Salsa on the Pier
An all day and all night sweaty crotchathon.
Leather Couch Salsa is one of those dance organisation’s who are always looking to provide dance addicts with fresh ideas. Indeed, over the years they have introduced many new innovations which have become the norm. Innovations such as combining bachata with the game Twister, and dancing in public loos.
However, Overlord Angus, in his thirst for creating ever more popular themes, often ponders on new ideas during his extended ablution breaks, and on one such occasion he came up with an idea that had never been done before! (except on two previous occasions).
What if we took salsa, and held a fourteen hour danceathon over water! After a quick google search it soon occurred to the Overlord that anti-gravity dancing had yet to be invented, but not to be put off, Angus compromised his idea by holding his event on a pier. The two main ingredients still stood, dancing (check) and over water (check) and Salsa on the Pier was born.
Angus, at the precise moment he got his idea.
Salsa on the Pier is a big undertaking, too big, even for Angus, to do alone. In order to make the event a success, Angus quickly released two of his minions from his cellar (Lee Swift and Damon Pulsford) and with promises of free beer and lovely ladies to leer at, the two men quickly ﬂew into action to prepare the Pier for the arrival of sweating, heaving bodies. And dancers.
The Pier chosen to host this event was none other than newly refurbished Weston Pier. Its combination of garish seaside attractions, bright lights and loud noises reminded Angus very much of his youth back in the early 50’s when he ran a “ride the donkey” business at Inverness beach. The discovery of a choo-choo train which ran the length of the pier sealed the deal for Angus, and with his minions in tow, Salsa on the Pier was on.
Weston Pier. Blue sky added for effect.
Arriving at Weston Super Mare was an ordeal in itself. As well as the driving rain, the town centre road layout is akin to pirate shipping lanes oﬀ the coast of Somalia. Parking in the multi storey carpark, I was initially greeted by the colourful language used by what can only be described as an elephant in a bright purple tracksuit disciplining her kids. As the purple mammal moved oﬀ I hastened across the road to the pier, and followed the “Salsa on the Pier” signs which had lovingly been erected by Lee Swift. (This is likely to be the only time “erected” and “Lee Swift” are mentioned in the same sentence). After climbing 38 ﬂights of stairs I arrived at the top ﬂoor, which housed the dance room. Already I could see that Leather Couch Salsa had done a marvelous job with the room, there must have been at least seven helium ﬁlled balloons in there. Angus was busy whipping his men, so I was initially greeted by members of his staff, the sexy Abanico Door Lovelies (an oﬀshoot of Abanico Angels consisting of ladies in comfortable pants).
Already an array of lady dancers had arrived and a solitary bloke, sticking out like a banana in a bowl of oranges. (and not during the dancing). Poor guy, he doesn’t know what he’s let himself in for. Or maybe he does.
The events of the day consisted of a series of lessons given by three of the UK’s most feared teachers, Overlord Angus, Olde Etonian Nigel May, and a guest teacher from oop north, Nicolai V.
Its not clear what Nicolai’s surname actually is, some experts believe the V is a nickname which has developed from Nicolai’s habit of wearing his shirts with the top four buttons undone, others however, believe it stands for Veet, and Nicolai shortened it in order to distance himself from the popular ladies grooming product.
The ﬁrst lesson was conducted by Mrs Thatcher’s favourite party member, Nigel May. Nigel, resplendent in a vest and MCHammer pants, called up the students for an hour long reggaeton class. Being still relatively early, the class was small, containing six ladies and the aforementioned bloke. Unfortunately for the students, most of them had not done reggaeton before, and thus had no idea what they were letting themselves in for. Immediately Nigel began pumping his groin in the direction of the class, and then he started the lesson.
