On The Dancefloor
by Solomon West
I was on my way home from one of my favourite eateries the other night when I noticed a building called Latino's. The promise of Brazil, salsa, bossa nova and Carnival and the allure of madamemoiselles was too much for this reporter, and I asked my taxi driver to "Stop here, please" (Cao! Ting zheli! Ni ma de piyan!).
Inside I was greeted with a scene that could easily have been straight from a street in Rio during Mardi Gras! Groups of international businessmen sat in the spectator seats all around the dance floor in silence, watching the handful of dancers shake some booty to appalling Latin pop music. The term "sleaze" wouldn't have entered my mind had it not been for the fact that I had been reading the slea section of the dictionary just before dinner that night.
After getting that out of my mind, I was finally able to get a chair facing the dance floor so that I too could "watch the dancing". The terms "going through the motions with no flair whatsoever" and "robotic" were perhaps insufficient to describe the quality of the dancing. Thus I will allow you, readers, to go and find out for yourselves.
Whilst taking more than 90 minutes to finish my drink, I realised that I had been constantly aware of a curiously familiar character in a tiara sitting alone on the opposite side of the room from me. I felt it bizarre that a girl would come alone to a place like this and equally bizarre that someone should wear a tiara. Just as I stood to leave I realised that it was Angel Chu, sipping a draft Yanjing beer. She was still alone as I slipped out through the door.
Latino's is near Chaoyang Park somewhere and is probably open most of the time. I am sure they do some dance classes there too at some times, but you may want to consider a teacher whose students don't seem like they have learned their moves from a "Salsa for Dummies" book written in ancient Aramaic.