It feels like the fumbling and the awkwardness of the first date has succumbed to the much more bravado second date. Top buttons have been opened and everyone's showing their real personalities, rather than the veiled insecurities of the first time 'round the block.
The once dark and mysterious Argentinan clicked her fingers and tangoed her South Korean prey till they were sore. Rose planted firmly between her teeth, she glided across the floor but was careful to display just a hint of that vulnerability that can be so endearing.
The workaday girl from Mexico, forever concealing her grace and beauty beneath a working-girl exterior, pulled the pin from her hair and sashayed onto center stage, leaving the once-omnipresent French supermodel from the 90's well and truly in the wings. This younger, prettier, more daring and gutsy Mexican starlet may well pose problems for many more established European mainstays as she has the attitude of someone with nothing to lose. A dangerous Latin vamp indeed.
Her cousin from Uruguay is from the same stock. Once renowned for kicking and scrapping her way to achieve what she wanted and so often left on the shelf, Miss Uruguay 2010 is a lot more upfront and a lot less hostile. She has been to finishing school, has adopted a new poise, and can handle the most hostile receptions. She, too, is well-worth getting to know, as she can delight with a magical touch and change everything in an instant.
But what of the all-American prom queen? Will she arrive at the ball with her inhibitions cast aside or will she be prudish and prudent, careful not to slip up in front of her peers for fear of being scandalized? She could screw up the match of her dreams if she doesn't put-out with the Slovenian, for she needs to score and get her confidence up. Her once-shy English half-sister is putting on her fake tan and throwing caution to the wind with an Algerian. Her eyes are fixed firmly on the prize and a date with that handsome Serbian or Ghanaian, rather than the cruel German Prince she hopes to pawn off on her half-sister, who may be less talented but is far more popular.
But spare a thought for the overlooked Europeans, the burned out has-beens like the French surrealist painter haunted by the color green as she sits on the sidelines drawing ominously on her Gitane, or the over-confident Spanish Senorita who pays too much attention to the details and forgets what the ultimate goal is. She who wants to make everything she does look beautiful and graceful is a victim of her own vanity, and the oft-overlooked farm girl from Switzerland steals her date while she isn't looking.
No one can figure out the North Korean in the corner. She looks stunning one minute and pretty ordinary when the light changes. Her Brazilian counterpart showed her a few new moves in the first dance but she must fancy her chances against the pompous Portuguese princess who almost always flatters to deceive at these occasions.
The ball is in full swing, now that the dancers are all showing a bit more flesh and the music is changing tempo. The waltzes have been replaced by Latin Jazz and Tangos, and I'm hoping we might hear a couple of rock 'n roll numbers before today is out.