B.P.'s birthday party was on Friday, and she'd organized an expedition to Julie's, a good Cuban tapas place on Dovercourt south of Dundas, followed by dancing at the Lula Lounge, west of Dufferin on Dundas. The Lula Lounge was good venue: a decent amount of dance space, tables with dinner available earlier in the evening, and a stage, commanded by a salsa band. I arrived just in time for a four-dancer 15-minute showcase demo, fun and flashy. Then the crowd took to the floor.
My group wasn't too heavy on the dancing. None of us were experienced salsa dancers, and the guys largely disclaimed any dancing knowledge (although one of them had once taken a semester of swing with me, so I knew otherwise.) I don't know more than the basic step for most of the Latin dances, but that's enough to improvise a little around with the birthday girl and one of her dance-enthusiastic friends, A. At one point, trying to remember the bochata steps, a waiter with one hand full of bottles and glasses took my hand and led me through them.
Eventually, one of A.'s friends showed up - a professional dancer of some sort, though not of the Latin variety. She was with an absolutely spectacular dancer. Up until then, there'd been some very good dancers on the floor, but none of the show-stealing variety. Oh, was he ever. And the more I watched him move, the more convinced I was I recognized him from the Toronto Salsa Congress. A.'s friend later told me he was a local salsa instructor, so the odds are high.
I left, tired after a few hours, with the evening still in full swing, half the birthday party still loitering or dancing among the crowd.