Thursday, May 6, 2010

Asking, receiving

Last night, for reasons of misc. old personal crap,* I decided that the thing I needed most (aside from hugs from loved ones, which are always on offer) was a few good dances. Tango: the greatest mood-enhancing drug of all!

The only option in my town midweek is usually the Tango Bar, which I have not had great luck with lately. But I figured at least one favorite partner would be there, since he is the DJ there, and even if I just danced with him, that might be enough.

As we know, I don't usually like to ask my partners verbally, even when no one is using the cabeceo; it's a hangup of mine. I'm always scared that I'll be disrupting what they want for themselves for the evening, or maybe I won't dance well, or whatever. I feel like, by asking them, I'll be imposing on them, the same way I sometimes feel forced by a verbal invitation, depending on the situation.

But last night, I decided to ignore those fears--because I was not willing to go there just to sit out. There were other things I could have been doing instead, and sitting out, building up even more of a pity party, would be worse for me than ever. And the atmosphere at the Tango Bar is very informal; hardly anyone cabeceos there, really. So how would the men know what I wanted, if I did not tell them?

(This, in fact, is my philosophy about relationships in general. People are not mind readers, after all...)

I kept my requests open-ended, making it clear that although I would love to dance with them, I did not need to do so This Instant. Even though I wanted to take initiative and take responsibility for my enjoyment, I didn't want to force them. (I always do that anyway, when I do ask verbally. I usually try to make it something along the lines of "I hope you'll save me a tanda.")

And I didn't say why I especially wanted to dance with them, because--well, they didn't need to know all that. Ultimately, it wasn't relevant, and I didn't want pity-dances (or to repel them with my neediness and inner ick). So I kept my request as simple as possible.

It succeeded beautifully. I got the dances I desired with the partners I enjoy.

In all likelihood, I think I would probably have danced with them even if I had not asked them; these are my regular partners at the Tango Bar. But this way I did not leave it up to chance so much. (Will they see me? Will they approach me?)

And it may be a fallacy to think that at least one of my dances (with the DJ) seemed extra-nice because I had requested it. After all, he's always a good partner, always considerate; that's part of why I like dancing with him.

It feels different, though, because last night, I put pride aside, somewhat. I revealed, to some degree, my need. I actively showed my appreciation for their dancing. I asked, and they provided--generously, abundantly.

It was just what I needed. I happily stayed to the end, just to hear "La Cumparsita" and, before that, some other songs that I like (alt. songs, for the nuevo kids, but I like to listen to them and sometimes wish I felt more comfortable dancing to them), even though I didn't really want to dance more. (Why try to top a good thing?) I sang all the way home.

I guess the moral might be, you never know when your partner might be hurting. You never know what a dance might mean to them--just as you never know how much a kind gesture might mean to anyone you meet in a day.

I should--must--learn to be so generous in my dancing.

*I will probably label a box that, the next time I move. Even though it would probably be better just to get rid of the contents. (OH LOOK, A METAPHOR.)


  1. I'm so glad you got the dancing you needed so much - I understand the feeling completely. Especially if it's a weeknight and I've had a rough day at work. I've found the, "I hope we get a chance to dance later," and "save me a tanda" and the like, to be the perfect way to let gentlemen know i'm interested without pressuring them to dance with me that second. And you're so right, we have to keep in mind that there are leaders out there who feel the need to dance just as strongly as we do.

  2. Thanks, Mari! I totally hear you about wanting a good dance after a long day at work. Some people want a glass of wine or a bubble-bath; we poor tango-addicts need a wonderful dance to restore our spirits. ;) (Not that a glass of wine or a bubble-bath would go amiss, at other times!) It is nice when it works out so well; I was very happy.

    Happy dancing to you this week!