Learn to Salsa dance with Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
By Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
I’ll never forget that man nor that night. I don’t want to take these memories to my grave. As time moves on, you will find yourself reading this story over and over again.My competition partner and I were in Chicago for a weekend of workshops. We got to the local nightclub that night and were dancing up a storm together and with everyone else in the place. It was awesome.I love Chicago because dancers don’t make a big deal out of anything if you dance on the One or the Two. It’s a “no big deal, we do both here” kind of town. I Love it! “Chi-Town” as the locals call their fabulous hometown. (Shout-out to my personal trainer / amazing Salsero “Jimmy” who lives there.)Later on that night, we were introduced to a gentleman that was well into his nineties. If anyone knows who I am talking about, please post it here in the “Comments” section below. I would love to remember his name and honor him.His full head of white hair shimmered a beautiful silver color as it glowed in the evening Salsa club lights. I remember as he walked his small frail body very slowly and steadily toward us. It looked as though he was in pain by the way he was hunched over and limping. I recall feeling an awkward discomfort as I watched every slow, crippled, and agonizing step he took. When he finally made it over to where we were standing, the local promoter introduced us. I felt the bones in his small frail hand as I shook it. I held back my own handshake strength in fear that I would hurt, or worse, break his hand. He gave us both an enormous hug and warm smile – a smile that lit up the entire room. His small frail body was now being supported by his thin arms grasping the back of a chair. I didn’t think he was a dancer.

Then it happened.

Without saying a word, he extended his hand toward me and led me to the center of the dance floor.

I looked back for a brief second and noticed the promoter poking at my dance partner’s shoulder
and saying to him, “Watch this…”

At the beginning of the song, he held me in his arms, in a Classic Dancer’s “Closed Position”. As the music started, he began to sway slowly back and forth. He followed the soft introduction like the opening of an entrancing story of a beautiful book. His body moved slowly but firmly. I recall thinking to myself that we would dance this slowly and softly the entire song. I was just happy that I could give him this dance tonight as a gift from my heart. I even caught myself feeling sorry for him.

When the introduction of the music exploded into the “story” of the song, to my surprise this man exploded right along with it! With the Power and Intelligence of an Advanced Musicalist, he took me across the floor like that of a true professional. With every crescendo and pulse of the rhythm, my new dance partner / Musicalist was RIGHT THERE with it.

Unbelievably, his stamina, balance and absolute control over my body seemed to BLOSSOM – not like a flower but like that of an enormous Oak Tree (see Figure 1). His authority, strength, and supremacy grew WITH THE MUSIC similar to the power of Biblical Samson or… RAMBO.

Like a potent Lion, his body roared with strength, speed, and absolute CONTROL. The way he PROTECTED ME and moved me through the music WITH HIM was incredible. The moment was so unbelievable that I’m finding it hard to describe in words. I felt my knees weaken in his arms. I felt like a little girl – powerless, submissive, and ever so trusting.

Somehow, this man was able to take me back to his youth – back to the days of when he DOMINATED using his power and unspoken commanding authority. Through his World Class lead, he conveyed his confidence, protection, and authority over me without uttering a single word. Immediately I TRUSTED and RESPECTED him because of his amazing lead.

This man WAS SOLID AND “ON-POINT” – with every pulse and EVERY beat of that song.


As the song came to a close, so did my Leader. The music softened, and sweetly subsided. The words of the song were,
“And now our time has come, to say good-bye”.

I was awestruck at what just happened.
I almost cried, right then and there.

When the music stopped and as we parted, he gently kissed my hand and then turned away. I watched in disbelief as this powerful man hunched over and slowly limped back towards his seat at a far-away table. This amazing Musicalist transformed back into the small, frail ninety-year-old gentleman whom I was introduced to before that song.

I dance once more with him now, but only in my memory.

… I never saw him again.

Learn to Salsa dance with Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
Figure 1

Edie, The Salsa FREAK!! is one of the most recognized and respected Salsa Instructor/Performers in the world. In the past twenty years, she has traveled to 63 countries teaching the world to dance, and has been the first American to teach in 18 of those countries. She now lives in the high mountains of beautiful Colorado with her wonderful husband, Nick. You may contact her at Edie The Salsa FREAK!! Website