Before we begin, he launches out on the orchestration - 'orquestación' is the word he uses - of the 30s and 40s. 'It's the music that I love, it's my soul, my heart. There's nothing better than to hold a woman close to you, and dance to that music.' How can I disagree? He's not that keen on dancing later music: even early Pugliese doesn't give him the warmth he likes.
In this class, Pedro goes into detail about the ups and downs of leading. For instance, when taking the step to the left, the first step of a standard salida, there's a dip in the middle, followed by a lift as the two feet come together, and he says this should feel more pronounced. It gives a stronger dynamic, and also allows you to express the music more clearly. A friend from London who's taking the class with me, approves; 'It feels good', she says. It's something I've been discovering over the past year as it feels right, so it's great to get help with it. He offers a few simple steps, and insists on how they should be danced, with upper body movement giving an energy and a dynamic that can make the basic, simple footwork come alive. It's not really an exaggerated movement, you'd hardly notice it if you're watching, but it's pronounced enough for the partner to feel it, and it certainly gives a new energy to the dance and (I'm told) makes a lead feel less wooden. 'Con el cuerpo', Pedro keeps insisting; dance with the body.
So this is Pedro's secret, a secret he's only too willing to explain to anyone who'll listen. It's why women enjoy dancing with him, and why they look so good, although he never obviously does much. 'Con el cuerpo' has been the theme of this visit, something I noticed when I watched Alberto and Paulina dancing soon after I arrived, and something that both Pedro and Sylvia have insisted on.
Here's a brief clip from El Beso, with a succession of partners passing by. I think this kind of movement is visible, if you look for it.