Okay thin people, help me out here. Is it possible for you to mention partaking in some sort of physical activity without someone mentioning how it’ll make you lose weight? I just want to know if people are universally demented or if it’s just special fat girl treatment.
Case in point:
Hot Latin Boy and I are both mad for the danzón, Cuba’s slow, sinuous answer to the Argentine tango. Although popularity has waned in its native Cuba, every week people gather in plazas or on corners all over Mexico to come together to gossip, flirt and dance the danzón.
We dance three nights a week. Excessive perhaps, but it keeps us off the streets and affords me the opportunity to dress in all white –white outfits are traditional for danzón– without resorting to the equally distasteful options of being a bride or a member of the klan.
And it’s not just fun, but SO fun.
First of all, my fellow dancers are a hoot. There’s Imperious Fruit-Themed Lady, Nose Hair Man, Disappointed Gay Guy, and Confused Teenage Orangutan, among others.
Imperious Fruit-Themed Lady with her cherry-printed skirts is my favorite, closely followed by Confused Teenage Orangutan whose feet are the size of tennis rackets and do not communicate in any meaningful way with the rest of his body. Nose Hair Man is the best dancer, while Disappointed Gay Guy fell hard and fast for HLB and shoots me death glares over his Vivien Leigh half-frames any time he gets the chance.
Although HLB and I generally dance together, we’re more popular separately.
This, of course, has everything to do with our overwhelming natural talent and nothing to do with HLB’s resident dreamboat status or that for a ballroom full of men who stand 5’5″ in their discreetly lifted Cuban heels, dancing with a woman who clocks in at six feet tall in champagne satin Capezios affords them five minutes of uninterrupted visual access to some serious USDA Grade A funbags without getting maced or divorced.
The ballroom is also beautiful, housed in a cultural center that was once a sprawling Spanish Colonial-style casino built in the late 1920’s, reputedly with Al Capone as bankroller-in-chief.
The only trouble, aside the occasional trodden-upon toe, comes when I talk about it to my fellow gringos.
“Oh that’s such good exercise, and what a great way to lose weight!”
And of course it has to be said with that extra-patronizing voice usually reserved for when someone’s two year-old makes poo poo in the big boy potty. It’s also universally followed by some riveting anecdote where someone’s sister’s cousin’s lobotomy surgeon lost seven hundred pounds doing freestyle Himalayan goat clogging.
Why? Because it can’t ever not be about weight.
It’s just so tremendously boorish, like hearing about a friend’s gastronomical tour of France in pornographic, butter-soaked detail and exclaiming “Wow! You must’ve had some really satisfying bowel movements!”
Yes, there are health benefits to dancing eight hours a week. For example, when I’m dancing I’m not out killing people who say stupid stuff, so that’s not bad. Plus good cardio is good cardio, and dancing –especially in heels– is great for your core, assuming your knees and ankles don’t protest. That’s not the point.
The point of dancing isn’t to lose weight, it’s to dance.
It’s to have fun, it’s to get dressed up and salvage a bit of elegance in a world that’s rapidly slouching towards Kardashian. It’s to twirl with men in linen pants and Panama hats who aren’t trying to bring back the hat, because for them, the hat never left. It’s to stare at a young woman’s enthusiastic sweaterpuppies without getting decked by your wife with a cast-iron tortilla press (although I have seen one particularly indiscreet gentleman of about sixty get cracked across the back of the head with a hand fan after staring too intently at the dance instructor’s admittedly magnificent backside.)
So tell me, straighties, does this happen to you, or can you just move without comment?