Jake blinked at the signoff notice, and turned in his chair to raise an eyebrow at Marco. "Salsa dancing?"
"What?" Marco asked, looking amused. "It's fun, and also everyone looks attractive when salsa dancing, which means that sexy beasts like me double in hotness quotient." Of course, the fact that Jake would be present had nothing to do with his choice of dance styles. Mmm, nothing at all. He went to fiddle with the radio dial to find a salsa station.
Jake looked doubtful. "Your hotness quotient is plenty high already," he observed absently, trying to decide the best bet for a way to get out of this. And why salsa, anyway? "I don't know why it's more attractive than any other kind of dancing," he argued. He didn't really object to the style so much as the fact that he didn't know it, and that was still embarrassing, even if it was just Marco.
Marco tried to ignore what Jake said, assuming he was just trying to be nice. "This may be lost on you, but trust me, any girl would appreciate what I'm about to do," he said, and started dancing in a solo version of a salsa dance.
Jake had no idea what a girl might or might not appreciate, and didn't much care, to be honest, but he watched intently, trying to follow Marco's movements. It looked complicated, but he had to admit there was a fluid grace about it that was very attractive. It suited Marco very well, he decided, but he was rather uncertain about trying it for himself.
"You're pretty good at that."
Marco grinned, stopping. "Thanks," he said. "Trying to think if I know how to follow enough to teach you to lead... but let me show you the basic step, at least." He gestured for Jake to stand next to him, then demonstrating the basic salsa step.
Sighing, Jake got up, running a hand through his hair, and went to stand next to Marco, doing his best to copy the step. He felt very awkward for some reason, but he put it down to general embarrassment.
Marco gave him a Look. "You're moving from your knees. You have to move from your hips, that's what dancing is about. That's why it probably feels awkward." He grabbed a chair. "Sit," he ordered. "Now, shift your weight from side to side and feel how your hips move. That's what it should feel like in salsa."
Jake groaned. He didn't see how that was going to help. "Are you sure I have to learn this?" he grumbled. But he sat as instructed, shifting uncomfortably. He wasn't sure what he was supposed to be feeling, other than embarrassed as hell. Why was he letting Marco talk him into this, anyway?
"Okay..." he said doubtfully, hoping that he'd gotten whatever it was he was supposed to get here.
Marco rolled his eyes. "I could just leave you here all alone. Well, you'll have your homework to keep you company."
Jake shook his head, impatiently, waving the comment away. Homework was a necessary evil, but it was lousy company. "I'm getting it, I'm getting it." Sort of. He got out of the chair and attempted the step again, trying to pay attention to where the movement was coming from. Not his knees, right.
"Is that better?"
Marco had to shake himself for a moment. "Ah, yeah," he said, hoping Jake wouldn't notice that he'd been slow to respond. He absently snagged a water bottle from next to his computer to quench his dry mouth.
Jake eyed him; Marco sounded a bit distracted. "If I just suck at this, you can tell me," he said dryly. It wasn't like he'd asked Marco to teach him this...okay, he had, but it had been Marco's idea for him to learn. He couldn't help it if he'd never done it before. So dancing wasn't really his thing, but he was trying, damn it.
Marco shook his head. "No, no, you picked that up pretty fast," he assured Jake, his eyes now trained carefully to the side slightly.
Jake relaxed a little bit, feeling slightly less out of his depth, and then frowned slightly. So what was Marco's problem anyway? "Thanks," he muttered, still puzzling over it. He shook his head. Marco was weird, he knew that already.
"So is that it then? We're done?" He was, oddly, feeling a bit reluctant about that. Maybe it was just that it was one thing to practice this here, when it was just them, but doing the same thing in front of a clubful of people was another thing entirely.
Marco had come to the conclusion that this was a very bad idea. "I realized that I can't really teach you the lead part - I just don't know the follower's part that well," he said. And I can't deal with trying to teach you either.
"I'll have to see if anyone I know knows how to salsa that can teach you." He gave his algebra book a baleful look. "Which still doesn't solve the boredom problem.
Jake sighed, a bit annoyed. He'd just spent several minutes feeling awkward as hell and it hadn't solved anything? That was not cool. "Well, if you can't teach me to lead, can you teach me to follow?" he asked impatiently. "I'll get some idea of how to do it if I pay attention to what you're doing, right?"
Marco shrugged. "Er, yeah, I can probably teach you that." No getting out of this for him. He was also sort of wishing his eyes weren't about on level with Jake's chest. This is gonna be awkward. "If you're following, you start back instead of front," he explained, taking Jake's hands and slowly walking him through basic step with a partner.
Jake nodded, watching Marco's feet and concentrating on staying in step, trying to synchronize his movements as much as possible. It was surprisingly easier than he'd expected. It was called following for a reason, he discovered, and all you had to do was follow your partners lead. Not that much harder than the solo steps, really.
"Okay," he said, starting to feel more at ease with the whole idea. "So how is leading different?" He was watching Marco so intently that he almost didn't notice when the current piece of music ended and Marco stopped moving. He caught himself and managed not to step on Marco's feet.
"Sorry," he muttered, feeling his face heat slightly. He hoped he wasn't blushing.
"It's okay," Marco said, trying to, as they said in movies, 'still his beating heart'. "Leaders do less of the fancy stuff, but you have to know how to use slight movements of your body to let the follower know what they're supposed to do." He moved his hand outward slightly, sending Jake into a twirl step. "Like that. And you always go palm-to-palm, you never grip. That allows for easier movement and compensates for height differences.
"Right," Jake answered, trying to remember all the details as he followed the leading gesture. "Like that," he repeated. Well, he knew he could follow, at least. He was less sure about being able to lead, but he wouldn't know until he tried it. He gave Marco a somewhat rueful look.
"I'm just going to have to try this with some girl and hope I don't make a fool out of myself, aren't I?" he asked wryly. Then he added jokingly, "Or I could just dance with you and let you lead."
"Right, that'd be a good idea," Marco said with typical biting sarcasm, knowing that it was in fact a very very bad idea. "Don't worry, it comes fast when you practice."
Jake looked at him thoughtfully. That response had been a little too quick, and a little too sharp. But he had no idea why. He tucked it away to think about later. "I'll take your word for it," was all he said. If nothing else, this should be an interesting night. Mission: End of Boredom accomplished.