After I had my oldest son Dek, I needed an activity to get me out and moving. I was working 40-60 hours a week at home and in my office. I was a mom every other minute of the day. I needed something just for me, so I started taking salsa dance lessons at Century Ballroom in Seattle, WA. Naturally when I traveled to Costa Rica for the first time and a friend told me he and another friend were headed to El Observatorio San Jose before we left the city in the morning for Tortuguero National Park, I knew I had to go. I’d been traveling all day, I had no dancing shoes, it was late, and I was hot. However, there are just some things in life that you can’t miss out on, and salsa dancing in the capital of Costa Rica was one of them.
VIDEO: Look carefully as you watch the video and you will see a few seconds of me dancing towards the end!
It had been years since I’d taken those salsa lessons, but with a little patience from my friend, and a mojito from the waitress, I found my dancing feet again. I knew there was no way I could compete with the other couples on the dance floor, a floor that wasn’t even crowded yet when we entered around 10pm. No, the real dancers would show up much later. However, what I saw on that floor blew me away.
I was a bumbling idiot compared to these guys and gals who moved like water, spinning, stepping and swaying to the live music the band poured over us. No one judged though. I was free to dance, miss a step, knock into my dance partner, and just have a good time. That is what I remembered from taking salsa classes too many moons ago. It was that freedom to move, express myself and feel the music. It was a chance to just be me; not a mom, and not an employee, just me.
El Observatorio San Jose on Mondays
Salsa dancing at El Observatorio San Jose in Costa Rica may not be for everyone, but every Monday night you will find dancers there. My friend builds his trips around this one night a week, as it is one of the best bars in town for live music and dancing. After dancing the night away, and watching dancers who were born to move, I can see why he makes a point to get there, even if it has been a long day of travel. If you are ever in the city, check out El Observatorio San Jose. Even if you aren’t a dancer, you will want to grab a table, order a few drinks (they do make a great mojito), and give yourself over to the music, if only for one night.