Saturday 2 July 2022

Mambalsa wedding

Me :)

So it was going to be a mix of dance from the outset! The bride has strong connections with the Salsa and Bollywood scenes. There was everything from Salsa, Bollywood and not forgetting several masters of the good old English Two Step, the original dad’s disco from a time before dad!
Bollywood demo by the Bride and friends

Me and Mrs Me were on a table with a couple who’d met at our salsa night, years earlier. They were accompanied by their two adorable little girls, think sugar and spice etc.

Also on the table was a French couple who spoke little English. Almost as little English as I spoke French, but around the monsieur's neck was a lace neck-tie with the relief of a couple dancing jive. “Vous dance la rock ‘n roll?” “Wee” Contact had been made!

Once the dancing started everyone got up and did what they did. The DJ played a good mix of pop and Bollywood with some salsa later on. Obviously the Bollywood dancers danced to Bollywood, the salsa dancers danced salsa and everyone shuffled away to the pop.
At one time when the dance floor was flagging a little, the French couple got up and over to one side of the dance floor, started a two person line dance/stroll. 
I’m certainly in the pro-dance camp and people dancing is always better than people not dancing, regardless of the dance. I did feel a little uncomfortable for them. Strolls work on mass but not so well in pairs, besides they were fellow guests and we’d been sitting on the same table.
Time for a little of the old Entente Cordiale.
Me and Mrs me joined them on the floor and picked up the pattern. It was a challenge but needs must, and suddenly we were four. By the end of the track we’d been joined by the Bollywood crew and there was a little dance thing going on that was tres magnific! Our gallic friends had gone from being excluded through language and dance style, to centre of the action.

Nothing that had happened so far was related to Mambalsa except possibly my previously limited view of what I danced to and why, has shifted towards a pro-any dance position. It was a wonderful example of friendship and support across the language barrier. An exchange of moves and opportunity from them, and support from us.

In a Mambalsa future, the Mambalsa FWS would be known to general population as much as the cha cha cha step is today.
The grids (strolls) could have developed during the track, not only in complexity but as a means of gifts exchanged. I give you the London Stomp, and you show me the Wiffy Cheese Shuffle!

After our collective dance victory, I asked the French Lady for a dance. A minute later we were spinning and grooving as partners to Mambalsa. No words were necessary, not even an 'un, de, troi'. 
It was a wonderful evening. I danced with old friends and new. I danced Mambalsa to Bollywood and pop. I danced Bangra and salsa too. We may have inspired an English two-stepper or two to learn to dance, but most of all it was dance helping people come together to celebrate the wedding of our friends.
Please be upstanding and point your camera at the Bride and Groom :)

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