Overlooking the Ocean, Learning Simple Salsa Moves

Salsa dancing in Boca de Tomaltan, Mexico.
Salsa lessons at the Casa.

Liz Nania is a ball of fire with a huge roster of enthusiastic followers. We found out in Mexico that they’ll even follow her all the way down here to Boca to learn a few new steps!   Our week in Casa de los Artistas was billed as a week of painting and salsa dancing. But when we asked our eight other campers which of them were painters, no hands went up.

They had all found Liz’s dance classes in the Boston area and wanted to simply learn new dances like salsa and enjoy sunny Mexico. Yesterday we had our first dance class, which I am happy to say was fun and not at all like a class. In that I mean you couldn’t really do anything wrong that would embarrass you, and there was no quiz at the end, and no verbs to conjugate.

Rather, Liz stood before the eight of us and shifted her weight from one foot to the other. Then she shuffled her feet from back and then to front. Voila, she had demonstrated the essence of salsa, the dance developed in the 1970s by New York’s Puerto Rican immigrants!  We grabbed our partners and danced to the beat.

Our dance studio was an open deck overlooking the beautiful Boca river and in just a few dozen meters the sea glistened.  We watched a cormorant chasing fish beneath the clear river water.  A distant house was particularly bright with the morning sun as we moved on to other easy moves like swinging our partners overhand, and turning away from one another with a flair.   The music was hard not to move to, the steps elementary and simple.

I’m sure there are way more complicated moves that suave Enrico can do on the dance floor with his beautiful Mirabelle, hair slicked back, cleavage bulging. But for all of us, learning these steps that let us move so easily to the contagious beats was all we needed on this fine morning in Boca.