It's Saturday night at the Copa, with DJ Fabian playing everything but bachata. I had just gotten there, and it was still early. I danced a few songs with salseras I knew, but soon noticed a very pretty, slender mocha-choco-latte salsera standing near the dance floor. She wore a halter top, short skirt, and beige, suede-bottomed dance shoes with two inch heels. She personified the truism that sexy isn't something you do, it's something you are. Still, no one asked her to dance. Now, I don't frequent Copa because I don't like the feel of the place, so I didn't know if she was a newbie, or if she could even dance.
I went over to her and said "I tell my daughter to do it first and look like a leader, so I feel obligated to do so myself. Can you salsa?"
Shyrica informed me that she was visiting Austin from Houston to attend a wedding. The after-party had ended, and she had asked her friends to recommend a salsa club. She was a regular at clubs in Houston, but had not been to an Austin club before. Her friends sent her to Copa.
She replied to my question about dancing salsa with a tilt of her head and: "You lead, I'll follow".
We made our way to the floor, and in less than 10 seconds, I knew I had found a salsa queen. As soon as the song ended, even before we made it off the dance floor, another guy asked her to dance. I kept an eye on her through the evening. For an hour and a half, she never stopped or sat down. Finally, I saw her standing back away from the crowd. I went over. She was panting, drenched with sweat, pulling on a bottle of water like she just crawled crossed the desert.
"How's it going?" I asked.
"I'm soaked, I'm exhausted, my feet hurt, and I'm going home."
Then she stopped in thought, looked up at me, and said "I want to thank you SO much for asking me to dance. You made my night!"
Shyrica walked out into the night, and I went back to dancing with Leila and Paola.