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Shall we dance?

Long before dad was born, grandpa and grandma won their wedding dresses as the best dance couple at a dance event in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. Ballroom dancing was quite popular in colonial-era cities in Africa. Today the nightclubs are packed with people dancing to more individually expressive afrobeat music.

Grandpa and grandma on their wedding day.

Kizomba Dancing

Dancing at the Baltimore Salsa Congress 2022

Three months ago, I went to a Kizomba/salsa dancing workshop at Mix Bar and Grille in Silver Spring. I got into partner dancing, counting the steps to the beats. There are other dance steps also- Zouk (Brazilian Zouk is a type), Kompa, and merengue. Mine is afrobeat with its different kind of energy.

But partner dancing has a calming, comforting effect. In these days of isolation, social distancing and the pandemic, partner dancing becomes an opportunity to be hugged again. Partner dancing requires one gets closer than the 6 feet apart recommended by the CDC. While dancing, some people still wear face masks to stay safe. The face masks are less common in the lounges, though. We can start a debate on whether partner dancing is sensual. I have now attended the Cherry Blossom Dance festival, Baltimore Salsa congress, etc. I have a partner who deejays in some of these events.

I get hired to take photographs. The fascination keeps growing. I am now making paintings of dancers in scarlet and flashing blue rooms. Maybe freezing the image of dancing bodies will improve my understanding of the motions. Or one should learn from Youtube tutorial videos. For some, dancing is part of their daily exercise regime. I study the form of bodies in motion.

Dancers at the Baltimore Salsa congress, 2022

Dancing at the DC Cherry Blossom Kizomba Weekender, 2022

Raj deejaying at the Baltimore Salsa congress, 2022.

Dancing at Mix Grill and Bar, Silver Spring, Maryland

Deejaying at the DC Cherry Blossom Kizomba Weekender 2022

At the Club Bellisimo, Baltimore.

Dancing at the Baltimore Salsa congress, 2022

Dancing at Club Bellisimo, Baltimore.

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