Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Saturday Night Dance

Last Saturday night I went to a local Ballroom Dancing class. It was set up in a brightly-lit High School gym, decorated with red hearts and red Chinese Lanterns, pink balloons and pink pigs; celebrating both Valentine's Day and the Chinese Year of the Pig.
The turn-out was good- about 75 nervously sweating middle-aged men and women had shown up. The instructor Paul had us stand in a circle around him, and each man was told to grab a partner and introduce himself.
One man introduced himself to me as Tom. He was about the same height as me, with white hair and glasses, and stood very stiffly. The instuctor showed us the Salsa, and before I knew it Tom and I were holding eachother tight, hips swaying back and forth together suggestively. I just started to get used to this idea when Paul told the men to rotate around the circle to the next woman. So I said good-bye to Tom, and Salvatore came up to me. He was a little taller, with a dark, balding, Latin look, and an apologetic expression in his eyes. He held me gently but firmly, and bagan to Salsa to the instructor's count, chanting "Quick-quick-Slow, Quick-quick-Slow" under his breath.
The night went on, as the men circled around, each one with a new name and look, but each one holding me close, with sweaty hands and an intense look of concentration. When I was starting to get a little dizzy trying to remember the changing circle of men's names and faces, the instructor had us practice spins. Each man practiced spinning me to the Salsa beat until I wasn't sure which way was up. At which point the instructor announced we were going to learn the Polka. "This is an energetic dance," he said, "And should be done quickly. There are a lot of turns, but we won't do the Constantly- Spinning version of the Polka tonight."
I don't know how much more Spinning the Constantly-Spinning Version could possibly have been, because we were spinning A LOT. Round and round we went, skipping, hopping, dashing in little circles around eachother, and spinning, spinning, spinning.
It was time for the free dance now, and Samba music was put on. I was pouring with sweat and feeling distinctly unladylike. I couldn't imagine any man, no matter how old or desperate, being able to hold me tight, swaying his hips against mine. So I dove for the bathroom and stood for a while splashing myself with cold water, trying to slow down my breathing. Unfortunately, standing in front of a bathroom sink invariably entails looking at oneself in the mirror. My face was a bright neon red, shiny with sweat, with my hair sticking to my face. I decided right there that I would leave.
But I would come back next week, with cooler clothes and more anti-perspirant, to learn the Tango and the Walse.


Blogger Kyra said...

Tee hee. Ballroom dancing is fun too! ^^

February 20, 2007 3:48 AM  

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