This past summer, I started taking West Coast Swing lessons. After 2 years of intensive Salsa… this was a nice change in pace - literally! Before I started, like most people out there I thought Swing dancing was all the same - and everyone danced like Cameron Diaz in that club scene from Mask. Boy was I wrong!! West Coast, I learnt is the jazzier… smoother of the Swings. Bouncing is a strict no no and spinning is an alien word.
But this post is not a comparison of the genres. This post is about dance partners. For be it Salsa or Swing, Ballroom or Bolero….guys who go to dance classes can all be filed under one of the following categories:
1. The Sweaty-Hands Guy - Homus Handus Persperus Maximus
Be it 34 above or 22 below, this guys hands are always bathed in a thin layer of sweat. This can make dancing with such an individual a highly dangerous (and not to mention gross) feat as HHPM's partners are sometimes liable to slip right out of his hands and randomly crash into objects around such as walls, tables and other species on the dance floor.
2. The "Stompin' Tom" Guy - Homus Steppenitus Toeses
Members of this species of Prancis Homus are still caught in an evolutionary warp and feel that the best steps are the big ginormous steps. The foot is lifted as high as possible and then brought back down with a crashing force akin to stomping out a fire offa your best pal's camping blanket. HSTs often have dance partners who evolve with a counter defense mechanism which looks much like a gazelle drinking at the waterhole - always on high alert for the danger from the crashing foot.
3. The Freaky Staring Guy - Homus Breastes Starus
This kind of species dance by grasping your hand firmly, fixing their eyes on a point that would be akin to mid cleavage and then proceeding to stare firmly at that point for the rest of the dance. Any and all attempts at light conversation during the dance result in monosyllabix answers at best and pre speech grunts at the worst!
4. The Maniac Dancer Guy - Homus Loonius Mostus
If you see an HLM coming towards you on the dance floor... sashay as quick as you can outta there! Such a species views a dance more like a military conquest. Short staccato and violent movements rule their lead on the floor and often their dance partners come away like war refugees - barely escaping with the clothes on their backs and nursing their bruised and battered limbs - the ones that were spared!
A friend of mine reading the early draft of this post accused me of exagerrating and said that there's no way any guy fits snugly into one or the other category. And y'know what... he's absolutely RIGHT!
I forgot all about the combos that guys come up with! Just as soon as we've figured out what "kind" of guy they are... they either switch it up on us... or.. (oh horrors) come up with terrifying combinations of the above. Like Sweaty-hands-stomping guy or Maniac-staring guy or Stomping-sweaty hands-maniac... and worse!
Still, horror partners aside.... dancing has been and will continue to be a LOT of fun.... and a constant source of good blog posts!