CLawrence's Travel Journals

CLawrence Caitlin Lawrence

 
What was the saddest moment you have ever seen in your travels?

Seeing the different levels of poverty. Feeling like you are helping- but not being able to help everyone that you come in contact with.

  • 29 years old
  • From New York, United States
  • Currently in Urubamba, Peru

Salsa Classes

Take a deep breath, and just dance

Salsa Classes with ProPeru

Peru Peru  |  Jul 01, 2011
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 I felt my body moving to the beat- at the right time 

Buenos Dias!

It's a very rainy day here in Urubamba- naturally with little to do to begin with- with the sun peeking threw the clouds I find myself a little antsy today. I had Tomales this morning for breakfast and they were fantastic. Last night I had spanish classes with the other volunteers- as I do everyday, afterwards we were informed that our small little 4 by 4 classroom was about to be transformed into a Salsa Class for the evening! With about 5 minutes to decide if I was going to participate I found myself feeling back in my old mentality. I can't dance, this looks really hard, everyone else seems to be much better then me- after being chased around the courtyard for several minutes three of our spanish teachers- somehow I found myself packed in the small room. Hot, and tired from my long day of work, and just plain peruvian life- I found myself with a cup of vino and attempting to learn the most popular form of dance here in Urubamba. The entire time I have been here I have been extremely impressed with the way the Peruvians have grace in every step they take. The movement of there bodys, how they use every limb in beauty-With lack of technology to get in the way- you find your body the most basic form of entertainment. Music is the sole of life. For all your problems seem to fade away with every step you take. Peruanas (peruvians)being incredible dancers- made me even more apprehensive then I already was. The head of our spanish department whos name is Rainer who is truely inspiring to me (he is also an artist an extremly talented artist at that) decided he was determined to at least teach me the few basic steps. One two- one two- front back- together-side-together- spin spin..After a few good minutes I found myself improving or at least a little bit. As I tried not to glance over at the other volunteers who were feeling the beat- and honestly doing a great job in my oppinon. I told myself just let go. We are all learning. I looked up at Rainer and he told me- "Just stop counting" ( of course in spanish) I thought for a second- how is that possible? Salsa is one hundred percent about being on the right beat- making sure that you are in Sync with your partner- feeling how there feet move- it is all in the hips. For one small miscount and you will find that you both mess up. I took a deep breath- tucked my hair away from my face wishing that I had a hair tie to rid my face of just one more distraction-and said "vamos" - let's go to Rainer. He smiled with satisfaction and told me to close my eyes. Still feeling uptight and a little embarassed he took both of my hands and lead. As the minutes passed I felt my muscles suddenly start to tingle with relaxation- and my mind start to run away from trying to do do everything perfect. I felt my body moving to the beat- at the right time. With a rush of happiness, trying to even ignore that feeling for the fear of getting thrown off- not wanting to get disoriented from all the spinning I peaked threw the small slits of my closed eyelids - I looked up and realized I was doing it! I was no longer counting, no longer concerned about others around me, and what they thought, I let go. So in one night- I learned how to do basic salsa- and I learned that it is acceptable to be consummately nervous- and out of your comfort zone. And it is okay. It is not a bad thing. Because you don't always have to know everything. I gathered the notion that- to run from what may seem to be your worst nightmare- is the worst solution to the problem. You can only run a certain distance before there is nowhere else to go. Before you get tired and want to give up. For if I was at home in New York, this leason would have never been learned. Beacuse I would not have had the support of the amazing ProPeru staff to say no- you are going to do this. And you can do this. And you will love it. Conquer your fears every second of every day- tired, hungry, or not. Sometimes it is good to be a plain white canvas. You just have to let others teach you how to paint.

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  • User Profile Photo
    Aunt Patti wrote: Fri Jul 1, 2011
    Hi Cait! You know I'm not on facebook, but I've been following you're journey via other family members pages. This was an amazing story! So thrilled to hear that your trip is going well and that you are experiencing so many new, exciting, unchartered waters. Can't wait until you're home to hear about everything first hand. I can't believe that 4 weeks have passed already- enjoy your last 2 weeks!
    Love you,
    Aunt Patti
  • Salsa Classes with ProPeru

    July 01, 2011
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