no ...even tho i did take 3 years of Latin....all the way thru Cicero....this is not the Latin i speak of....

i was 17 Yrs old when i took my best friend Donna up on spending each Saturday night at at the Palladium Ballroom at the corner of University Avenue and Euclid

her mother managed a dance studio there.........Donna's mom was Spanish and bilingual...and to some extent she catered to those who wanted to learn the Latin dances

so many people came on Saturday...it was an open dance nite....with no lession given......Donna and i had a strong understanding of boogie woogie and jive.....

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and spent most of our time on the floor being throw up in the air...swung around men and boys back....twirled until we were barely able to stand up...flipped between mens legs and pulled back and flung into the air like we were on a swing....and all the time we were thinking we were in a time warp that flashed us back to the 40's

about 60% were all the various Ballroom dances....the other 40% of them were LATIN.....which i didn't know at all so i became a LATIN dance wallflower....someone would come up extend their hand and ask me to dance...i would lower my head ...tell them i couldn't do them....and politely refuse the offer....

then one nite a dark Latin man in his 40's walked across the floor and extended his hand....he wasn't someone i'd seen there before....i lowered my head...went thru my usual reply and started to sit down when i was suddenly pulled forward by his strong hands...then a hand went around my waist ....i was pulled into contact with his whole body....... his right knee separated my legs and stayed between them....even before i could turn bright cherry red he was moving me over the floor

i tried to tell him again that i couldn't dance Latin to no avail...i don't think he could understand English...i tried my not so poor pidgeon Spanish on him...which he completely ignored....then i thought he was deaf....as the music stopped...he walked me back to my chair....nodded and turned and walk away....

i immediately made a beeline to Donna's mom.....

"who is that guy" i said nodding my head toward him as he Samba'd across the floor with an older dancer who knew what she was doing

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"i don't know" said Carmelita "but he's a helluva dancer" i tried to tell him i couldn't dance Latin but he just kept dancing with me...i even tried to tell him in Spanish...he acted deaf"

"any guy who can move like that on the dance floor isn't deaf Nan.....you looked good with him...if your lucky enough to get asked again ...dance with him...

don't you want to learn the Latin dances....the dances of love" ???

"Carmelita can you go tell him i can't dance Latin and not to ask me again"....

"did he ask you" she said....i agitatedly responded "that's the worst of it ...he just drew me out on the floor...i had no control over the situation unless i wanted to make a scene"...!!!

"hhhmmmmmmm"...she said ....and she walked over to him as the Samba ended...i saw her talking to him...he nodded...at one point he turned and looked at me and smiled in a strange knowing way

later as i had my back turned to the dance floor a TANGO began to play....suddenly two hands grasped my arms and turned me around...the same strong hand grabbed my back and pulled me even tighter to his body then as before when he was dancing the Rumba with me....out he glided me into the middle of the floor and began to teach me the TANGO....his hands slid over parts of my body that had never been touched by a man before....his face didn't change thruout the dance...at the end of the dance he walked me back to my chair and nodded before he turned away

every Saturday nite from then on that dark middle aged beautiful man came over and lead me onto the dance floor whenever a Rumba and TANGO began to play....as time went by...the steps he taught me became more intricate....i found my arms above his head....ruffling the hair on the back of his head....sliding one hand across his face...hesitating at his dark senuous lips...before he would snap me away...and then he'd pull me back and run his hand firmly down my side and my thigh.....sometimes he would put his hands on my shoulders when my back was to him......and force me to the floor...hesitate then lift me up again....

this went on for about 4 months i did once ask Carmelita if he was in love with me....."of course he is Nan" she said "but only on the dance floor"

the nite a Rumba began to play and he wasn't there i panicked.....i immediately hurried over to Donna's mom and said "is he here ...have you see him" ???

"no" she said "and i don't think he'll be back"

"not back.... why Carmelita"

"because he taught you everything he knew....he had nothing more to teach"

my favorite movie is "Shall We Dance" with Richard Gere ,Susan Saranden...and Jennifer Lopez

my favorite line from the movie is "THE RUMBA IS A VERICAL EXPRESSION OF A HORIZONTAL WISH"

I WATCH IT OCCASIONALLY ON THE ENCORE CHANNELS....I SEE THE MAN AND I'M DANCING IN MY MIND...DOING THE STEPS I SEE ON THE SCREEN...AND THE TRUTH OF THE LINES REACHES IN AND HOLDS ME CLOSE TO HIM ....

he never said a word to me....never answered when i spoke..... even when i spoke Spanish....only his body spoke to me....when we danced.....

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