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Salsa smiles

Salsa dancing at Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Salsa smiles

“123, 567″… this is a number sequence I never thought I’d be following.

So, it was the first Wednesday in January, 2015. It was dark, cold and I was feeling the January Blues.

I’d just had my first single Christmas in around 7 years and I’d already broken my New Year’s Resolution to do the oh so predictable Dry Jan.

Leading up to Christmas I’d had a few dates but just wasn’t feeling it and remember thinking to myself, “what would be a great way to meet people (not necessarily to date them) that doesn’t involve going out to bars and spending loads of cash”.

It was a bit like so many Tinder moments I'd experienced.
Swipe right and take a chance on someone new or swipe left and carry on as normal.
Me sporting some photo props
Gemma
Dating Profile Photographer

Several months before this, I went on a girls weekend away to Edinburgh where we were randomly invited to join in a free salsa class. Such good fun!

I loved it so much that when I returned home I had a bit of a Google to see what salsa classes were in my area.

I spotted one in Derby on Wednesday evenings which seemed to fit in with my already hectic life.

The only thing left to do was to pluck up the courage to go to my first class. On my own.

Left or right?

I’d popped to my mum’s for some tea that night and when driving home I reached a junction. 

Left would take me home and right would take me to Derby where I could try out my first salsa lesson. It was a bit like so many Tinder moments I’d experienced. Swipe right and take a chance on someone new or swipe left and carry on as normal.

I sat there for a few moments deciding whether I could be bothered – whether dancing was the thing for me, or not.

I turned right. And boy am I glad I did.

And so it began

I rocked up at the salsa class feeling nervous as hell, but the salsa teacher and everyone else made me feel really welcome and I instantly relaxed.

I met a couple of people on the first night who felt just as nervous as I did. We swapped numbers and started going to classes together and a couple of months later, social dancing.

My social circle doubled in a matter of months and as a result, I have a bunch of mates I’ll be close with forever. Friends for life.

In fact, we all spent the following Christmas together at mine and went on holiday to Ibiza too!

Ibiza holiday with friends from salsa
Photo booth shot before a gig

Now I don’t like to name drop but here’s a shout out to some of the people I met along the way: Mel, David, Nicki, Steve, Kat, Russell, Michal, Ian, Richard, Edith, Evangelos, John and Jo – to name a few.

About salsa dancing

Salsa itself is a beautiful dance. And you don’t stick with the same partner like you would ballroom dancing. You mix it up and dance with loads of different people during each class. Some have rhythm, some have less. But each and every person I danced with put a huge smile on my face.

It’s been a while since I’ve danced now, but we’re planning on getting a crowd together for a spot of salsa very soon.

I can’t wait!

My advice

Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Whether it’s an evening class, going on a singles holiday or doing what I did, dancing!

It feels great and you quickly build a network of incredible friends from all around the place.

Also, if you’re ever on a business trip or holiday, you’re never too far from salsa!