It was not even a week since I arrived in Edinburgh that I wanted to check out a salsa night as I have only heard about all the hype at a salsa night and never have seen or experienced it before. It was one Saturday night in September 2007, I was wearing a black shirt, black trousers and black formal shoes. I checked online and found a salsa club by Haymarket in Edinburgh. I left home alone boldy in the new city and wanted to explore it by myself initially.
CUBA NORTE, (a place that is no more, but has been the heaven of salsa dancing in Edinburgh those days) as it read outside, is a restaurant by the day and a dance floor by the night. I was very hesistant to go in and I had to call my friend for company, as I have never been to clubs or any parties of the sort. Pradeep Anand Ravindranath, my classmate from Anna University, also then an alumni at University of Edinburgh, was my room mate too. We both walked in, surprisingly its free too! He sat by the corner, and me standing and trying to move to the crazy music of salsa which I have never heard of before.
(He went to complete his PhD later in Singapore and currently a Research Associate at The Scripps Research Institute, USA and I ended up being a dancer for life, eventually)
I was amazed at the amount of energy place had when I walked in. Everyone of them were dancing or moving or enjoying the music in their own way! The entire place was filled with genuine smiles and wonderful people with about 40-50 couples dancing at any time, this was something I had never experienced in my life. I took a comfortable corner and starting to ape the moves of those who caught my attention. After 2 hours of watching and mimicing dancers, a lady took pity and asked me for a dance. A beginner as I was, I was really bad and didnt even knew how to hold the woman! Well, that was a start of something wonderful and my life changed ever since! and you see me now dancing for 8 years now and will keep dancing forever!
It was that kind old lady who actually helped me start salsa on the dance floor. I dont remember who she is, but I am forever grateful to her!