Wednesday Briefs - The Argentine Tango
The Argentine Tango
Louis wrung his hands nervously as he walked into the dance studio. Again, he had to remind himself, why he was there. He’d seen it performed at the speakeasy. The music touched his soul, and the way the couple’s bodies moved spoke to him on a primal level. He’d gone home and tried to emulate its sensual nature, only to trip over a chair and have his mother yell up the stairs, “ya got a herd of elephants up there?”. He couldn’t practice this dance with a four-legged partner.
The hour was late, as he entered the studio. He was on his way home and was only there with the intention of getting information on classes. He watched as the line of ladies left, chatting cosily to each other.
“Can I help you, sir.” Louis looked around to find a man dressed similarly to himself in black trousers, a white shirt and braces. His South American accent and Latino features sent Louis weak at the knees.
“I’m here for Argentine Tango classes.”
“Certainly sir.” He rummaged under the desk. “Have you danced before?”
“Yes, I work at the Burlesque club on fifth, but they don’t do this kind of dance there. At least they haven’t yet.”
The man looked at him with a contemplative stare. He raised a thick eyebrow and shuffled some papers. “We’re supposed to be closing, but I can do you a quick trial to see which class would be best for you.”
Louis beamed, “Wow, that would be great.” He’d never expected to be accommodated so late in the evening.
“Please follow me. I am Xavier.”
“Pleased to meet you. I’m Louis.”
The men went behind the wall that separated reception from the studio. There, Xavier thumbed through the records, placed his selection on the gramophone and carefully moved the needle in place. The Tango music started up. The deep heartbeat of the drum resonated within him, dum da dum, dum da dum, yet it had the distinct melodic sound of the bandoneon.
Xavier breathed in deep. “You must feeeel di music. The modern Argentine Tango is a dance of passion.”
Louis closed his eyes and lost himself – that’s exactly what he’d seen at the speakeasy - passion. He couldn’t stop himself swaying from side to side pretending to hold a partner, trying a couple of the moved he’d attempted in his bedroom. As the music finished, he felt bereft. He returned to the reality of the dance studio to find Xavier smiling.
“Come, I play it again. Only this time we dance.” Louis took a few steps toward the mirrored wall, expecting to follow the moves chorus line style. Xavier headed in a different direction. “Did you know it was traditionally danced between two men to show their prowess to the ladies?” Louis numbly shook his head as Xavier returned and guided him, by the small of his back, to the centre floor. Only the single light by the gramophone illuminated the way.
Xavier briefly left Louis to start the music again. When he re-joined him, Xavier took his hand and twirled him on the spot. His momentum halted by a strong arm around his back holding him tight against a trim hard body. Xavier’s other hand clasped Louis in a traditional ballroom hold. Louis rested his remaining arm on Xavier’s shoulder.
“Follow my lead.”
Through the mirror, Louis watched as Xavier moved around him in a series of pointing toes and flicks. Unexpectedly, he turned Louis under his arm to face outward and slowly ran the palm of his hand up the outside of his leg. Louis leaned into Xavier and gave himself to the dance. Turning face to face, and in time to the beat, they walked around the floor running pointed toes up shins, in a demonstration of following my leader.
Suddenly, Xavier lifted Louis from the floor and turned several times before lowering him to the ground and leaning him back. Louis time at the burlesque knew the manoeuvre well. To steady himself, Louis wrapped a leg around Xavier’s waist. Xavier snapped Louis back up, their faces close enough to feel the breath of the other. Their eyes met. They stared for several beats, their hearts thumping with desire, sending blood to places lower down.
Louis lowered his leg and slid his arm higher to rest behind Xavier’s neck. A left thigh to a right, enticed Louis to dance once again. For several moves they glided across the floor as one – soft and intimate. From being so close, space was made between them. Xavier manipulated Louis hips so that he mirrored his partner in a series of intricate weaving steps. They continued to dance, linking legs, flicking and twirling like it was the most natural thing on earth. The manoeuvres came to a culmination with Xavier almost throwing Louis back into a lunge, his back leg straight behind him.
The music died out. Louis and Xavier slowly stood to face each other. Panting, they rested their foreheads together. Xavier breathed, “I’ve never had such an intense experience before. You don’t need specific lessons - just the right partner.”
“Are you the right partner?”
“I sincerely hope so.”
Their lips met in a sensual dance of their own. Their tongues tangoed following a rhythm of desire. The bodies of Xavier and Louis writhed against one another, and the night became theirs to follow the passion of the dance to another level.