While I was living in Barcelona, I was in a neighbourhood called “El Carmelo” which is on the hills of the city. I was very glad to discover that only a stone’s throw from my apartment, there was a Public Community Centre “El Boca Nord” which offered a wide range of activities such as Spanish guitar lessons, how to become a Radio Presenter, yoga, painting & drawing and even a variety of dance classes. I already had intermediate knowledge of Salsa and other dances like the Vienna Waltz or Foxtrot, from my years living in Manchester but had never tried Bollywood and I was surprised to see that it was on offer.
Without any further ado, I decided to sign up there and then as I have never been a fan of procrastination. As you can imagine, I was the only boy in the class, with about twelve girls, who were probably a little surprised to see me there. However, as the months went by and they saw that I didn’t miss a class and was committed, they soon gained confidence in me; shortly thereafter I was asked if I would be willing to perform a choreography with them during the local festival of “El Carmelo”. Although I am not big on making a spectacle of myself, being the typical Brit (British reserve/stiff upper lip) I bowed my head in agreeance, hiding my inner enthusiasm.
The movements to Bollywood dancing, were at times very languid and other times very frenetic and thrusting. This of course, was in keeping with the rhythm of the song. I have to admit that certain moves also made me feel like a shy, retiring concubine, aiming to please her male prince, although in my head I was dancing for some imaginary Indian princess, at least that is what I told myself, if only in some minor way to protect what little masculinity I could muster.
Fastforward to three months later at the height of the neighbourhood’s festival, and there I was in single file, down some tight corridor waiting for our act to be called out to perform in front of a crowd of around four hundred people. This, let me assure you is not my forte. Public performance should be left to the pros. Having said this, the choreography went smoothly and we got a big round of applause at the end. My major self-criticism is my inability to muster a smile during such performances, as I am so concentrated on what I am doing by not wanting to mess up a step.
In any case though, the feeling of facing up to certain fears and coming out the other end, especially when it is a group effort is incredibly rewarding. I also have new found respect for Bollywood Musicals and it’s performers. If you are also keen on dancing then come along to clases de ingles en valencia and share your interests with me.