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50s Meet 80s, or, Pass the Salsa

August 30th, 2010 by the_lifer

Three days ago, Willow timorously asked her friend Winona for help. What should she wear to go salsa dancing?

Friday night found Willow standing shyly, hands jammed into the pockets of a cowl-necked cobalt tunic picked to Bring Out Her Eyes, looking for the guy who invited her salsa dancing. The crowd is intriguing; pairs and trios of women and men come in, split up, and dance with each other. Couples spin, feet fly, Latin music jangles, partners change. Is it a scene from the 50s? The way some of the dancers are dressed, it’s a scene from the 80s – one woman is still in the sprayed-on jeans and feathered bouffant that she must have picked out then.

She’s so fascinated that she jumps when she gets tapped on the shoulder. “Hey! You made it! Ready to dance?” Hugely encouraged, Willow says yes, but has to admit, “I don’t know how.”

The event’s two dance instructors come to the rescue. In a confusing whirl, she manages a basic merengue, while seeing the Guy out of the corner of her eyes, dancing with other women. But never with the same one twice.

Once she has mastered the steps enough for someone else to ask her to dance, the Guy cuts back in. “See! It’s not hard!” After a half hour’s whirling, he buys her a spring water.

The lights are turned down. The atmosphere gets prowly. Willow stammers her excuses. The guy is all smiles. “See you next time!”

Was it a date? Willow’s not sure even now.

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