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Matchmaker: The excellent adventures of a student supporter (SSP) – Chapter 14

Wouldn’t it be great if Rio Rhythmics could create a Speed-Date-a-Dance program?

Imagine it!

Studio two would be set with ten tables for two. The lights would be dimmed and the fairy lights in the roof would be twinkling. Each table would be topped with a candle in a ruby-coloured jar and set with a beautiful table number.

Fifteen minutes before event start: the night’s featured dances would arrive and sit, one per table. All would wear the costumes they’re known for. There would be Tango in his hat, striped vest, and (uncuffed) trousers. There would be Bolero wearing almost the same thing (though he’d go for beige-and-black patent leather shoes, thinking Tango’s black-and-white shoes too flamboyant).

Samba would enter the room smiling like a beacon with her arms spread wide. She would adjust her headpiece in the studio mirrors, then sit where the light best worked the sequins of her bikini. Fun-loving Rueda would likely turn out in a yellow t-shirt, red jeans and silver sneakers. Merengue (always the activist) would make the same, tired old point about stepping into a bent leg by wearing split-at-the-knee jeans. Zouk, Bachata, Forró, Gafieira, and Salsa would roll their eyes at him, and sit.

Places for this event would have sold quick-as-a-flash because:
1. There are just ten seats available, and
2. No-one ever in the history of dance would have seen anything like it.

When the night’s co-ordinating Student Supporter opens the doors (precisely-on-time), ten ticket-holding dancers will take their seats. They will have been asked to speak softly, for privacy’s sake. Over the coming hour they will have six minutes at each table to explore their deepest feelings about each dance. During that (same) six minutes, each dance must decide whether any of these discombobulated dancers might be worth… well… starting something with.

At the end of a session: the debrief. An emotion-charged time. Tango might decide not ONE of the ten ticket holders could POSSIBLY take him seriously. Forró might say ALL the participants looked especially cuddly: impossible to choose. Salsa might declare NOT ONE of the attending dancers understood the fine art of spinning. There would be much discussion and then, when the talking was done, ONE dance would nominate ONE dancer.

That lucky dancer would be notified the following day.

Possibly and hopefully, it will be the beginning of a lifelong connection.

Rio Rhythmics’ Speed-Date-a-Dance program. Imagine that!


Linda Brucesmith is a writer and public relations consultant based in Brisbane. She managed Rio Rhythmics’ marketing from 2003-2008 and has danced with the Academy ever since.

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