Dear Edie,
I had my first private lesson yesterday at Metronome and after that was over I spent about $60 on salsa CD's at Ritmo in the Mission! Once I have a little more material, I will have to send you my own personal addict story!

On a personal note, I just want to commend you, it is so incredibly awe inspiring to see someone doing the things in life they really love. So many people my age are a slave to the grind, working pay check to pay check. To see someone who has such a passion for life and for what they do has made me take a look at my own life. In addition to salsa, I have picked up my guitar for the first time in a year, started studying Spanish again, and have begun a training regimen. Reading about you reminded me about my best friend who was in the middle of Harvard Law School when he realized what he really had a passion for was acting! Well, he got his law degree and passed up a very well paying job to become a starving actor and though he isn't exactly a household name, he is doing what he loves to do. You and him have made me realize that life is too short to sweat the little stuff.

There are so many things I want to do in this life and there is no time like the present to get started. Who really knows how long we will be here? I know that when I go, I don't want to have regrets about things I did not do. It's kind of like that old clich‚, if there's a will, there's a way. I honestly believe that you willed yourself to be a good dancer. You were not going to let anything get in your way and now you are a part of a world that looked foreign to you just a short time ago.

I wanted to say something about your contest experience, because I felt a lot of sympathy for you. I have a sports background and your story reminded me of a personal experience. I played on a pro volleyball team about 8 years ago after only minimal competitive experience (maybe I am a natural at something!) and for a while it was pretty cool. I got to travel around the world and do something I would have gladly done for free. Somewhere along the way playing became a job and I realized I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. Now I play soccer on weekends and I am nowhere near as good as I was at volleyball, but hey, it's a blast and I can't wait to get out there. I have played in competitions and it has been awesome because everyone (or so it seems) on my team plays hard and win or lose, we got to play a game we love, with people who share the passion. Don't ever forget where you came from and what an exciting trip it has been. Nothing beats that feeling when you really feel the music and you have that ability to transfer that into fluid movement. Those rare times when things fall into place and you feel on top of the world. Nothing can replace the joy experience when you break through the barrier between your body and the music, when you are truly one with your partner and the rhythm. I have not yet got to that point in salsa, but I have while playing music and it's a beautiful thing.

I had planned on this being a short reply, but you know how it is when you are really excited about something. I will keep you up to date on my progress. Thanks again for being so open and honest, I feel like I know you already. You are a special person and I wish you the best of luck in all you do. Sincerely,
Dan