I stared when he sprinkled baby powder on the dance floor. That is a thing professional ballroom dancers do when they want to glide with ease. Yet here is this novice social wannabe dancer adopting the mannerisms of an expert.
“What’s wrong with this?” you may ask. Firstly, if he – let’s call him Drongo – was skilled in Kizomba, then maybe. No. Wait. It’s just wrong.
The fact that Drongo cannot move to a beat tells me he has the wrong idea of this dance, of Kizomba, that he was taught incorrectly. And he has the audacity to sprinkle this powder on the floor as if…
Drongo does a sequence. It looks awkward – his flow (if you can call it that) is forced and the facial expressions of some of the ladies are that of unease. I don’t think he understands that the music moves you – he just moves in a certain way whether the beat drops or not.
There’s an Edd-ism that goes: “If the DJ plays silence you will dance the way you want to it.” Semba, Zouk, Kizomba or even Tarraxha, Drongo does his sequence despite the melody.
“He is not good looking, he does not dress nicely but he can dance,” Abby says to me but adds enthusiastically, “But he can move, I had to give him a chance.”
Johnny Castle is not the most handsome guy at Rooftop. In fact, he is unnoticeable. That is until that Cuban Salsa music starts. His limbs respond to the Bongo, Clave and Maracas instinctively. It’s an awesome sight. The lady is clearly delighted, while he, too, is enjoying the dance.
The two of them move naturally towards and away from each other. I’ve seen them do this before – they know their Salsa, they know each other, but this is not rehearsed.
Johnny’s confidence and skills are obvious and another lady leaps to get him as the song ends. Despite being breathless, he obliges. Again, he moves as if he knows this lady, but he only knows the moves and the music.
The difference between bravado and confidence is this: Drongo wants to be seen (and he is) but Johnny is appreciated. The latter’s familiarity with the music and various steps translate into an intangible joy, a language that is seen.
Drongo is unaware of this while Johnny is aware. Aweh boy.