Best Unknown Scene: Wistfully nostalgic Mexican dance party

Viernes Sabrosos (Festival Fridays) at Casino San Pablo

The strangest thing about Casino San Pablo’s Friday night 98.5-percent-Spanish-speaking dance party is how closely it resembles those bygone junior-high dances of yore. At the epicenter is the DJ or live band, pounding out relentlessly peppy Latin dance fare — cumbia, merengue, and so forth. In the front rows, happy couples dance delightedly, and packs of single girls do likewise while eyeing the couples for signs of relationship strife. Next layer: the single dudes, motionless, arms folded, solemn, waiting for a single girl to present an engraved invitation and/or a meteorite to blast through the ceiling and crush the buffet table, which occupies the next layer, loading up wallflowers with nachos and taquitos and what have you. Finally, the last layer, at the fringes, with the long cafeteria tables and folding chairs, dark and desolate enough to afford you and your sweetie a few technically public displays of affection if you’re feeling nasty. It’s a loud, boisterous sight to behold, particularly when contrasted with the dead-serious poker action happening in the next room over. At least if you lose your shirt at Viernes Sabrosos, you will look back on the experience positively.

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