As usual, it was a typical Nigel class, run at a pace faster than a hooker at a tory conference. However, Nigel was in a hurry, as his aim was to ﬁnish early so he could enjoy the ladies wimbledon ﬁnal on the tv, something he has never missed in all of his 58 years. After 20minutes or so of thrusting, gyrating, chest pumping and generally simulating sex acts, dark patches of sweat were appearing in inappropriate places on the students bodies. By the end of the lesson quite a few of the ladies were clearly in need of Tenalady. No such embarrassment for Nigel though. His trousers were deliberately baggy in order to aﬀord him the luxury of ﬁtting a self patented irrigation system running down each leg, storing his dampness in two specially designed socks. The only drawback is that by the end of the lesson Nigel is carrying so much weight in his feet his dancing resembles Treebeard stomping on hot coals.
The lesson also through up some new moves I’d not seen before, the “door knocker” (a move in which the participant knocks on an imaginary door whilst rolling their bum - I am hoping this move gets incorporated into everyday life), the “double door knocker” (as before only knocking the door with both hands still including the bum gyrating), and the simple but eﬀective “knockers” (ladies only).
The second class was a salsa lesson taught by Nicolai V. To describe Nicolai in words wouldn’t really do him any justice but basically looking at him its clear were Ian Fleming got the idea for his James Bond books. As he sashays across the danceﬂoor the ladies are stood bolt still, mouths open and wide eyed. Only their heads turning as their eyes follow him across the room like a slow motion replay of the crowd at a tennis match. A quick glance at Angus and it appears he’s in the same trance like state. Yes, it would appear the students (and Angus) need Tenalady before the class has even started.
Nicolai surrounded by the important things in his life, women and cleaning products.
Nicolai never stars a lesson until he dons his famous black lifejacket (which he found in 1937 washed up on Blackpool beach. Historians believe it came from RMS Titanic, ﬂotsam which had ﬂoated on the ocean currents until the day Nicolai found it). The jacket itself is always worn open, allowing the female students to get a glimpse of the “50 shades of grey” hairy chest Nicolai employs as part of his charm oﬀensive during his classes. A tactic which seems to work as the class has trebled in size, consisting mainly of a throng of throbbing, panting, and expectant females similar to a hen party at a male strip club. Oh, and a couple of guys. Nicolai begins the class with a warm up, liberally rubbing in vaseline and deep heat into his aging limbs whilst smiling and winking at the class. The lesson consists of complex arm and leg movements known as “Nicolai’s positions” and are accompanied by Nicolai making clicking and chirping sounds. In the distance, I’m quite certain dolphins and birds are answering these calls and if they could get into the room, it would be like a bedroom scene with Bambi. Amongst the animal noises, there was one move that had a name, the “ﬂicky bits”, a complex arm motion which is totally unrelated to toilet activities. After the class, Nicolai spent a good ten
minutes consumed in his favourite hobby, obsessively cleaning, polishing, and mopping sweat up oﬀ the ﬂoor (well I assume it was sweat).
Next up is Angus with a class on the ﬁner points of Cha Cha Cha. This was useful for me as prior to this I assumed Cha Cha Cha was an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine (the one were his pistons got out of sync and Annabel fell pregnant to naughty James) anywhoo thats another story. So, Cha Cha Cha is a dance which requires the foot skills of Lionel Messi. Anything less than this and the dance resembles wedding dad-dancing.
Angus,now sporting sideburns of Alvin Stardust proportions, begins the lesson by changing words used frequently in the english language to create more obscure phrases, clearly designed to keep the students on their toes (literally). For example, instead of left and right, Angus instructed the students to turn clockwise, and anticlockwise. This led to a pause in proceedings as every man on the danceﬂoor checked their watches before commencing the move. Strangely, they where all synchronized with the eﬃciency of the chinese red army: turn-face partner-check watch-turn.
Angus steps out onto the danceﬂoor.
The class went with the usual Angus language, peppered with innuendoes. There were many examples but those that stood out include:
If your lady is not up for it, go for the single, feel what she wants to do
I can only assume he was instructing the men to test the robustness of brassiere.
