Salsa Sunday | 13

Meet Sarah and Danny.
I've known this week's couple for my entire salsa career. They haven't been together that long, but I've known them individually for all this time. Sarah was in my first-ever performance class and Danny was one of the first instructors I dared to dance with. They are the sweetest couple ever and their love story is guaranteed to give you a toothache! Ladies and gentlemen, The Love Story of Sarah Akrami and Daniel Roque (that's what they named the Word document they sent me-see, SWEET!).

You never know if the person in front of you will be the love of your life; at least in my case, I never thought it could happen. Here is how our story unfolded…

I always loved listening to salsa music and watching people dance, but never had the courage to get on the dance floor. About three years ago, I decided to face my fear and take a salsa class at Estilo Dance Studio in Philadelphia. The only reason I took the class was because they had a kid’s class at the same time as the adult class. It was meant to be! I have a little one. She was 6½ at the time. So, I started taking the class on Saturday afternoon and it was great! I loved learning new moves, building my confidence and I looked forward to it every week. 

After some time of going to class every week, I met Danny. He was only filling in for the regular instructor, but I was very disappointed because I was comfortable with my regular instructor. I was not ready to have to learn something new! 

Regardless of my feelings, Danny introduced himself and started going through the lesson. At the end, he went up to all the new students and introduced himself. I said hello and kept it moving. He started subbing the class once in a while and always made us do moves we weren’t supposed to learn yet, which was nice because it gave us a peek at what we would be learning.

I rarely saw Danny outside of the studio or out social dancing. The few times I did, we would say hi and then go about our dancing. Who knew we would ever be together? Once again, not me. 

Fast forward to about two years ago. I saw him at the studio one night while I was practicing for our student showcase. I was surprised to see him because it had been a while. Practice was over pretty late and as I was going to my car, I saw Danny walking away from the studio. I asked him where he was going and he said he was catching the train home to Jersey. I offered him a ride home, since I live in Jersey, too. 

During the ride home, we started talking about random stuff. I told him I worked in the city and of course, he did, too!  I told him that I would go to the studio after work sometimes and mentioned that if he ever wanted a ride to just let me know. So, we exchanged numbers. 

After that night, I would give him a ride once in a while-nothing consistent or anything to make me think we were anything more than friends. Then, he texted me to go to lunch one afternoon and I freaked out a little! I didn’t know what he meant by it: A date? A friendly lunch? No clue! It turned out that I couldn’t do lunch that day and told him maybe some other time; I was safe! 

For some reason, I didn’t know how to react to the lunch offer. I didn’t want to give him the idea I was interested, because at the time I wasn’t, but I didn’t want to be rude since I was just getting to know him.  I ran it by a friend and she told me, "If he asks you again, say, 'Yes,' but just pay for the lunch-this way, it’s not a date!" Perfect!  

So, when he asked again, I said yes. We met for lunch in the city at Jones. It was so much fun! We talked and laughed and got to know each other even more. The bill came and I grabbed it. He insisted to pay, but I was determined to not make it a date and paid. He insisted, “Since you paid this time, I will pay the next.” After that, we started going to lunch more often, taking turns paying the bill.

One Tuesday, he asked for a ride to the studio after work because he taught a private lesson (he knew I went on Tuesdays to practice). I told him I could take him home if he was still around after my practice. Guess what…he was still around after my practice! His lesson ended an hour earlier and he was just waiting around for me. Yup, for me! At this point, I was still clueless...not interested. Well, things changed after that night. 

After practice, we both still had energy and were hungry, so we decided to get a bite to eat at Copacabana before going home. It was about 1:00am when we both realized we had work in a few hours, so decided to wrap it up and head back to the car. As we were walking to my car on South Street, I saw the unthinkable: A yellow boot on my front driver-side tire! See, what had happened was…I might have had a ticket or three…I was going to take care of them that week! I swear, I was!

I was so embarrassed, so upset and so tired. Did I mention it was 1:00 in the morning?! I didn’t know what to do or how to react. How was Danny going to get home? How was I going to get home? How would I get the boot off my car? 

After about ten minutes of panic, Danny looked at me and told me we would figure it out...and then we both just started cracking up laughing! There was nothing else to do at that point! The plan was to walk to the train station and go to his house; from there, he would drive me home. Great plan, right? So, we wait for the train...and get on the train...only to realize it's GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION! Yes, really! 

We got off and waited for the train again. It was at this we realized I wasn't going to be able to get to work in the morning.  We decided it would be better for me to stay in the city that night, so I got a room at the closest hotel; by this time, it was 3am. He walked me to my room and told me he was going to go home. I told him to stay and get some rest, but Danny said it wasn’t a good idea, especially since he was telling me this while we were sitting on the bed. We kissed anyway.

True to his word, Danny left to go home that night and I realized I was no longer clueless and very interested! The puzzle was solved and I realized he was the one. Since that moment, Danny and I have shared many happy times together. Salsa is still very much part of our life-he still teaches at Estilo and is part of their dance team, I enjoy practicing for upcoming student showcases and taking classes at the studio and we try to go out social dancing as much as our schedules allow us. Danny and I look forward to what the future holds for us.

Thank you Sarah and Danny for sharing your beautiful story with us! I couldn't help but chuckle when I read about their run-in with the Philadelphia Parking Authority (Wil and I had TWO similar experiences very early in our relationship, too). They recorded a video for us before Danny ran off to teach class, but their dancing is anything, but rushed. Thanks again for being involved in Salsa Sunday and remember...if you or someone you know is part of a "real life" salsa couple and would like to be featured, please contact me.

Oh, and now that I'm writing for SalSeek, there's a possibility your story could be featured in there as well! We're accepting submissions for the October issue...this could be you!

6 comments

Sarah said... July 24, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Thanks Danielle for letting us share our story! you are an amazing writer and friend! Congrats on your success! love ya!

Elaine said... July 24, 2011 at 11:42 PM

Love it! Sarah & Danny are a wonderful pair. They both are such loving & caring people. A match made in salsa heaven. I can't wait for the wedding. ;)

Deer Donna said... July 25, 2011 at 12:00 AM

awww how cute! and they are sooo gorgeous looking too!! lucky duckies!

Michelle neves said... July 26, 2011 at 11:48 AM

That was tooooo cute! It's an amazing funny story, especially the boot. Never thought that would happen to you, Sarah :). Great wishes for the future and I can't wait for my wedding invite :)

Leslie Rivas said... July 26, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Loved it and love these two to pieces! <3

Carol said... July 27, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Great couple! Great story!

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