Shall We Dance?

Vin and I on the night we started dating.

I've made no secret about the fact that I love to salsa dance. My obsession began years back in Miami during a girl's weekend. My friends and I ambled into a Latin club. A 20-something Argentinean grabbed my hand and led me onto the floor. We danced the night away even though I had never danced before. It was the Latin version of a Deborah Kerr/Yule Brenner moment that I will never forget. The feeling of "being lead" by someone was both indescribable and powerful. I craved having that feeling again.

After returning home, I found a Latin club in my area and took lessons. Two nights a week for two years, I learned the basics of both salsa and mambo. I am not a naturally gifted dancer, but I worked and became competent enough to at least hold my own with most leaders on the dancer floor.

Then one evening, I met Vin on the dance floor. He had just moved to the area from Puerto Rico. Introductions came by way of a mutual friend.

"She's a good dancer," said the friend to Vin. "You should dance with her."

Vin and I danced two songs, but no more that night. I had a very firm rule on the dance floor. In the case of strangers, dance no more than two songs. I found that if I danced more than twice with any particular guy, something other than dancing became an expectation. And for me, at least most of the time, it was about the dance not romance. Vin and I did not make a love connection that night. But, for months after, I would dance exactly two dances with him.

I've danced with certain fellows for a number of years. Together, these men and I started as awkward beginners in class. Most of them have now advanced well beyond me in their expertise and dance level. But when I show up at the club from time to time, these men still ask me to dance. I break my two dance rule for them. We've danced together so long that it has become comfortable, like a favorite pair of worn-in shoes.

Dancing salsa with Vin is not like dancing in comfortable shoes. Our salsa styles are different and I really have to concentrate when we dance. He is an excellent dancer. And, I love with feeling of being in his arms as he leads me through merengue or bachatta (other Latin dances). But when it comes to salsa, I still prefer to dance with my old familiar counterparts.

I tried to hide this little fact from Vin, but he reads me all too well. On my recent visit to Washington DC with Vin and Jamy,Vin busted me about the whole dance thing. After dancing a few times together, Vin asked me to dance to a salsa song.

"Oh, that's ok. I'm fine. You can dance with someone else if you'd like." I answered. "I'm just gonna take a little break."

"You really don't like to dance salsa with me, do you?" Vin asked.

What was I suppose to say? I wasn't going to lie to the man. I sat there for a long minute, silent, with a dumbfounded look on my face.

"Ah ha! I knew you didn't like to dance with me," Vin exclaimed, his Latin ego a little bruised.

"Oh, no! It's not that! I love dancing merengue with you. But our salsa styles are just so different. It's just that I have to think too much when we dance salsa."

Try as I may to smooth things over, Vin wasn't having it. He teased me the rest of the night, and the next night, and again and again down to this very day. In reality, I think his feelings are still a little hurt, but they shouldn't be. I love doing everything else with Vin except salsa dancing.

Vin says that he's going to start taking classes, get really good, then totally diss me on the dance floor. I hope the last part of his statement isn't true.

In the meantime, I'm finishing up a small dance studio in the basement of my new home. Hopefully, Vin will soon spend time leading me around the dance floor. We can play Deborah and Yule for hours in the privacy of my home. What do you say, Mi Amor? Shall we dance?


Jamy said...

That night, he actually leaned over to me and said, "I know what she's going to say. I like giving her a hard time." He's enjoying seeing you squirm. Bad boy :)

queenofsass said...

He sure is a great Merengue dancer though!

Diane Mandy said...

Jamy - Now I have a better understanding of who I am dealing with... Thanks! How's your new man?

QAS - Yes he is....:-)

evercurious said...

I visit often, but I'm not really good at commenting regularly. I just want to say that I really love reading your blogs.

Diane Mandy said...

E.C. - Aww, thanks! It means a lot.

Xavierism said...

Damn...those are huge zits!!!!

Enjoy the weekend!


Mister Hand said...



There ain't a zit on her, I'm betting. This is obviously the camera picking up on her aura of hotness that is invisible to the naked eye.