Easy tiger, play hard to get
Dating advice, free of charge.
Girls, be careful of your dangly bits
He’s now sounding like Kenneth Williams. In fact, using the smartphone app, “shazam”, I found that Angus’ teaching style is a 95% match for “Carry on Camping”.
Angus and Nicolai completed two further lessons during the course of the afternoon, however by this time I was getting hungry, and paid more attention to the hog roast than the dancing. Though its safe to say that Angus’ Kenneth Williams impression was likely to be the perfect antidote for ladies who had been left a throbbing mess by Nicolai’s dazzling smile, smouldering chest wig, and OCD cleaning habits.
In between classes, there was opportunity to “freestyle” whereby the students could practice what they learnt in the classes. During this time the students chose to practice their routines subconsciously as most of them freestyled from the seated position. I’ve taken this as a new form of salsa and hereby name it “crosslegged style salsa” or if you’re from the east coast, “bum cheek rumpa”. The aim of this is to replace your feet movement with perfectly timed tensing of the left and right (Sorry - clockwise and anti-clockwise) bum muscles whilst the upper body consists mostly of jazzhands. This dance is performed on1 but I imagine as the dancer strengthens their bum muscles it’ll be extremely useful for anyone caught short when “on2”.
All in all, and despite the atrocious weather, the daytime classes where well supported, with between 50-70 students taking part. From this number, at least 30 bottoms where of the highest quality with a good percentage of these bums even distracting Lee Swift from his lunch.
As the day came to a close, I took the opportunity (whilst Angus was distracted) to interview some of his minions. What follows is the results of these interviews, and hand on heart, they are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. M’lud. (oh and names have been changed to protect these innocents from the wrath of the Overlord).
This time, rather than interview those well known and famous dancing people who everybody reading this might be interested in, I’ve decided that you, the readers, should be exposed to the dark underbelly of salsa. As a journalist of integrity, its only right that I provide you with the whole picture, shake away the glossy covers and pictures of Lee Hunter smiling, and provide you with the harsh realities of working for a salsa teacher. So I interviewed members of Leather Couch Salsa instead.
One of Angus’s minions. Picture has been manipulated to make her look frightened.
Time was always against me during these interviews, the ever watchful Overlord was keeping one of his three eyes on me at all times. If I were to spend more than 5 minutes talking to his staﬀthen in all likelihood he would twig it was an interview and that would be yet another poor soul added to the South West’s missing persons ﬁle. So, the interviews are short and sweet. As already mentioned, I’ve slightly changed the names of those interviewed for their own protection. To protect them further, I ask you, the readers, to read their answers in a variety of UK accents, in the following order:
Southern Irish with a tinge of Cork.
You may read my questions in Scouse. Achievable by simply adding “yahnowarramean” to the end of every sentence.
Q1. What attracts you to salsa?
Anneta - I don’t know, probably men in tight trousers.
NickiNackiNoo - The social aspect, dancing. And sex. Yes, lots of sex.
Eduardo - I do it for the love of the music. And chest pumps.
Cafe - Men. Clearly. What sort of stupid question was that?
Q2. Are there particular types of partner you would prefer?
Anneta - No. All men will do, and some women.
NickiNackiNoo - Normally none, apart from I don’t like dancing with smelly men. It reminds me of the PE teacher at school..oh! I’ve said too much.
Eduardo - I’ll dance with anyone, I’m not fussy, I’m a charity dance.
Cafe - Any man will do. These questions are ridiculous.
Q3. Ever noticed a semi mambo?
Anneta - No. But I’d like to.
NickiNackiNoo - Yes please! I mean, yes!
Eduardo - Well I’ve never had one myself (his eyes shift like eagle eyed action man) whilst dancing, nor experienced one from a dance partner..I think.
Cafe - Yeah from an old man. What’s wrong with the young fellas these days?
Q4. Who’s your favourite teacher?
Anneta - Lee, no! I mean..er.. Angus.
