Shall We Dance?

by Carter Coleman

Alberto’s Special$5 Salsa Lessons
Tuesdays: March 16, March 23, March 30 & April 6
Thursdays: March 11, March 18, March 25, April 1 & April 8
Fridays: March 12 & April 9

Tuesdays & Thursdays
Beginners’ lesson: 7:30 p.m.
Intermediate lesson: 8:30
Open dancing: 9:30

Beginners’ lesson: 8 p.m.
Intermediate lesson: 9 p.m.
Open dance: 10 p.m.

As I stood in front of the nondescript storefront that is Alberto’s, I wondered: Is it possible for a white man with two left feet to learn salsa? Would a salsa club even let me in? Would my neighbors ridicule me? That’s what I wanted to find out.

With trepidation I went through the red velvet curtains into the world of Alberto’s at 736 West Dana. The whirlwind that is Pantea, the vivacious latin dance teacher, was rushing by, and I stopped her. “Pantea! My wife calls me a dancing board! Is it possible that I can learn to dance?”

“Of course!” said Pantea. “Your wife will not believe it.”

“But I have no cuban motion!” I cried. Cuban motion is the subtle hip movements for men, and not so subtle hip movements for women.

Pantea tells me that “students can make an amazing amount of progress in just one month of Salsa lessons.  However, to make really good progress, a student must be diligent and attend a couple classes a week for the entire month.”

Was Pantea just telling me this to rope in another student? Suspicious, I sought to verify her assertion, and I went to John Inks, Mountain View City Council member and avid social and ballroom dancer.

John advised, “It may take a couple of month to feel comfortable on the dance floor.  However, in a month of diligent practice you can have a lot of fun and get an excellent grasp of the basics.”

I also consulted Juan Aranada.  Juan has been teaching salsa, cha cha and bachata in Mountain View for many years.  Juan’s advice “Why wait? You don’t need to be a pro to have fun.”

So if you ever wanted to learn salsa, now’s the time.

Men of Old Mountain View, I throw down the gauntlet. Come and learn salsa. (And I promise you will be in love with Pantea.) Women of Old Mountain View, you know you want to.

We’ve made special arrangements with Alberto’s to lower the cost of learning salsa for Old Mountain View residents. Starting today through Friday, April 9, you can get into Alberto’s for just $5, culminating in a dance party on April 9 with a live band.

To help all of my neighbors, I’ve tested the waters, and I can report that it is great fun.

No partner is needed to participate. During the lesson you rotate often so that soon you know everyone in the room.

If you want, you can just go to the beginner lesson, or if you already know how to dance, drop in later.
All ages and degrees of expertise are in a class. There’s no need to feel awkward, because everyone is out on the floor trying. No matter how bad you are, I guarantee that someone will be worse. But not me, becaue I’m going all 11 times.

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