I am forever indebted to my dance partner, Charles, for being my rock and source of calm pre-performance that night. I couldn't eat. I got nervous. It was hard as hell to get in and out of that costume for nervous pees. But Charles just kept reminding me: we've got this, you know this routine, we are going to rock it.
And then the show started. We were the 5th out of 8 couples, so we waited behind the doors and tried to channel all of that excited, nervous energy. We salsa danced ... we practiced a bit of our routine ... we laughed with the other participants who were also waiting. And then Cosmo and Roberta hit the stage just before us. If anyone could have seen us: while everyone was watching Roberta and Cosmo's wicked hip hop routine ... we were backstage hip hopping hard ourselves toshake off the nerves ... and building that adrenaline. And who knew ... my brutha from anutha mutha Charles was a funk-machine in addition to being a salsero! :)
And then it was our turn. Wow. Talk about "owning it".
Charles strutted out like a cocky jerk and arrogantly took his place on the floor (it was an act, he's a gentle sweetheart) and then I sashayed with mega booty action behind him, with hand on hip. I looked him up and down, stroked his chest, and then walked away while he checked me out. It gave the "sabor" (flavour) of the salsa routine.
And then we got into position and danced. SO MUCH FUN! It was the most enjoyment I'd had doing that routine since we started. The choreography was fun and spicy and a real crowd-pleaser. Any little missteps didn't affect things as we just kept going. A personal high was acing the salsa cartwheel that I've struggled with for weeks. The routine just seemed to flow ... muscle memory and rhythm memory trumped the fact that this was a different dance floor than we were used to, that we had an audience, and that it was a bigger space than we normally practiced in. It was just ... right.