Some Call It Dancing – Part One

Yonge Street was teeming with traffic.  Downtown sidewalks were crowded with young men who lived in the inner-city core, lounging in front of the bars and clubs that line the broad street.  Other young men from the suburbs walked up and down, obviously out of their element, visiting the hectic downtown area looking for excitement.  It was the usual Friday night scene, typical of a warm summer night.  Cars lined up, patiently creeping from traffic signal to traffic signal, curb cruising as the young occupants gawked at the characters on the sidewalks.  The festive atmosphere permeated the entire scene.  It was always so – summer Friday nights, with high-school youths enjoying an after-school adventure, mixing together with urban sophists, drug dealers and users.

Even in her street clothes, which consisted of loose, baggy, faded jeans and an old cotton top with crudely stitched repairs on several of the seams, Sylvia Vichnorski did not go unnoticed.  Even as she scurried down the street hauling her gym bag, the sensual movements of her walk attracted unwanted attention.  Some young men tried to see her face as she passed.  There could be no eye contact.  She kept her face tilted down and to the side, avoiding any possibility of connection.

She hurried across Dundas Square, past a giant, brightly-lit music store.  Deftly side stepping some boys, who tumbled out onto the sidewalk, excited about their acquisitions of the latest popular music discs.  A few more steps and she turned into a narrow doorway between a pawnshop and a pizza parlour.  A small marquee with blazing bulbs declared this entrance to “Paris Paradise – GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS – Toronto’s most beautiful nude dancers”.

Barely slowing her pace, Sylvia hurried up the steep, narrow stairs, struggling with the heavy gym bag.  The pounding sound of bump and grind music poured down the stairs.  She heard some men enter behind her at the bottom of the stairs and almost ran the rest of the way to the top.  She thrusts open the door and hurried into the darkened theatre amid the deafening music.  She glanced at the stage where a red spotlight was following a semi-naked girl who was writhing with bored repetitiveness.  She felt a moment of relief, knowing she had not missed her show.  Duchess was on stage, and Sylvia knew that her music track had another six or seven minutes to go.  It meant Sylvia had enough time to get ready to go on.

 

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