before they can get there the band has already start playing their next song and again couples walking on to the dance and guys asking a girl if they would like to dance.
This would go on until 2 o’clock in the morning and with my friend and I having classes Friday morning, we didn’t care. Because even though we might have felt tired, we also feet great, stress free, no worries at all. Why? Because we danced it all away.