Meaner beauties of the night

A fiction

We’ve been sitting here for a while now, in a long sad row. My legs are crossed tightly, awkwardly, like a Hebrew letter written in a narrow sans serif font. I have to point my toes like a ballerina and draw my foot in when someone brushes past. I shift surreptitiously in my chair, massaging a chubby buttock against the wooden slats. And then I spot him, walking across towards us with confidence, the corners of his mouth twitching in readiness to smile. I sit upright in my chair and uncross my arms, make my own lips curl upwards, raise my eyebrows just a little in what I hope is an alluring, expectant expression. “Hello!” he exclaims warmly, bending down, brushing feathery-moustached lips lightly against my cheek. “Great to see you.” But he is already looking away, eyes ahead, walking the gantlet, trying to escape our glances unharmed, a knight braving a frighteningly eager line of females, a Gawain beneath the coverlets, with a dozen Ladies at his bedside. Lizzie shoots out a hand, catches his forearm expertly as he passes, like a footballer’s foul, like a prankster tripping a  friend. “Hey,” she says, “Don’t you want to dance?” He beams. “I was just going to get a drink. But we’ll definitely dance later,” he promises. “Ladies.” He nods at no one in particular and scuttles off.

It’s like being part of a Greek chorus. Opinions are offered, judgements are made, criticisms are honed. Skirts are smoothed down at intervals. And, occasionally, there are suppressed sighs. At least I have someone to chat to. Although I sometimes feel like one of Macbeth’s witches, ready with prophesies and curses, but distant from the real centre of power, exiled from Glamis, far from the throne. Tanda after tanda passes in tedious succession. I try to blend out the shiny happiness of the women who are in men’s arms, try not to look at the smiles, the closed eyelids, fluttering open at the end of songs, the  expressions of someone waking from a delicious dream. It’s been an hour now.

Sean is still standing in the corner, ready to nod his head vigorously in response to any pair of female eyes accidentally pointed in his general direction, like a nodding dog on a dashboard that is somehow remote controlled by eye beams, its waggle-dance set off by the lightest and most oblique of glances. Would his embrace be better than nothing? I consider for a moment. But my right arm still aches from his wrestler’s hold and I cringe at the memory of the twinges in my lower back as he whipped me back and forth in boleos, as if my spine were a long piece of rope and he a valiant cowboy lassooing cattle.

The few men who walk by seem to avert their eyes as they pass. Their pace suddenly quickens, they are in a hurry to get to — well, where else except to those lithe young women, the ones with the swirly ink on their upper backs, the glimmer of tiny diamonds in belly buttons, the long silky hair, the big doe eyes, the short skirts revealing caffe latte coloured bambi legs. I can’t help feeling that this is the dunces’ corner, the grandmas’ neighbourhood. The cool kids are over at that cafeteria table, in that corner of the playground, over there, sitting swinging their legs nonchalantly over the edge of the wooden stage, clustered together, safety in numbers.

I once sat among them, at the big round table, hoping that it would help. Within five minutes, one of the handsome young men, he of the sleek feline walk, was smiling at me, slightly but unmistakably. I leaped up, eyes glistening, ready to dive into the sweetness of his embrace. “Er, sorry, I just need to get my bag. It’s on the floor somewhere there. Would you mind taking a quick look?”

I registered to them only as a physical obstacle, like a rock in a rushing stream. They flowed around me, hugging like twins in a Shakespeare play, separated at birth but finding each other in shared joy at this milonga, eagerly giving and receiving invitations, subtly, in the briefest glimmer of a pair of eyes, in the slightest motion of a glossy-tressed head.

Ach, forget it. This tanda is a washout.  I turn to my neighbour. There’s nothing for it now but to chat, to gossip, to natter. The eager expressions of concentration are dissolving, we are slouching back into chairs, turning back to each other, resuming conversations. “Where were we?”

But Philomel is here among us, too. Her eyes are fixed, unfocused, on the dance floor, her left foot is jiggling and twitching with the music, her lips mouthing the lyrics. She doesn’t seem to mind not dancing these Di Sarlis. She sits with the rapt yet inward-focused attention of a monk, lost in a music-inspired meditation. She seems visibly relieved when the men stop approaching. And not just Sean. Her brow furrows and she averts her eyes like a bashful bride as one man after another comes up to ask her to dance. Leroy hovers in front of her, in an awkward half-crouch, waiting for her to look up and, with purposeful inattention, she is suddenly absorbed in the buckle of a Comme Il Faut, then rummaging in her bag for a fluff-covered peppermint, paying no more attention to him — in fact, rather less — than to a brick wall at the end of a cul de sac. 

