Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dance, hate, dance

I went dancing with CK tonight at Platinum (a fancy-ish nightclub; not very impressive). The theme was swing versus salsa. We all agreed that dancing both dances one after the other felt strange and decadent. Like you were doing something you weren't supposed to do.

The second fellow who asked me to dance was younger than me, handsome and Asian. And he tried to give me a lesson. I HATE that. He was the worst dancer who has ever tried to give me a lesson. I said, "You don't need to show me. I know how to dance." He was attempting to swing dance and utterly failing. He turned me twice and never got into closed position. The reason he tried to teach me was that I was dancing with the music and he was the music in his head? Later on, I saw him getting a woman's phone number. Guess I didn't play that one right.

The next man who asked me to dance was Latino, a bit older (late 40's, early 50's?). I'd seen him dance and I could tell he knew what he was doing. Almost as soon as we started dancing he started instructing. Did I mention that I HATE that? "After the turn, you need to hold, then step back...that's need to practice. It seems forced." Un-fucking-believable.

I started salsa dancing about ten years ago. I danced once or twice a week for over a year and more sporadically after that. I've taken dozens (more?) of lessons. I'm a good dancer. I started swing dancing a couple of years ago and I haven't been salsa dancing since. At worst, I'm a little out of practice, but I haven't forgotten how to dance. I don't need a lesson. I didn't ask you for a lesson. I'm not stepping on your toes. Shut up. SHUT UP.

I listened to all of his tips with a smile on my face. Unfortunately, my fake smile is not very convincing. Nevertheless, about half an hour later, my older-man instructor asked me to dance again. And he wouldn't stop. "Why are your eyes closed? Open your eyes!"
"My eyes are open."
"Why were they closed?"
"They weren't closed. I don't know what you're talking about."
"It's better to dance with some eye contact. It helps keep the rhythm. As long as the one looking is keeping the right time."
I didn't even try to fake smile, "My eyes weren't closed."
"Why aren't you smiling? Smile." I did smile--at the absurdity of it. "It's good exercise," he said. What the--huh? Fuck you.

After the dance was over, I complained to CK. "I can't believe it. He wouldn't stop, 'Why aren't you smiling?'! Why isn't my knee in your groin? I may have to hurt him if he asks me to dance again. Stay away." That got a good long, laugh from CK. Everyone loves the hate.

The rest of the evening went well. I danced a fair amount, mostly with one fellow who is a regular at the swing dances. I like him fine and even though he's not the best lead in the world, I like dancing with him. There was a very informal dance contest (judging was by applause) and we participated (we did not win). I wondered if I'm an exhibitionist at heart. I'm too shy to ask a boy to dance, but I was thrilled to dance in the contest.

CK and I left at 10:30. Work is crazy busy and I need a good night's sleep. I may go to the swing dance tomorrow night if I'm in the mood. I'm not sure I can take it, though, if one more man tries to teach me how to dance.

Grateful for: loving the hate.

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