Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spaghetti Arms

Agony Aunts who recommend that lonely singletons take up dance classes to meet the man of their dreams have clearly not been fox-trotting down Dance Manhattan way. Our smooth ballroom class is a pungent mixture of the schlubby, the silent, the short and the smugly coupled up. Since some of best dance experiences have involved being whirled around the floor by shaky geriatrics and borderline sociopaths, I try to keep an open mind and a strong frame. Both of these become less easy during a too-close encounter with Mr Spaghetti Arms.

With axe-murders, it's always the quiet ones, and with dancefloor pervs, it's generally the vaguely presentable ones. Perhaps a modicum of success with women has addled their brain, or perhaps they'd just always figured that what worked for Swayze (God rest his soul) would work for them. They often adopt a style that Americans refer to as European: shiny shoes, flat-fronted trousers belted high, tight t-shirts. They wear hair product and too much cologne (presumably another suspiciously Euro trait). But the only way to really know that you've got a Mr Spaghetti in your arms is when the music starts and you get clamped to his sweaty chest, Argentinian tango style. It doesn't matter if the music, teacher and class title are all screaming "lindy-hop" or "waltz", because he won't be content until your breasts are flattened into him and your thighs are second-base entangled.

Dear reader, I got a bad dose of the Spaghettis last night. All the warning signs were there: 80s heartthrob hair, Simon Cowell trousers, muppet voice. When he danced with the instructor, he kept her at respectable arm's length. But out of the spotlight it was a different story. When it was my turn to dance with him, his arm snaked round my back and my hips were crushed into his. The worst of it was that he held me so tight I couldn't twinkle properly.

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