Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Success! Korea as a collective is teaching me how to salsa! This adventure is definitely worthy of a blog entry. About 4 months ago I made a post on Dave's ESL cafe asking if anyone knew of places offering salsa lessons in Daegu. Someone responded with info on a few clubs, but due to a repetitive barrage of sickness the past few months, I had to keep postponing investigation. Lo, I am well now. So after my last class at 7:30 today, I beelined over to Kyungpook National University via subway for the 8:00 salsa lesson. When I got there, I called the nightclub's number for further directions, as they supposedly could speak English. Nada... the guy eventually hung up on me. So I wandered outside looking for the major intersection, resigned to the fact that I might not find the club for a while. Then I started asking random passerby. They were very helpful, and one of them even offered to escort me all the way to the club.

On the way there, I found out my kind escort's name was Kim Pill Ku, and his nickname/English name was 'Feel Good,' as it sounds like Pill Ku. Feel Good is my age, and a Seoul resident currently studying at Yongnam University here in Daegu. We had a good laugh about how he was giving me the 'Feel Good Tour.' Feel Good even called the club and asked them in Korean how to get there. We exchanged #'s and are going to meet up to exchange language lessons this weekend. So I got to the club, and it was a cozy little thing in the middle of nowhere. I peeked in the room and saw a couple clusters of older Koreans (Age 30-40) standing around. It looked pretty dead.

Of course, they all stared as I walked in, wondering how on earth a lone weigook got so lost as to find her way into such a remote club. I wasn't sure if the class had already finished or hadn't yet started, as it was so dead. But I waited around, twiddling my thumbs, and then a few more people trickled in until there were maybe 25 in total, and dancing commenced at 8:30. A cool lady in her mid-30's named Genie grabbed me and started coaching me on the forward/backwards basic. Holy crap, was I ever off! What I've been practicing on my own has been devoid of a whole bunch of little nuances.. so much so, that what they were doing looked completely different.

I can tell that they are very good dancers though, as they pay attention to every little detail. They even corrected me on the exact same problems that Diego (salsa instructor in Vancouver) tried so hard to fix. For example, when I do the forward/backwards basic, I don't put enough weight onto the feet moving forwards and backwards. After Genie left, another guy, 'glasses guy,' grabbed me, and tutored me for an hour, mostly on doing the underarm turn. I couldn't sit down for long without somebody else pulling me up to dance. Some of them even danced meringue with me. When I went to Mesa Luna last year, this old Latin guy had danced meringue with me for the first time. I thought he was a crazy weirdo, because the dance basically consisted of rapidly shuffling your feet in one spot, and doing multiple twists and turns in slow motion.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the exact same dance exists 9000 kilometres away on the other side of the world, so Mr. Old Guy at Mesa Luna, I'm sorry I doubted your sanity. The dance is still ridiculous though. When I left at 11, everyone was still dancing.

On the way back home, on our block, I ran into one of the ladies who serves us Galbi. The really nice smiley one with curly long hair. She came over and said hi... I discovered she lives pretty much across the street from us! Anyway, I'd say it's been one successful night! Salsa lessons are Tues / Thurs, so I might just head over there again this week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa.... what are you doing all the way over there?!

Hah hah! Well I happen to be a half Korean, so I was there too when I was pretty young, can't remember much though, we just stuck around the capital.
How's it going over there now? I wouldn't mind another trip there when recover from the last London trip.

Well! It was a very nice read miss, ... uhh... well, yeah anyway, peace!

3:25 PM  

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