Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mantequilla Vuele

Well, hello loved ones! I must say, although life has continued to be wonderful over here, it has seemed more like a normal life than ever before. I haven't done much traveling because I have plans to go to Morocco over Easter Break, and then shortly after that to Paris with a precious family that is over here, as well... so for these reasons, I am trying to buckle down a bit on the budget so I can save and live it up on these upcoming trips!

So, I am not sure if I have told you, but I am now in dance classes. Four nights a week. haha. Mondays and Wednesdays, I have Hip Hop Funky, which they pronounce just ridiculously, at 10:00 at night. Oh, Spain. Then, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have Latin dancing classes. Wellllll... I have LOVED both classes! THe HIp Hop class is just a riot because we have been learning a few foundational moves, and since hip hop, for the most, originated in the States, a lot of the moves have English names. BUT, the teacher always shows us the move and then gives us the name, which sounds Spanish. Until she writes the word down. The realize that what she is saying is actually "the Paula Abdul" or the "MJ" (for Michael Jackson) or the "Butterfly," which she literally translated for the class as: "butter" (as in what you put on toast) and then "fly" like a flight on an airplane! haha, so instead of "mariposa" the Spanish word for Butterfly, she told the class it was the "mantequilla vuele"! Caroline my American roommate, thankfully, is also in the class, so I have someone to share a good laugh with!

And then there is Latin dancing. In our class, it should be noted that there is a bit of a surplus of women. The surplus tends to be little rotund shrinking Spanish women. Seriously some of them come up to my mid-abdomen! Anyhow, as many old women are world-wide, they are quite salty! When our teacher tells us to get in pairs, they are get ticked because none of them want to be men, so they blatantly refuse, and leave any of the younger (more sensible) girls in the class to step in the role of the male. So, for the first few weeks of the class, I was learning only the guy parts to the Merengue and Bachata, which I kind of liked because I was REALLY learning the passes well, but there came a point where I just wanted to spin and be the girl! So, one week I walk in to class and there is another young, somewhat attractive, certainly spunky GUY in the class. ALL of the women were eyeing him--you seriously would have thought he was a big slice of chocolate cake and they were all 6-year olds at a birthday party who realized only one person was going to get to eat the cake! It was too funny. Anyhow... class is about to begin, and my professor calls us to step into pairs. There was a RUSH to the new guy, and the teacher calls out, "Jaime, vente. Baile con Brittney." Translate, "Jaime, get over here. You are dancing with Brittney." Immediately, I felt the sea of hopeful old Spanish eyes switch from the chocolate cake to ME in despairing envy! And I was flushed with embarrassment, because although I was excited to be a girl from now on, I was content being a guy, and letting the other old women practice with him. And then the teacher leaned over to me with a proud grin and said, "Brittney, look. I found you a partner!" He wanted us to practice together and remain partners through the rest of the classes...

So, it has been great being partners with Jaime. He is hilarious and the little goof of the class. All the Spanish women just love him. He also is a really good dancer, but is a bit cocky, and the teacher knows it, so he is extra hard on him! It is funny because throughout the class, even if he is on the complete opposite side of the room you will hear the teacher shout out, "Jaime, NO! Chica THEN Chico" signifying that he should have turned me first and then him, or whatever else he could have possibly done wrong! But my little dance partner is a riot and I am thankful I get to practice the girl parts now!

And last dance story. So, towards the end of class last week, the teacher stops the music and tells us that we will now learn something super fun. He gave it a name I didn't quite recognize and began searching for the correct music, when on comes Alan Jackson and Chatahoochy! He had said that we would be learning COUNTRY! The irony of this struck me immediately. Here I am, a native Texas, in Spain taking a LATIN dance class, and I will be "learning" to country line dance to Alan Jackson's 1995 hit Chatahoochy! I picked up the pass fairly quickly (being very familiar with the steps and sequencing, no credit is due to me), but no one else could quite catch on to how you know which way to turn! Everyone was in a bit of amazement to how I could learn it so quickly, even after my several attempts to explain I was from Texas, and learned to line dance in 2nd grade to the Boot-Scootin Boogie! Anyways, it is really funny because our teacher is completely insistent that at ALL times we have our thumbs tucked in our belt buckle in "True country form"... if we ever drop our hands, as a native Texan would realize is completely acceptable, he will shout out "Cinturon, cinturon!" which means, "Belt Buckle, Belt Buckle!" It's a hoot.

So, dance has added a completely new and wonderful aspect to my life here! I haven't missed a class yet; I really do love it, and it is so wonderful to have the time at age 23 to be able to take dance classes every night of the week! Well, here are some pitures (sorry, not of dance class, or my partner-- I will work on that) but of some fun times recently.... Enjoy and thanks again for reading! love you all!

Caroline, Auds, and I

Auds and I out on the town

Sandrine (the French girl) and I

Caroline-my oh-so-precious rommate....! (Her parents own a coffee shop and she designed this shirt--it then became their uniform! haha)

A view of Jaen from the Castle

Another look-out from Jaen... I don't get to see this view too often because I am normally down there in the city

I actually maybe am in love with him! haha... he is one of our favourite camereros here in town!

And the outpour of self-portraits presented in this post is specifically for Mer...
Love you all, talk later... *britt