Thursday, March 25, 2010

En el bar de tango...

Not really my most successful evening, but it can be a difficult venue; the floor is small, the seating arrangement a bit inconvenient for getting dances. People need to cross the dance floor to get to the kitchen, the bar, the restrooms... Navigation is perilous, even in the arms of a good (and careful) leader; one man can only do so much when others are not being equally courteous. I've had better nights there, but also worse.

This time the bar was invaded by a flock of young men who, if they actually do dance tango at all, must be very new to it. I'm guessing, from the moves they did and the way they moved, that they were salseros. Problems?

1. A crowded and fast-moving tango floor may not be the place to do a big dip with your partner.

1a. Especially not if you drop her.

2. Salsa, as I understand it, is a slot dance--you dance back and forth in your tracks on the floor, more or less without moving from your area. Even if you circle each other, you don't progress. Yes/no? But tango is a walking dance; there is a general circular advance of all the couples on the floor, counterclockwise. Meaning: Dudes, move already!

Conclusion: No matter how smugly you wear it, a fedora definitely does not make you a tango-dancer.

(Conclusion II: Oh my God, I am so grumpy lately, what is wrong with me?!)

(Okay, here's the thing: I don't want to seem down on newcomers trying things out and maybe not being perfect. We've all gotta start somewhere. I'm also far from averse to having fun on the dance floor; my partners often ask why I laugh when we're dancing, and it's because I enjoy a good dance so dang much! Or maybe because a particular step seems somehow cute to me. But, seriously, acting with some respect and trying to learn about the dance? These are Important Things. I wouldn't traipse onto a salsa floor and tango my happy self around, getting in people's way. I'm not in charge of these things, but it seems like reciprocal respect would be nice.*)

* I have to admit, though, it's not as if they were actually that far out of place, around here.


  1. Good lord, no! (I try to choose my partners better than that! And I think most men who do those tricks probably size me up and decide not to try anything like that, for fear of throwing their backs out.) But I saw it happen and nearly had a heart attack.

  2. Whew! Okay, I'm glad it wasn't you. Was the girl who got dropped okay? Did she at least smack the moron who was responsible?

  3. Yeah, thanks. :) Sorry to have worried you!

    The girl seemed fine; he caught her before she hit the floor. I guess maybe her foot went out from under her or something. Not like the time I saw a man drop his partner and her head bounced on the floor! We thought we were going to need an ambulance, that time, but there was no blood, and the lady claimed she was fine. That was a lot more excitement than I need at a milonga.

    No smacking, either time, that I saw. (I wanted to smack the guy, though...)