Paulina the Dancing Machine

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DancingBy Paulina

One of my favorite hobbies that I have acquired since coming to Hayward is dancing. I’m no professional. I’ve never taken a class expect Ballet Folklorico which I hated tremendously. I have always cocked my head to one side as a force of habit. So, when I was swinging my overly heavy and large skirt, my head will be tilting to one side. The dance teacher even threatened to put a neck brace on me so I could keep my head straight. I finally quit the class after a year.

Having such a bad experience with dancing you would think I probably wouldn’t do it again. But, even before I took that class, I’ve been dancing for a long time. I started dancing at family parties. Now, I don’t know how your family parties go but, mine were amazing. The food would always be great, everybody would be laughing, having a beer and there would always be someone as a DJ. Everybody was from a different part of Mexico, even some from other countries, so we all had different tastes of music and styles of dancing. So when people started to get on the dance floor, e lights dim and the DJ’s lights start flashing the music gets louder and louder.

I remember that my older cousin was the one who taught me how to dance. She dragged me onto the dance floor with her mom following close behind. Her mom was my partner and held my hands while my cousin was behind me, her hands on my hips. It took some time to be able to have control over my own hips but I did it, the other thing I had to work on was footwork. I would look at the other people surrounding me but everyone had such different styles of dancing I didn’t know who to copy.

Once I got the basic steps that could pretty much be incorporated in any spanish song, no matter what the type, I finally started to get the hang of it. Not long after the women would start to look at my footwork when we were dancing. Since then I loved to dance bachata, merengue, reggaeton and cumbia. But these people did not just dance that, no sir, once YMCA comes on we all start to sing along with are arms flailing in the air and doing the twist when “Rock Around the Clock” was put on. Something as simple as dancing brings a group of people together. No matter how bad or off beat I may look, I will keep on dancing because when I move to the music it’s the one thing that will bring a smile to my face.

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