Monday, January 12, 2009

Out On the Dance Floor

Yesterday was the monthly South Bay New Orleans Jazz Club concert. They're held at the Riviera Village Knights of Columbus on Avenue I and run from around noon to 4:30 or 5 p.m. A very nice lady sells hot dogs, popcorn and slices of two kinds of cake for nominal sums. The bar is equally as, er, cost effective. We hooked up with Pat and Bob (Brodsky) and enjoyed ourselves.

It's a mixed crowd (mostly older people) and no particular dress code that I've ever discovered. The club's president usually wears a Hawaiian shirt, jeans and work boots. I spiff it up a little with a sweater, slacks and loafers (as opposed to Winter Sweats and Uggs.) One of the women officers has a dress that I love -- black like a priest's soutaine but with crimson buttons and underskirt. I always compliment her on her "bishop's dress."

There is a couple that we call "The Dancing Fools" -- he must be either a professional or a dance instructor and she matches him step for step. Yesterday they came whirling out on the dance floor at warp speed from behind my line of sight and it was as if they'd magically appeared -- Fred and Ginger!

The female half of another couple (he was so indistinguishable that I remember him not at all) was a sight to behold. I wondered how a streetwalker had gotten in the door. Her outfit had a longish skirt with a bright metal zipper extending from the waist, down over her left hip and opened at upper thigh level to a deep slit. She was wearing patterned black hose (think spider web) and long, pointy-toed, very high heels. Tall and slim with a mop of disheveled platinum-blonde hair, she had a kind face. She danced sedately enough, but we all kept an eye on that zipper -- if she'd pulled it any higher, she could have flashed us the Full Monty.

The featured band did something I'd never seen -- three or four of the wives (presumably) had piled opened, decorated umbrellas -- sequins, ribbons, bits of feather -- in front of the piano. At the intro to a particular number, they all walked over, each grabbed an umbrella and began parading around the dance floor. One lap and they went back to the piano and pulled out a second umbrella, offering it to the ladies ringside. Pat nearly broke her arm pointing at me. Abashed, I took it, held it to cover my face and started looking for the next victim. The ladies at the table behind us were uninterested, but across the room I found me a sucker. She was "slightly disguised" (drunk) and heaved herself up, took the umbrella and pranced away. I slunk gratefully back to our table.

After the featured band finished, the pick-up musicians took the stage and two pairs of teenagers took the floor. The boys may have been brothers; the girls were taller than the boys, who bounced most enthusiastically across the floor. For safety's sake, we all cleared the floor leaving them to it. What they may have lacked in poetic grace was more than made up for in sheer exhuberance.

However, when they sat down, fanning themselves after a couple of numbers, an interesting thing happened. An older Asian man and his wife took to the floor. She was wearing a summer '60s cocktail frock (fitted; think Jackie O) and sensible shoes. He was wearing high-waisted, belted trousers. Perhaps they were left over from the '30s, perhaps custom-tailored? I have no idea where they could be purchased today. He had to have been at least 80 years old and I would have put serious money on 90. He was very bowlegged which gave him a rather tottery stance, but he tore into the music, thrashing around like a teenager. I truly feared a broken hip! The climax of their duet was a rather arthritic, arm-flashing Charleston! He seemed to be looking at the teenagers' table .. I'd like to believe he was thinking, "Take that ya little punks!

I can hardly wait for the February meeting -- so many delicious possibilities.

No comments: