Well that’s my conclusion after spending a night in a dance hall with one of Caths workmates….
Picture this, it’s a Thursday night, with Friday as Sao Paulo day – and a day off work for everyone, so we get invited to go out for a night of dancing. Anyone who knows me knows that dancing and Greg Newman are not to things that have historically strong association, but being a brave if somewhat foolish man, I agree to join Cath and Paula for an evening in her local dance hall.
Now the night started out very well – I always say you it’s hard to have a bad night when you get to eat chicken parmigana for dinner – but heh I am a simple bloke.
So after dinner we head downtown to the Buena Vista dance hall, we arrived at about 9pm and the place was already pumping, we met all of Paulas friends then settled down in a comfy spot right in front of the massive dance floor. Now there is nothing worse for an avowed bad dancer to be surrounded by great dancers, and so this place was my idea of hell, its ok for Cath she has natural rhythm and is blessed with a left and right foot, where as I am blessed with just two left feet. So very soon Cath is up and dancing, just a little but enough to get her the locals approval.
And these people can really dance, I am a man who knows dancing, having seen two episodes of Dancing with the Stars, Strictly Ballroom and Dirty Dancing (both the film and the musical) I feel qualified to judge dancing style and artistic merit, and these folks where literally burning up the dance floor, young and old, thick and thin, black, white, asian, drunk, sober, there must have been 100 people on the dance floor at anytime moving with rhythm, style, grace and sexiness that is just not possible to achieve in a Nelson nightclub!
But no one could understand that we didn’t know any of the dances, as it was Thursday night they were dancing a whole range of dances – lambada, salsa, you name it, they even managed to dance with some style and grace to a WHAM song… But the evening conversation kept coming back to the locals amazement why we didn’t know how to dance, luckily I managed to turn the conversation around to something I was a little more comfortable with – Rugby…. and low and behold none of the locals knew how to play rugby! This was my ticket out of stupid white man’s land, I assured them that I would be happy go dancing with them, if they in turn wouldn’t mind stepping outside afterwards for a quick game of rugby in the carpark…. aghhh that sorted it, now where was my beer?
Some other little Brazilian gems that are worth noting:
Parking the car – in Brazil all your parking problems are solved, absolutely everywhere (even the burger joint we went to do for dinner) has a team of valets waiting as you pull up right outside the front door for a very reasonable £3 they park your car for you…. It has a bit of side effect that you actually never end up walking anywhere, you never need to look for a car park in Sao Paulo, even our apartment block has a team of parking dudes.
Also it was to Caths great amazement that none of these apparently serious dancing folks (some of whom go out dancing three or four nights a week) had ever seen or heard of Dirty Dancing… hmmm call themselves serious dancers heh? They were also very dismissive of the efforts of the Baby and Patrick Swayze when they explained that the merainge that they were dancing was a very basic dance, but a good dance to start out dancing with….