The music thumped while Ramiro scanned the club for somebody without a dance partner. It was difficult to see through the haze from the fog machines and the flashing from the lights. A swig of beer. He spotted Alicia bobbing up and down to the beat of the music in the midst of the crowd. Next to Ramiro, Tony also scanned the crowd for a dance partner.
After a couple of minutes, Tony tapped Ramiro on the arm and made dancing legs with his fingers, then pointing left, to tell Ramiro he saw somebody. There were three girls at the entrance. Tony gestured Ram to follow.
Halfway to the entrance, one of the girls waved at somebody and gestured to her friends that she would be going off with her dance partner. They nodded to her and looked at each other with a smile. Perfect. Tony and Ram continued walking to meet the remaining two.
As they approached the girls, one of them spotted Tony and Ramiro closing in. She gave a half smile and kept her gaze on the two, sizing them up. A quick word to her friend for a heads up. Eye contact.
“Good evening, ladies,” Tony shouted above the music. “Would you care to dance?”
Calling them girls seemed inappropriate. At least for one of them. She maintained her gaze on Ramiro and had a serene calmness to her that seemed out of place in a dance club.
“I’m Tony. This is Ramiro.”
“Yo soy Flor,” the smaller of the two piped up. “Ella es Sofia”, pointing to her companion.
“Eh, mucho gusto,” Tony managed to say shaking Flor and Sofia’s hands.
“Mucho gusto,” Ramiro chimed in, shaking Sofia’s hand first. She had a very penetrating gaze, except it wasn’t freaky. It evoked a sense of calm in him.
“Bailamos?” Tony made a dancing gesture to Flor. He saw that Sofia’s attention was fully on Ramiro.
Flor nodded and reached for Tony’s outstretched hand to walk into the throng.
Never had they ever had such an easy time finding girls to dance. It must be a numbers game. Finally the odds coughed up what they owed.
Sofia stretched out her hand to meet Ram’s. With a small tilt of her head, she said, “vamos”, as she pulled him along behind her.
Ramiro could not help admiring Sofia’s long black hair that made her pale and delicate features more pronounced. Her grip was firm.
Ramiro and Tony would accompany Alicia to the club on weekends. Sometimes they would take turns dancing with her. Other times she would find somebody at the club. They had known Alice since grade school, living in the same neighborhood and riding the bus together. They would go clubbing together to look out for each other. Handsy guys and troublemakers also seemed to like clubbing. Ramiro preferred staying home, but his friends always managed to get him to loosen up and have fun.
Ramiro looked around to spot Tony and Alice, making sure they were alright. Sofia stopped near the center of the dance floor and squared herself off in front of Ramiro to dance. This was always an awkward moment for him. Some girls liked to hop around and toss their hair about. Others were a bit more intimate. It was always a last minute discovery what the dance style would be. Sofia’s style was…different. Her movement was fluid, practiced. She appeared to move slowly, yet still fit the thumping rhythm of the house music. Time to learn some new moves.