Turn Ons: El Taller Latino Americano merges my love of the Spanish language with my passion for dance, art and music. Plus it provides a sense of community for an IndieGirl like me.
Turn Offs: As much as I love El Taller's creative, conversational-style of teaching Spanish, I still crave the structure of the traditional academic approach that uses textbooks to methodically drill grammar and vocabulary into my brain.
Rate My Date:
- Not My Type
- 1 Night Stand
- In Love
- Happily Ever After
My marriage ended the year that Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" was released and I was convinced that both Spain and Javier Bardem were my true destiny. I romanticized about running away to Barcelona, re-inventing myself and falling into the arms of my new Latin lover. We'd spend our mornings making love, afternoons making art and, in the evenings, slip into a cozy Spanish bar for wine, tapas and live guitar.
Cut to: 3 years later and I'm still single and living in NYC. And although far less romantic, I've found a new Latin love called El Taller Latino Americano on the Upper West Side of NYC. It's a non-profit arts and education center that celebrates Latin culture while building a creative and supportive multi-cultural community through Spanish language classes, art, music and dance. What a haven for a Spanish-enamored, artsy type like me. I'm still in the "just getting to know you" phase, though. I've only taken one month of conversational Spanish classes but haven't taken full advantage of everything El Taller has to offer such as Salsa Classes, art exhibitions and live music concerts.
My previous studies of the Spanish language were taught in a traditional academic setting which appealed to the methodical side of of my Gemini mind; complete with text books, tests and graded papers. Letter grades were clear marks of progress, achievement or failure. But this conversational approach definitely appealed to my creative side and was far more fun! We read short scenes aloud, discussed and debated articles, wrote poetry, sang songs and played games... all in Spanish! This challenged me to spontaneously form opinions, contibute to discussions and express my thoughts, ideas and beliefs. On an emotional level, it also challenged me to lose my inhibitions, allow myself to make mistakes and learn from them; rather than beating myself up just because I conjugated a verb wrong. And my teachers, both of whom are native speakers form Colombia, created the perfect learning environment with their passionate enthusiasm and genuine support for each of us and our levels of conversation and comprehension.
I've already signed up for another month of classes because I'm definitely intrigued, love the vibe and feel like we've got chemistry. Plus I learned a lot, despite the non-traditional approach I'm accustomed to. So, I'm gonna nurture this newfound crush and hopefully turn it into the Latin lover I've been craving for years.
2710 Broadway @104th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10025
Getting There By Subway:
- 1 to 103rd Street-Broadway