By Janet Tappin Coelho
A new type of nightclub is opening up in cities across Brazil that’s strictly for sprightly older females looking for a night out with a younger man.
Noite Dançante or dance nights offer a no strings attached social evening for mature women who wish to spend the evening in the company of chivalrous youthful escorts who are paid up to £50 a night to accompany them as personal dancers.
The ballroom nights in Recife, north east Brazil, have become so popular they now occur nearly every day of the week with scores of retired women packing the events.
Admittance is 50 years old with no upper age limit as there are quite a few participants in their nineties and some are even celebrating their hundreth anniversary.
Their well-groomed partners hail from a range of backgrounds, from dentists to motorists, musicians to vets and nurses.
The one thing the semi-professional dancers have in common is they are guaranteed to sweep their more senior female partners off their feet with their skilful and accomplished dance moves.
The evenings were started after several organisers noticed there was a gap in the market for older women looking for a good night out with nowhere to go and with enough spare cash to pay for someone to enjoy it with.
One of the organisers Marlene Albuquerque, 73, president of the Recordar é Viver Festa (which means: remember the past but live and party now) said: “We have a lot of older single women in the city who are unmarried, divorced or widowed and who live on their own.
“If they’ve had children, their sons and daughters are now grown up and have flown the nest and their grandchildren are teenagers who don’t need their grandma to look after them anymore.
“Many of these women feel they’ve been discarded and abandoned. It affects their health, some become depressed, many feel lonely and isolated. Yet given the chance, they are still active and anxious to spend their twilight years enjoying new activities.
“These nights out are not just about having fun. The health benefits are huge and therapeutic because they bring a sense of worth and well-being as each woman feels part of a community that cares for them and knows who they are.
“They have a reason to dress up, to put on their make-up and do their hair and nails. They make new friends and some even find a boyfriend.”
Personal dancers are paid between 100 to 200 reais (£25 to 50) to dance with the women from 4pm to 8pm each night.
Some have their regular female customers and are contracted to twirl them on the dancefloor on set nights of the week.
Others are free agents and find new clients on the night.
It’s an evening job that musician Carlos Farias, 43, says is not just an extra income earner but provides a dedicated entertainment service for lonely and fun-loving older women.
Carlos, who normally escorts two sisters in their sixties, said: “This is an evening strictly devoted to the ladies. The women get all my attention. I pick them up from their home and take them back at night.
“I am attentive throughout the evening and I’m on the dance floor for most of the four hours.
“I make sure I get their drinks and snacks from the bar and keep them entertained with good conversation and lots of laughter.
“Personal dancers have one important rule and that is to switch off the mobile phone so there are no distractions.”
There are no wall flowers during the dance nights, which always have a live band, because the personal dancers make sure every woman gets a chance to samba, waltz, salsa and boogie the night away.
Osmar Sodrer, 34, who is a nurse during the day, said: “Our job is to make sure all the women have a memorable evening and feel good about themselves while at the same time getting some essential exercise which keeps them active, alert and flexible.”
Recently widowed Sebastiana Silva, 63, a former public service officer, revealed her doctor recommended the dance nights.
She said: “He told me it would be good for me because I was depressed after my husband died.
“Now I have a reason to get out of the house. I’ve stopped feeling low and I’ve made new friends. I love the events so much I think I’m addicted to them.
“I go at least four times a week and can’t bear to miss one.”
Dinilza Buraque, 83, admitted: “This has changed my life completely. I feel like another person since I’ve been attending these nights. It’s worth the money and the four hours are enough to leave me exhausted but satisfied.”
Gislene Moraes, a social worker, 74, added: “The personal dancers are chivalrous, they treat us like ladies, they open the doors, pay us a lot of attention and are so cavalier.
“It makes me feel divine and I put everything into the night out and go home feeling great.”
Organisers admit they would like more older men to participate but there is a shortage of available and willing mature gents.
Marlene said: “We’ve tried recruiting older guys but there are not enough to go around.
“Our women did complain about the shortage but after dancing with younger men it has given them a real spring in their step and some have even found a boyfriend.