Saturday, 16 April 2011
I recall having dancing lessons, thirty years ago, at a school under a church in Blandford Street, just off Baker Street, in the perforce leading grip of a diminutive dance mistress of a certain age, whose name I have ungratefully forgotten. The two step and the slow waltz were easy enough but moving onto the rumba and the bossa nova was more trying and the foxtrot proved a bridge too far and, in attempting it with the first Mrs S, the air was suddenly rent by the crack of hand on face as I stumbled around in imitation of Monsieur Hulot; the dance mistress and our friends jerked their heads around with (I can see their faces now), a look of surprise, which nearly matched my own, as I grizzled back at them and stumbled on. Mind you, the foxtrot, difficult though it is, has nothing on the ballroom samba with its swaying motion and the pelvic tic. The ballroom samba, deriving from the maxixe, is the dance which must most justify George Bernard Shaw's description of dancing as the vertical expression of a horizontal desire. Mind you, GBS could not have been reading Sir Richard Burton's translations of the Kama Sutra or The Perfumed Garden or he would have realized that, for those prepared to run the risk of having to call the fire brigade to disentangle naked limbs, the desire of which he spoke is indeed capable of convoluted expression apart from at the horizontal.
Posted by NJS at 08:28