We are polar opposites, like people on different hemispheres. The first song of the tanda is our spring. A dozen Bagpusses come to life and stalk their prey. Suddenly, we are sitting up, eager, active, keen, eyes glinting, bottoms poised on the edges of seats, ready to spring up and catch a favoured quarry, a good dancer. And, when the tanda is in full swing and everyone is paired up and the dance floor is full, we turn away in frustration, wrapping ourselves more closely into shawls and cardies in the winter of our discontent and forgetting tango to discuss Dierdre’s daughter-in-law and the house that went up for sale in Northeast, and my mother’s gallbladder operation. Whereas Philomel seems to shrink into herself as the tanda starts, pulling her sweater closer round her, fixing her eyes on the ground, folding her arms forbiddingly, shuffling back in her seat, avoiding all gazes. And, once the danger is over, if no one has asked her to dance, she is all beamy smiles, and relaxed open-armed receptiveness and glimmering eyes and hummed phrases.

Except when he is here, as tonight. The rituals of tango are oddly counterintuitive. We, the ones he doesn’t want to dance with, are greeted with bear hugs, back stroking and real, moist two-lipped cheek kisses. But to dance with her, he retreats to a certain distance and courts her only with an intense gaze that turns into the discreetest head-cocking motion when she spots him. Jayne leans in towards me. “He’s dancing yet another tanda with her.” “Such a snob,” says Kate. “Men — they’re always thinking with their dicks,” adds Lucy. But I spotted it, the brief moment of mutual recognition. The secret handshake, the tiny tattoo, the codeword they exchanged. He knows that she knows that he knows. That only one thing matters: the pleasurable rites of the dance. It’s not all about age. It’s not about personality or about being nice. It’s about a certain earnestness, the union of two believers, of two devotees. And I can imagine that he must find it hard to dance with anyone else after her. She shines here. Like a descant voice soaring above the melody line in a hymn, like the full moon turning the stars pale, obscuring those glimmers which caught our attention more with their number than their light.

Posted in Fictions, Not getting dances, Rejections | 4 Comments

Dancing with your whole self

Republished from Sugar Mountain Land.

Some people take a while to find their tango, to move with ease and confidence, to lose their awkwardness, their tension, to stop gingerly feeling their way feet first, craning the head forward, stiffly holding their partner a few frustrating centimetres away from satisfying torso contact. And, suddenly, something clicks, something changes, there is some deep somatic insight.

I saw that tonight, as my friend the bushy-haired young philosopher, the love child of Byron and Kierkegaard, stood beautifully upright, casually dapper in his half-buttoned jacket and as he bounded through the D’Arienzos with exuberant and puppyish enjoyment, big chocolately eyes glinting with pleasure, Tippex-white shoes flashing in the dim lighting of Baires’s grungiest, most divey, most hippie-ish venue with its pock marked floor and watery gin and tonics, the cold whiteness drawing attention to his much cleaner, more precise steps.

And felt it in the softness of his embrace as I sweated a little, face buried in the lush shrubbery of his hair. Felt it in his characteristic double time runs which extended playfully through phrases, enjambements of the dance, and in the defined, clear full stops when his little bursts of speed ended, perfectly in synch with the music. Suddenly, I felt, that, as the song says, tango suited him. And he suited it.

“Dance with your whole self,” you told me once [in a lesson], he reminded me. “But I only meant ‘change weight fully, don’t reach for steps from the hip’, as you were doing back then. I didn’t mean anything metaphysical,” I explained. “Well, but sometimes the metaphysical image is what helps,” he said. And perhaps he has a point. It’s hard to get past the many psychological obstacles to dancing well: the futile struggle to control another person, who can’t be controlled, that makes leaders grip or squeeze or manhandle; the anxiety that makes us look down, that makes us feel our way blindly with our toes, like a man testing thin ice; the inability to relax the body which makes us poke our heads forward, turtle style, or hold the other person at an awkward angle.

But if you can get past that, you’ll reach the moment at which the movement feels as joyful as breaking into a run through sheer exuberance. And your eyes will twinkle and your feet will beat out the syncopations as precisely as a flamenco dancer. And you will stand more upright, look more straight ahead, hug more warmly and sensually, in real life too. And then it will feel like the most natural thing in the world. And instead of being a source of nerves and worry and self-doubt, the confidence of your movements, the playfulness of your dance, will start to seem like the way you have always wanted to move. The place where you are strongest. Where you can most clearly and skilfully express yourself. Where your whole self comes alive.

