Seriously, every time I make it to Inna’s Latin class on Tuesdays I gain so much. Someone asked Inna what we were going to work on for the evening and she just smiled slyly saying, “Something fun.”
“Uh oh,” I muttered under my breath, imagining we’d be doing the Jive non-stop for the next hour.
After our usual welcome message and lining up in a row to bow and curtsey before the class begins, the blonde powerhouse decided we should warm up with Samba. Holy hell! As I sit here writing this my muscles are aching and I know tomorrow my abs are gonna burn. We did the basic, then we added the whisk to the mix, then arms. Then she said, “And now we are gonna do this for 10 minutes.” Some people smirked, but I looked at my friend Barb with a knowing look just as Inna said, “I’m serious.” We were like, “We know!” Next we did Samba walks across the floor. I was warm and tingling, gasping for breath, red and wet with sweat. Nice warm up Inna!
So then came the fun part. And you know what….it really was.
Inna was going to teach us about musicality in the body. The specific type of movement we were going to work on is called Impact. We got to strike a pose. She didn’t care if it was a dance movement. It could be an arm, a foot, a shoulder, the head, but we had to move on the count of three and stop. She called me and one other gal to stand in the front of the class after we had done it in a group for a while. I played around and even hit my behind just for fun! I did the robot, you know, like from the 80′s? It was super fun.
Then we got to be a clapping orchestra. Inna separated us in to groups and we clapped parts of the Cha Cha rhythm…1,2,3, cha cha, 1,2,3, cha cha. Then we stomped it. Then we did it to music. It took a while for people to hear the beat. They were rushing sometimes, but eventually we all got in sync.
Next, Inna explained that we could all now hear the Cha Cha beat, and we understood Impact movement, but that there were other types of Musicality in the body. There can be continuous movement like in a Rumba, and there is Swing like in the Ballroom dances, and there is Vibration, which was fun and she made us all do it….just wiggling small and fast all over the body. She said we were all good at that one. This kind of stuff is rarely discussed on lessons.
So then it was time to put Impact and Musicality together with the Cha Cha rhythm. I think this increased the difficulty by 150%. We did our usual Cha Cha routine, but this time extra sharp, and this made it extra hard. In fact, she said, “If it is more difficult, then you are doing it right.” I guess I was successful because man, that was a beast!
Class ended, we bowed and curtsied, but afterwards I had to tell Inna my experience. “Inna, every time I come to this class, I just gain so much. I really feel like you are a master teacher. It is so wonderful. Thank you.” She gave me a hug.
I mean it very sincerely. I’m bummed I missed last week when they worked on facial expressions! Again, invaluable stuff for the competitive dancer like me and I bet that class was a riot! I’ve got to go as much as I possibly can. I don’t want to miss a single minute. I am so grateful for my teachers. They are worth every penny. I count myself extremely lucky to be able to learn from pros like these.