A friend of mine recently shared the idea of no longer saying something is in your “comfort zone,” but calling it your “comfort pit” instead. That has really stuck with me and ever since I heard it, I have been determined to climb out of my comfort pit. When we challenge ourselves, we’re able to take steps outside of what we know as comfortable and grow. As my husband and I celebrated our third anniversary this week, we wanted to make sure that we aren’t getting set in our same comfortable patterns. We want to continue to meet new people, try new activities, learn about new cultures, etc. We love that there are a lot of fun and unique experiences that Spokane has to offer. So on our anniversary, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at The Blackbird and then decided to learn to dance salsa. We headed over to Satori Dance Studio (located on Monroe between 1st and 2nd) to begin our salsa dancing adventure.

We had no idea what to expect when we arrived at Satori. As we walked in, we heard Latin music playing and were greeted by Victor, the owner of the studio. We spent time getting to know Victor as we waited for other people to arrive. When I had called beforehand, Victor encouraged us to dress up a bit to add to the ambience of the evening. The other couple who joined us arrived wearing outfits that fit the occasion; she was wearing a flowy dress with pearls and heels and he had on jeans and a button up shirt. They had been to a few classes before and loved learning to salsa. Our dance instructor began with the basic steps and walked us through them very slowly until we felt confident doing them. As soon as we were starting to feel like salsa dancing was easy, he stepped it up a bit for the other couple. We quickly realized that we still have a lot to learn! Seeing how the other couple was able to dance after just a few lessons gave us hope for how we might be dancing in a couple of weeks. The basic steps looked natural to them, and they were doing all of the fancy turns with ease. Meanwhile, we were on the other end of the dance floor laughing hysterically at our own lack of coordination. The environment at Satori allowed for us to relax and have fun, but our instructor also worked patiently with us as we attempted to spin the right direction, not step on each other’s toes, and get comfortable with the basic steps.

We learned that Satori is a Zen Buddhist term that describes the first step toward comprehension and understanding. That is a great description of how we viewed this salsa lesson. We have been tempted to give up as we see how much we have to learn, but as we remember the comfort pit, we know that there is value in continuing to challenge ourselves. We plan to practice some of the steps at home and continue to go to lessons. Satori has weekly Latin dance lessons on different nights of the week, including tango, bachata, and salsa. The studio also offers Spanish lessons and hosts salsa dance parties on the weekends so you can practice all of your new moves.

It was such a wonderful experience learning about this dynamic style of dance that is incredibly popular around the world. Learning to salsa dance at Satori gives us the opportunity to support a local business in downtown Spokane, and it is a great way to build community with new people in our city. I invite you to come join us at Satori Dance Studio to learn for yourself! We would love to laugh and climb out of the comfort pit together.

Lauren Schubring is a Michigan native who has made Spokane her chosen home. She enjoys all of the natural beauty and community events Spokane has to offer with her husband and their puppy, affectionately named Spokane. She works for The Arc of Spokane as a Community Access Specialist. Her job allows her to be involved with a variety of organizations and events in the community. Lauren studied at Moody Bible Institute and is now working toward her Masters Degree in Public Administration.