Dancing the night away…Wait, what did you just say?

It was another insanely busy week at work, and an unusually long break between Salsa nights at Kimo’s, so I was particularly anxious to dance tonight. All the other regulars were there. My server and I have transcended audio communication and moved on to head nods . I think that may be a sign that I should mix up my drink orders. Anyway, the dancing was fun, and with more women than men tonight, we were out on the floor more songs than not. If only it wasn’t 40-50 year old moms with their 12-16 year old daughters.

After that I went over to Latin Night at another place. This is a younger crowd, but the music is mostly cumbia, with an occasional salsa or merengue. The tricky part about a guy going to a place alone is making it apparent that you’re not one of the creeps standing with a drink in one hand and watching everybody else, waiting to descend like a vulture on the drunkest one. Being alone is a warning sign for women, and it takes a bit of effort to convince them otherwise. Dancing alone on the floor is an even bigger warning sign, no matter how well a guy dances. It’s something you just don’t do. So the only way to remedy the situation is to be fortunate enough to recognize someone and say hi, indicating to everyone there that you know other people, and increasing your credibility as a human instead of an ape. The other option is to find someone and ask her to dance, but that can be tricky because if you get turned down a couple times, you will look desperate and will get turned down by everyone else.

I watched for a few songs, partly because they were playing cumbia, and partly because I was trying to find someone who danced well and wasn’t dancing exclusively with another partner. It’s simple research; you don’t want to ask someone if you can discover in advance that they will refuse, and you don’t want to break into the scene with a struggling partner. I don’t mind dancing with newer dancers at all; and sometimes I even prefer it, but not for that first dance where I need to establish myself as a good lead and friendly person. I think I’m unusually aware of everything that goes on and all of the interactions and reactions. Maybe it’s my scientific analysis of everything constantly running; maybe I’m just reading into it all too much.

The time came and I walked over to a table where a good dancer was sitting with her friends. I tapped her on the shoulder and said: “Can I snag you for this one? I promise I don’t suck.” She laughed and said ok, but the girl next to her said something I couldn’t quite make out, but that sounded very much like gringo. Whatever; I was dancing with the one who had laughed. We danced, and she was an excellent follow. She even recognized me from the last time I was there, which was about two months ago. That actually happens to me a lot. I guess tall white geeky boys who can dance stay in people’s memories for some reason.

Overall it was a good night, but I’ll likely have my nose back to the grindstone again tomorrow. Sunday is another bit of respite for my birthday party.

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