Taxi Dancer

(C) Tina Gibson

Featured in: Remembering the Days that Breathed Pink, Quaci Press, 2016

A Taxi Dancer is a paid dance partner in a partners dance. Taxi dancing flourished in the early twentieth century, but has died out today except in parts of Europe. Before he became a movie legend, Rudolph Valentino was a Taxi Dancer.


Journal Entry

August 23, 1967: San Francisco, CA;


Paint me the shape a Century can make.

Under the Valentine—of another past-time.


Let me dance to the song of the nightingale,

Across midnight dreams that so elegantly sail.


In the summer of 1917, I had a memorable encounter,

Having paid for the services of a Taxi Dancer.


What a gift it was to suddenly see,

So many dancing boys line up just for me.


They were spurred by a hunger that begged for a chance.

I picked the stoic one, sporting a stallion stance.


His commanding lead of cigarette sophistication,

Would help set the stage for his future domination.


He was trained in the fine art of Latin seduction,

And soon his Tango would need no introduction…


Our boys looked at him as the ultimate foreign threat.

In death, Hollywood capitalized on his silhouette.

I whisked him away from his lonely window corner;

I suspected it was time he got his affairs in order.


Was he daydreaming of his heartland; all the beauty left behind?

Did he really know how brightly he was going to shine?


I saw nothing less than an active dream lover’s vision;

Painted perfect in my eyes, with flash-timing years of precision.


His hands held my hand; he gazed deep into my eyes.

The way he kissed my open palm was truly a surprise.


Somehow I knew there was a new star in heaven that night,

‘Cause I fell in love with him under the moonlight.


That suave young man could really kiss a woman proper;

I was feeling the heat from this Latin Love Doctor.


So I reached in my purse and pulled out a few silver coins,

His reaction was honest; I could feel it in his loins.


I whispered into his ear, “Let me give you some advice;

My darling, you’re worth more than your asking price.”


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