Friday, March 27, 2009

Sizzlin' Salsa

Azucar, on Avenida Corrientes in Abasto--it feels like a mix between a gym and a tropical bar. Wall-sized mirrors and waxed wooden floors sidelined by a counter covered with sweating bottles of Izenbeck. Salsa music is all around and dancers are shimmying their shoulders, moving their feet back-middle-front-middle-back--TURN! Some couples are klutzy and some are as sexy as Havana nights. Some, like the three of us, are watching from afar, nursing our beers like safety blankets, too shy to test our feet.

Vera and Eva have staked out their stardom on the floor and are switching between a dozen happy partners. Elsa comes and tries to refuse a beer, but her resolve doesn't last long. Pretty soon her bottle of Izenbeck is gone and she is teaching us how to step-and-shimmy, step-and-shimmy.

Nick and I give it a go. We are all left feet. But we laugh and keep trying. Pretty soon the music stops, indicating that it is time to switch partners; we panic--we don't mind embarassing each other, but it's too much to embarass a stranger. We escape and head back to Elsa and Caitlin. Nick teaches Caitlin a few salsa moves (or perhaps she teaches him!). Vera and Eva come running off the dance floor, flushed and excited from so much shimmying. It's time for all of us to head to a Peruvian restaurant and share some liters of Quilmes.

Which we do, quite happily.

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