I’ve always loved dancing and music. I was first introduced to dancing during my Girl Guiding days back when I was 13 years old. I was an active girl guide for about 7 years and every year we had events and camping activities. There were dance competitions and performances during these events, and I had my parts in choreographing dances & learning them from my seniors as well when I first started high school. I’ve always looked forward to dance practices, besides our marching practices in the middle of the night, doing all the formations we have to do to nail the competitions. A couple of people asked if I’ve danced before this. Well, we were a bunch of non dancing professional teenagers who choreographed dances for school or camp performances, and the boyish me back then (still boyish now) have always been more inclined to hip hop-ish dance moves, still am.
When I started my new job last December, I was being introduced to salsa practically, not the sauce; the dance, by my current boss and I loved it! I remembered clearly when he first showed me some moves in one of our company outings, I was caught off guard and I screamed. He said “Honey, that’s so not sexy!” It was a total different genre that I’ve never tried before and I started seeing and enjoying the differences; the style, dancing on your own and dancing with someone else. My ex boss from my first company and some of my friends mentioned that they salsa, but it has never occurred to me to try it out until now.
In my previous post, I mentioned that I felt lost and I started doing things from my bucket list to find myself and this is one of it! I recently signed myself up for Salsa classes and had already completed my Beginner 1; 8 classes in 2 months and already started my Beginner 2 lessons. I am happy that I did, because dancing is something that I have passion about and I look forward to it every week besides spending my time working out in a gym and at home, which has already blended so deeply within me that it is my life now; in a good healthy way.
My first dancing shoes!
Believe it or not, I was never a going out partying at night person or much of a drinker and I know I don’t seem like one but those who know me, you know me. I enjoy dancing and music but I’ve never seen the point of spending my money on alcohol and going to smokey places with loud techno beats that I could not dance to. In fact, my first clubbing experience was on my 24th birthday at Zouk, KL with my ex-colleagues from Fireworks and it was so thoughtful of them to take me there and they surprised me with doughnuts as a birthday cake. However, that night assured me even more, that techno beats and smokey places are really not my kind of thing!
This week, I made an exception and decided to check out salsa nights in KL and went out 3 nights in a row. I gotta say, I feel old! 2 nights of lack of sleep, I had to take so many naps to recharge. *roll eyes*
The first Salsa club that I hit was Hugo’s by Modestos at Damansara Perdana on Friday Night with my gym bro Sam who learned salsa overseas, and dance mates from another slot, Sarah and Nadia. Both really lovely and fun ladies!
I spent RM15 on two bottles of water and there are car park available for you that goes by hour. There used to be Salsa night on Friday at Paradox Cafe at Bandar Utama but they had just recently closed down.
Clockwise : With my gym bro Sam, dance mates Sarah and Nadia, our instructors Emily and Dom & my ex-boss Yanzer
The place was crowded and happening indeed. So, I went to the dance floor for my first dance and as I twirled, I saw a face so familiar sitting in the dark drinking a bottle of beer. I twirled again and confirmed that it was definitely my ex-boss, Yanzer who salsas too. Funny, because before I hit Hugo’s, I thought to myself and wondered if I will bump into him as I recalled that he salsas too. He danced well and I am really glad we danced. It was great to see him again, this time in a different environment. Then, I met Ian who really enjoyed dancing in a more freestyle manner and dancing with him allowed me to go freestyle too. Oh well, I elbowed his chin that night, by accident. I can still giggle to how we ladies agreed to how abusive we were on the dance floor.
That night I salsa-ed and bachata-ed until 2.30 a.m and it was crowded that I got stepped on & I stepped on others too. I realised that I have so so much to improve on in my salsa after that night. My next goal to learn Argentine Tango is definitely on hold until I master Salsa. On top of that, I learned about Kizomba, a type of dance that I’ve never seen or heard of.
I caught myself 4 hours of sleep and grabbed my long time high school, most-of-the-time missing desk mate Jacalyn, that I’ve known for 10 years and counting and I would say best friend, to spent the whole Saturday out with me; lunch, shopping, dinner and dancing. She has a stressful job and I figured she needed some time off to do something fun. I had her meeting up with my gym mates and dance mates for dancing at Friendscino and am really glad she had fun!
L-R : Jacky, Ian whom I met from Hugo’s, my gym mates Richard and Adrienna, Sugito from my dance studio
Friendscino @ Damansara Perdana
Address: LG01 & 01A, Plaza Emerald North, Jalan PJU8/3A, Damansara Perdana, 47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Phone:+60 3-7710 0035
Salsa Night : Saturday
What they have in store for you :
- RM18 for 2 drinks (choice of bottle water 500ml and/or soft drinks)
- RM28 for 2 drinks (1 pint of Tiger beer and a choice of bottle water 500ml or soft drink)
Friendscino was less crowded, more space to dance and a bit more quiet but I like the idea because in a way, I could practice my dancing more. On top of that, the people who danced there were all very decent and nice. There were people my age and older who are willing to teach me and guided me as I danced with them on the dance floor, as they know that I was just a beginner. I did not sign up for Bachata lessons and I only know the basic counting, and yet they would teach me how when they led me on the dance floor, how my posture should be and etc. I met this man Arun, who taught me how to Kizomba and he was really nice to advise me on my salsa too.
I was so sleepy after 2 nights out and initially did not want to go all the way to Havana Bar and Grill at Changkat Bukit Bintang to check out their Salsa night which is on a Sunday. But knowing that I would never go out partying on a Sunday night as it will be a working day the next day, I decided to go and check it out for a short while with Sarah since it’s a holiday today. I did not bother dressing up like how every ladies would if they were to go out partying or bring my dancing shoes even. I just grabbed a top, denim shorts and put on my sneakers thinking that it would just be 2 hours of just checking out what Havana is like.
L-R : Jo a traveller from Israel, Mervin, Sarah’s friend and my dance mates from studio Sarah and Sugito.
There were 3 different rooms in Havana. The room below is quieter for you to chill and catch up. As you adjourned to the room upstairs, there’s where the modern music is where you can dance too, and as you walked in further, that’s where the salsa room is which is small enough that I got stepped and banged on a few times.
Apart from meeting nice people, I also met this dude who was probably PMS-ing that night as he seemed real moody, sitting every where he could with his grumpy face. He asked if I Kizomba, and I said “No, but if you don’t mind teaching me I don’t mind trying”. Oh well, he tried and then I guess I sucked big time that he just stopped and said thank you and ditched me on the dance floor before the music finishes. Kizomba with Arun was so much better. First rejection on the dance floor, checked!
Salsa-ing at Havana isn’t that fun as it was so packed, so we adjourned to the 2nd room where the modern music is. So much for wanting to be a Cinderella and go home by 12am, we ended up dancing at until about 1.30 am. We were having so much fun dancing to Shakira’s Waka Waka being led by this African lady there on the dance floor, YMCA, Beyonce’s and so much more. We danced with a few middle age ladies who were out for ladies night and they were watching us for a long time. So finally, I grabbed one of them and thought her a few club moves. I was so glad I was on sneakers as I got stepped on by one of them with their really pointy heels! So I guess, we pretty much ditched salsa yesterday night.
27 years of my life, I’ve never spent so much time out partying at night, needless to say – 3 nights in a row. 3 years and counting working here in KL, I’ve never drive myself out all the way to Changkat Bukit Bintang to party or dance. So this week, I’ve done more than I usually do and I’m glad I decided to go out and explored it. I learned not only different type of dances, new places, people and their nightlife, but most importantly I discovered more about myself, and that’s for me to keep.