Tag Archives: frank valli

Salsa Dancing

Before we moved to Birmingham, Guy and I discussed taking up dancing of some kind. We enjoy dancing together at balls and parties, and wanted to learn how to do it ‘properly’. However, in the stress of moving and starting my PhD and the financial constraints of Guy not getting a job, this had fallen by the wayside. But, in January, with the wedding approaching, I decided to bring up the idea again – because this way the lessons would be for our first dance!

We had a look around the Birmingham area and found several classes which piqued our interest, and in the end chose salsa – it was conveniently located, not too dear and salsa appealed. And so we began.

We started off going to the beginner’s class, and soon moved on to attending both that and the intermediate class. It’s great fun, the people are fun, and we are learning. And secret.

Yes, to make the first dance more fun, we decided not to tell anybody what we were up to until after the wedding day. It was obviously tricky, especially explaining what we’d been up to on Monday nights and making sure nobody noticed a pattern, but we enjoyed the thrill.

For our first dance at the wedding we had Frank Valli and the Four Seasons ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’.

For anyone who doesn’t know it, the first 80 seconds are slow, then it speeds up for about 45 seconds, another 30 seconds of slow and the last minute is fast once again. This played into our hands for creating a first dance, because we didn’t want the whole thing to be scripted. The beauty of salsa is that it is improvised dance: you make up the moves as you go along (or the leader does). Obviously we’re still novices, so we had a think about what we wanted to do and practised a sequence of moves we had learnt in our class to find some which fit with the fast bits – and made the slow bits up of simpler moves on the day!

Slow dancing

Fast dancing

For dance enthusiasts, the salsa moves we used were siete, biamo and a crossover in the first fast part and sombraro sombraro and then d&g in the second one. We finished the first sequence with a drop (I fall back and Guy catches me over his arms) and the second with a lift (I run to him, he picks me up round the hips and turns round with me in his arms) – these were our own little added improvised parts.

(that’s us doing the biamo)