Monday, 11 January 2010


Sunday morning Samba Beginners class with Romero. Wicked. Wiggly. La-di-da. "Attitude!" He yells over the music. "Elegance!" Ok then. Tra la laaaa! I exaggerate. What fun! The movements make me joyful. "Samba is the way to share your happiness," cries Romero. It feels true! I was anxious and tired on the way in, now I'm grinning ear to ear.

We're learning the Sambo to Peu, a shuffly wiggly little step. I'm failing miserably to co-ordinate my feet, hips and flailing arms. The woman in front of me is a leggy Brazilian with tumbing orange curls, in heels and a tiny ra ra skirt. As I watch her wiggle away, she takes her fingers to her hips and traces two lines up the sides of her body, past her wiggly chest, picks up her hair, lifts it high, and lets it tumble in strands back down her wiggly back, all the while looking seductively into her own eyes in the mirror without a glimmer of self-consciousness.  Blimey! I think. That's not allowed where I come from!

I'm still dancing while I watch her, and gradually co-ordination starts kicking in. As my body starts to do the proper movements, I can feel it really conditioning my lower abdomen and pelvic floor. This is sex practice! I realise. Wow! Brazilian dance is sex practice!

I'm reminded of an ex-boyfriend recounting a conversation with a friend who'd just started seeing a Brazilian woman. "Mate!" the friend had exclaimed, talking about the sex. "I had no idea!"

I've always wondered what that actually meant.

This dance isn't just sex practice, it's sex catching. It's a mating call. We are all like peacocks with our tails lifted. "Look at meeeee!  I'm really hot! Take me now!"

I'm rather shocked by myself when I look in the mirror and see my reflection beaconing me to bed. "Come into my arms," my body is saying. "Don't you want to enjoy these wiggly hips? Mmmmmmm"

And everyone's at it in here, the young couples, the old couples, the skinny ladies in heels, the larger ladies on a fun January health kick, all grinning and wiggling away.

"Now cover yourself in Gold!" Romero exclaims in the cool down. "Yellow, yellow sun. See it in your mind, open your arms to it, pour it all over yourself! Cover yourself in sun!"

Right. This is just a beginners class. I want to go to a Samba party. I want to see these Brazilians in action.

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