Salsa

Went to Nairobi on Fridfay and danced Salsa at the Intercontinental Hotel. That was fun!

The Intercontinental has a live band playing salsa (non stop for two hours) on friday nights. From what I saw it seems to attract a crowd of people who know how to dance. To my knowledge there is no lesson there (though I did find out about a club with lessons on Wednesdays –a bit harder to get to). After watching people for a long time I thought I’d internalised the weight changed and hit the floor with Katie who had had latin dance lessons in the U.S. when she was younger. We managed quite well I think. I’ve no idea if we looked like the other dancers but it was fun. Danced a few more with her and Shelley, getting more and more outrageous as our confidence grew. Would definitely do that again. The band were very good (and hard working) and played several tunes I actually recognised, for example, from the Buena Vista Social Club albums.

After that we stayed at Shelley’s place and ate bread and cheese (may sound like meagre fayre to you but it’s a great luxury to me, Ive never seen cheese in Tala, and wouldn’t be expecting Camamabert) and a jar of olives and a glass or two of Merlot topped off an almost continental evening. We watched movies on DVD, another luxury although this is available in Tala, its not part of my regular life. We watched Farenheight 9/11 which left me a bit shell-shocked. I had wanted to see the director’s cut of Cinema Paradiso but Shelley said it was a bit sad so we watched Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astarie in Funny Face instead, followed by a few episodes of Sex and the City while we polished off fresh plumbs and apricots following the simple-luxury theme. More dancing and some nice hat-and-umbrella twirling that I am sure Mithi and Drew will appreciate. Check it out guys!

9 Comments

  1. will Says:

    hello to shelley for me. I hope it is the shelley I am thinking about.

  2. Tyg Says:

    Woohoo!!!

    We watched Funny Face recently – my flatmate’s got a whole Audrey Hepburn video collection and Drew and I are both fans of hers … fab, isn’t it? Our favourite is the funky contemporary dance rountine thing she does in the french underground cafe where she’s gone to meet the "empathelisers" … funny 🙂

    By the way, thank yees muchly for the letter. Will have a think about possible options for march 2006 (Nudge nudge wink wink). Unfortunately I’ve left LLX committee – it just didn’t have the same vibe for me anymore so I thought it deserved new blood. Consequently I don’t much know what’s going on (also not being out with the scene lately …). Did you know that Mr Zikha is LLX chairman now? Uhuh … AND he’s planning to leave the counrty to move to Ozzie-land for a few years from this autumn – so he’d be running LLX remotely!!!

    Its interesting what you said about how your dance-related plans have changed since my letter. I hope I haven’t put you off. With you around I might be inclined to get back into it. Some nice things do happen occasionally – last saturday we had an impromptu BtB with 4 leads and three follows and I ended up dancing IN THE RAIN with my lovely one armed amputee lead, Tim, and we got a standing ovation from the people taking cover under the canopy 🙂

    Anyways, not much new news from me – I’m just hanging round enjoying my life and summer. Off to Bordeux this weekend coz Mim’s getting married – Drew’s gonna get to meet a selection of my crazy family … EEEPPPP! (He’s up in the peak district at the mo filming contact juggling-y things … I’m sure he’ll tell you about it himself soon…)

    Take cares my lovely and enjoy the dancing while you can …

    lots of love,
    Me

  3. Paul Says:

    Mark old chap, definately worth seeing the director’s cut of Cinema Paradiso next time you are at our place. Sad, yes, but utterly beautiful.

  4. Mark Says:

    Will, I really don’t know who you might be thinking about but I’ll greet Shelly, if she doesnt read your message here.

    Tygger, how wonderful to have you back, Your bouncieness comes over even in written communication, I love you dearly and want very badly to see you, and that juggler, again soon.

    How the hell can I get in contact with Dee Zed? I tried to email him on two addresses and the both bouncd. I wrote a long shpeel about how I kinda expected him to be moving to Aus (I see I was right) and what he might be able to suggest for March. I know he’s the kind of person who can make things happen so I really want to talk to him and get him on board.

    Paul, I want to see it. I enjoyed that fillum a lot in the first place and I don’t think it was the dir cut I saw. What’s your news? Heard some via Shel last weekend but it’d be good to get some from you. What are you up to?

  5. Tyg Says:

    Mr DeeZed : dee-zed at tiscali dot co dot uk

  6. Mark Says:

    Thanks again Tyg.

    I think that must be the same boxed set that Shelley has. I’m going to be there again tomorrow night and possibly also saturday night. I’ll probably do Cinema Paradiso (thanks Paul) and one of the other Hepburns! 😀

  7. Denise Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Salsa can be really good fun. It is one of the most popular dances in Munich (along with boogie woogie). I have done a bit though not for a while but it makes a nice change.

  8. Paul Says:

    Mark, unless I have me calender all backwards-forwards I think Shelley is still in Kampala this weekend. All going swimmingly here, at least on the Guiness front. London is unpredictable, not only the weather, but a whole host of emotions and the realisation of how blinkered people can be is increasingly apparent…

  9. Mark Says:

    Hi Denise, great to have your comments here too! The Salsa thing is interesting. In London my few experiences of Salsa were a bit dissapointing: sleazy full contact groin-rubbing fests in Bar Lorca, at one extreme, and the somewhat camp Hawaian Tropic sponsored national championship in a club in Leicester Square (which I went to free of charge and by accident — but thats another story for another day) at the other. Salsa at the Intercontinental was different: relatively few dancers and a nice space in front of the band. People dancig and enjoying it.

    One guy in particular made my night. He had on baggy cargo pants and a sports shirt. He seemed to be on the floor for every song dancig with different ladies each time. His facial expressions were wild and he moved in a comical way. His attitude reminded me of Martin M in London. Watching him was as close as I have come inthis country to the spirit of the SwingBunch. In fact had he not been there I might have been too shy to get up and bluff salsa in front of all those capable dancers. But he seemed to be saying "its okay to do this jut to have a good time".

    Paul, you’re correct but its under ontrol, trust me! 😉