"One man wears black leather tap shoes and keeps the beat with loud, resounding clacks" is our very own madknits.
When Rosen announces ``Key to the Cellar," 14 dancers, who had been snacking on cookies, soy ice cream , and limeade at a table in the church's narthex, return to the dance floor and form themselves into a longways set, with Rosen holding a microphone at the front. First she walks the dancers through the steps without music, making sure everyone understands the sequence. Then she asks for a few bars of the tune from the live, three-piece band -- fiddle, mandolin, and piano -- so the dancers can get used to the fast tempo. (Rosen's husband, Bruce, is tonight's pianist.) Several of the dancers beat time with their feet, staring blankly into space, as if performing the steps in their head. Then, with a flourish of the fiddle, the dance begins.
The most experienced dancers glide effortlessly across the floor, a bounce in their step, taking hands and letting them drop, executing neat turns, and maintaining eye contact with their partners. Although ECD may seem prudish compared to the bumping and grinding that predominates at many dance clubs, a definite erotic charge runs beneath the ritualized movements. It's in the eyes of two circling partners, or the delicately held hands of a couple ``casting" between the two rows.