NickiNackiNoo - (goes into a trance-like state like the Children of the Corn) Angussss.
Eduardo - I like all teachers. Even Lee Swift.
Cafe - Duane Dibbly. (whispers) Shh, thats what we call Angus, don’t tell him.
Q5. What is it like to work for Angus?
Anneta - It’s ﬁne. He doesn’t stare as much as Lee.
NickiNackiNoo - Okay but I’d rather work for Nicolai, he’s just...just..well look at him. mmm.
Eduardo - Yeah Angus is good (there’s those eagle eyes again)
Cafe - Duane is a good boss, although he does tend to wipe the sweat oﬀ his forearm onto our heads during a dance.
And there you have it. Not much to go by, no gossip. Not quite what I was looking for. The hope for stories relating to being treated like they worked in a chinese sweat shop making designer trainers, or that Angus used to be a woman or something, were dashed. There were some other answers which, quite frankly, were far to boring to put in this report. I had hoped for better from you lot. Yes you know who you are.
The ﬁnal part of the event was the evening party. By the time I arrived (I’d been for a powernap and spent some time reading on the toilet) the party was in full swing. Angus was manning the decks, with some guest DJ’ing from Nicolai. Between them they blasted out tunes to suit all dance styles, Bachata, Cha Cha Cha, Salsa on 1, 2, Pi, Grimsby, north coast styles, and Ho Chi Min. Looking around the room I was dumbfounded at the amount of totty in there. The ratio of men to women sat at around 1:3. Why normal blokes don’t take up dancing is beyond me. The men who dance salsa is generally split into the following categories:
20% married men, attending with their wives/girlfriends.
30% “Salsa legends” as I call them. Sporting either, or, a combination of, pony tails/hats/sparkly belts/vajazzled scarfs/pretty handkerchiefs hanging out of back pockets/brightly coloured jeans/sunglasses indoors.
30% “World of Warcrafters”, living with their mum and/or possessing the social skills of a hand grenade.
10% Other teachers.
10% Normal single blokes.
This means that with all the bum wobbling, chest pumping, lovely ladies about, the men are spoilt for choice. Sadly, the ladies aren’t, and this is something that must be rectiﬁed in order to give the ladies some hot man totty to look at, Nicolai can’t do it on his own.
Anyhoo, from my imagination and back to the party. About halfway through the night, Angus called a halt to proceedings and announced a dancing competition. I couldn’t quite hear what the prize was but it sounded like a lucky couple of winners had the chance to sleep with a teacher. Unfortunately, despite Angus asking for volunteers, no one answered the call to enter the competition. Disappointed, Angus walked oﬀ
the danceﬂoor with his head bowed and the music started again. From where I was stood, I could see Angus violently taking out his frustrations on Lee and Damon, with a few cuﬀs around their ears and shoves into the DJ booth. By the end of the night, heels where broke, shirts torn and sweaty, and bra’s discarded. Typical signs of yet another successful night for Leather Couch Salsa. And making my job more diﬃcult as I then have to make stuﬀ up for you to read. But hats oﬀ to Angus and Co. Salsa on the Pier truly is a unique event and the good news is it will be back. Whether you’re on the salsa scene or not, you shouldn’t miss it. And with that, I shall sign oﬀ. Until next time, The Prof
Excellent classes, judging by the sweating.
Yes, there were teachers available
Toilets contained adequate paper in roll form.
Considering its in Weston? Yes, great venue, despite the stairs
Pulsating, sweaty, gyraty, gravity defying
A dancer’s paradise, do come again.
Plied me with drink and hog roast all day. Rubbish at go karts.
Only bummed two cigarettes oﬀ me. A Guinness record.
Handsome as always, he smiled at the wife. She’s still thinking of that moment now.
The butt of my jokes. Cheers as always Lee.
Spent most of the day trying to get the perfect “upshot”. Won the go karting.
THE LEATHER COUCH GANG
You bunch of liars.