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There are few times in salsa where you will find yourself struggling to sit up in bed in the next morning, having a hard time going down the stairs or climbing out the car, and feeling crippled by aching muscles, even 3 days after. Except when you’re learning a new stunt or trick – a BIG one. And of course, when you’re me. Your salsa team’s resident crash test dummy. We’re trying out some new stuff to jazz up our old routine that we’ll be revisiting for the Berlin Salsa Congress, and let’s just say that I’m really feeling it after that rather intense and explosive 15 minute of lifts on Saturday.

It’s one of the hazards of being… “fun-sized”. Every time there’s a new lift to learn, just about every guy wants to try it first with me. It used to terrify me (and rightly so!) every time I was in a lifts and tricks workshop, and we were told to partner up. Just about every guy in the room that didn’t come with a partner would turn and you almost see the target lock come on. Not a nice feeling, when it’s a bunch of strangers you’re talking about.

Now believe you me, on top of the strength and technique required, being lifted and flipped is as much a confidence and trust building exercise as it is a physical one. And as most girls rightly should, I prefer to err on the side of caution and not count those I do not know well enough to put both my feet back on the ground safely.

Fortunately, I now do almost all my tricks with leads that I’m very well acquainted with – the lovely boys from my team. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE tricks. Not so much dips, but as far as jumping and flying and flipping goes, I’m all up for it when I know I’m in good hands. Which is why I’ve ended up in the sad state I am in now – I insist on getting it right, making a pretty picture, and sticking a good landing on the very same day we learn it. And then I start getting passed around so that everyone can try it out, and before I know it, my arms are like jelly from holding myself up, and my legs are burning from jumping in the air. Make no mistake – I may be small but I also make sure I do all the work I can too! And it’s tiring!

I have absolutely no idea how I hobbled through the day and yet managed to dance at the salsa practica tonight. In fact, I feel better! Think its time now to whip out the trusty best friends at a time like this:

That orange ball is this spiky little bugger my boyfriend gave to me, that really just nails you where it hurts most, and those little knobs just dig into the knots in your muscles. I dare say this is more painful that the trigger point equipment, which we do play around with once in a while, and is said to have reduced a slew of dance partners into a pile of grown men “whining like bitches” – as one of them describes. And of course, what else to calm it down than with some not-available-in-SG goodness – biofreeze. Let’s hope this helps and the dreaded second day ache will be behind me so that I’m all ready to fly again on Thursday!

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