A Late Bloomer

Dancing Salsa

These strange times of a global pandemic have provided me with an opportunity to reflect on one of the great experiences I have had over recent years – learning Latin dancing.

I had always enjoyed being fit and loved playing sport, but once I discovered Latin dancing I was smitten! What has been surprising is that I have managed to start this later in life (meaning 60s!), and with the support of some wonderful, patient teachers and mentors, I have come a long way in four or so years.

By ‘coming a long way’, I mean learning dance fundamentals and routines, understanding various Latin styles and their origins, and even performing and competing, the latter which was never part of my plan (not that I really had one!). And this has been with no prior dance experience except some Zumba.

There are so many positive aspects I have experienced on my dance journey: remarkable fitness, acceptance of my body shape and what it is capable of, learning about other cultures and their music and history and meeting some beautiful people in the Latin dance community along the way, whom I would never have had the opportunity to encounter. Also, how could I not mention the thrill of discovering exquisite fabrics that can be made into shimmering costumes that embrace an inner diva that I never knew existed!

Even though I wished I had learnt Latin dance when I was younger, it has been an incredible period of growth for me physically, mentally and emotionally. It came at a time in my life when I was able to indulge in travel, which included a trip to New York where I took private lessons and danced at some iconic venues.

Of course this Latin dance journey of mine has not been without disappointments, injuries, tears and frustration. However as with many things in life, if you keep on learning and challenging yourself, whole new worlds open to you.

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