They were dancing the Silverdale Rumba, a dance that could look too flowery in the context of a social dance, but both Cathy and Steve were good dancers who left the competition-type taradiddles for professionals to perform in competition. The dance-steps were expressive enough to look simple but beautifully elegant, yet sexy. To those who seldom saw them together, they were just a couple who danced well together. That they looked well-suited as dance partners was undeniable, but to those who knew them better, they were much more animated than when they were usually partnering each other. In the Open-Out steps and the various turns, the way that they looked at each other smiling and chatting implied a much closer relationship than usual.
To Beryl Wilson and to Mary Heath their closeness spoke volumes. But what about the couple themselves?
Steve was more than happy to be dancing with Cathy. He had always regretted that she had seemed almost always to be hostile to him, even while he admired her intelligence, her common-sense, her charming personality and – let’s face it – her looks. Tonight, to him, she looked lovelier than ever. Her scent was heady. She moved in harmony with him easily, effortlessly. Every time that they were in a close hold he released her with reluctance. When she looked at him as they talked, he wanted her to look at him like that forever. Yet he knew that this was merely a dance – however romantic the steps might be.
He knew too that when the dance would end later tonight, they would part as mere friends, and he would return to his empty house.
Cathy, too, was delighted to be dancing with Steve. He was a good dancer. Light on his feet, he kept to the strict tempo well, and his body captured the mood of the music – ‘S’wonderful’ – beautifully. She loved his smile. He had white, even, teeth and his eyes mirrored his smile. She looked at the laughter-lines around his eyes and wondered why she had never noticed them before. His face was kind but strong; his shoulders were broad, and she felt his strength as he led her into the moves. She had really enjoyed getting to know him better and now she felt comfortable being in his arms.
Neither of them was conscious of the interest their dancing was exciting in the minds of those around them.
They didn’t get up for every dance but, at other times, they sat together, chatting happily, looking at each other. It wasn’t that they had planned to be anti-social; they just seemed to have so much to say to each other. Even when they weren’t dancing, their closeness and exclusive relationship didn’t escape the attention of those who were looking for such signs.
Waltzes, foxtrots, quicksteps, more rumbas and tangos – Oh those tangos – the Latin-American staccato rhythms and moves were so expressive.
Each time that they rose to dance they walked hand-in-hand towards the floor and each time a dance ended he had his arm around her lower back.
Too soon the evening ended. When they had changed back into street shoes, he held her coat to help her put it on. They waved pleasantly to everyone as they said goodnight to them, but they walked together to the exit where he held the door open for her.
They stood talking for a while. By now the skies were quite dark but the car park was well illuminated by the new streetlights on Eastway, so much brighter since they had replaced the old orange sodium lights. Occasionally, the lights of a passing car added light. Every now and then they could hear cars and motorcyclists using nearby Croxton road as a racetrack
Before they parted, Steve said how enjoyable an evening it had been in her company and thanked her for partnering him. She told him that she had loved the evening too.
Nevertheless, they went their separate ways in the end. There were no kisses or hugs to inflame the curious eyes of Beryl and Mary who watched through the half-open Hall door. The couple had parted content with an agreement that they would be looking forward to the next weekly dance.
More dancing for both photos again today. I chose the featured photo because, to me, it suggested movement mirroring the progression of the relationship of the couple.
EXIF data were: Fujifilm X-T4 camera plus Fujinon XF 16-55 mm f/2.8. Shutter speed was 1/1000 secs @ f/2.8 and 55 mm. ISO was 6400.