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Salon Soldiers

For many of my dancer friends, steps aren’t just random movements which happen to be part of the conventional vocabulary of our dance. They are culture embodied in movement, a rich and meaningful heritage expressed in the precise placement of a male foot in the walk, toes landing first, say, not just for reasons to do with technique, but in order to conform to a very specific aesthetic, in order to embody an elegance which has been passed down through the generations. To them, toe-first walking (just to give an example) is as much a part of being a gentleman as wearing a crisply-ironed shirt or dabbing on the same classic cologne your father used. It’s about respect for a genre, an honouring of a somatic history. To them, the lapiz and enrosque express a specific pleasing formality when done precisely this way and feel and look wrong in another style, like a T shirt worn back to front: it might be just as comfortable that way and keep you just as warm, but it somehow jars on the senses.

The way in which movements are arranged in time through the dance also has its conventions. As a friend put it: ‘You always begin by walking, then you open for a giro, then you close again and walk, then you do another figure, then you close again etc.’ It’s not mechanical, it’s just the form the dance takes for him, just as the structure of a Shakespearian sonnet, say, is not restrictive, but allows you to connect what you personally wish to express with a much longer and more meaningful tradition, lets you take your own banal thoughts and translate them into something of poetic value, allows you to channel the bard (which is why I always use that form for my own poetry). It doesn’t matter what you wish to say afterwards, first the form needs to be right, the lines just feel good when they are in perfect iambic pentameter. And the dance ends with the partners swirling through a giro back into close embrace, just as the sonnet ends with the delicious summary of the final couplet, just as music ends with the tonic chord.

I used to find that kind of focus on male aesthetics sterile and restrictive. And personally I am attracted to those dancers whose dancing is alive with creative musicality, even if their ocho cortado looks nothing like what Carlitos Perez teaches and their giro bears no resemblance to Portalea’s. (I’m using male examples on purpose, since, for historical reasons, step traditionalists, as I’ll call them, tend to focus a great deal on the aesthetics of the leader’s dance in particular — there are just so many more older role models in that role and they are concerned, primarily, with fulfilling their own part, with their own elegance as dancers). At first I took this for harmless masculine narcissism, and then I realised that this is about trying to embody and represent a tradition, that it has a quality of almost military discipline — perfect enrosques are like polished boots, a sign of respect for your office as a dancer. The step traditionalists are soldiers of the salon.

Posted in Musings, Tango Salón, Villa Urquiza Style | 4 Comments

Dancing with my girlfriend’s boyfriend

This post first appeared on the Sugar Mountain. I’m republishing it here for those who eschew the saccharine slopes, preferring their words crisply ironed. 

As usual, he dances many tandas with me, most of the tandas with me, at this informal práctica, a place where we regularly practise. He glances over from time to time, in the direction of his girlfriend’s chair. She’s a very popular partner and is usually dancing with some of the best leaders in the place. Having done a quick check to make sure she is enjoying herself, he turns back to me and we continue trying to improve our giro. If it turns out that “she’s not having a good night tonight; for some reason, they’re not asking her” — we part amicably and he goes over to dance with her. It’s not gentlemanly to leave your girlfriend sitting miserably while you dance tanda after tanda. 

On other occasions, when I’m not dancing, I seek her out and sit with her and sometimes change into my leading shoes to take her out for a spin. She’s one of those people who have a calm, reassuring presence that makes you feel instantly comfortable, one of those people I am immediately drawn to, one of those people who make you feel you need to up your ethical game because they are such models of good behaviour. Tonight, it’s the last tanda. “Do you want to dance with him?” I ask. “No, no, go ahead,” she says and instantly starts scouring the room with her eyes, soon catching a twinkly cocked-head cabeceo.

I’ve spent most of my adult life in long-term relationships. And my boyfriends have always had their own connections with others: their tennis opponents, their drinking buddies, their female best friends, their pianist-accompanists, their favourite dance partners. So, no, I don’t feel guilty at all that right now, when I happen to be single, I dance with so many other women’s boyfriends, husbands and lovers. Tango is a way of communicating with, collaborating with, someone else. But is it really more intimate, more sexual than other ways — such as playing sport, making music, having heated debates, co-authoring a book — because it is, by nature a coupled activity or because it involves physical contact? Perhaps, to some degree. But, I would argue, not so much that it makes sense to shut out others, to try to corral and control and restrict your partner (unless you both agree that you want to only dance with each other — a rare occurrence in my experience).

The tango embrace is a very unusual thing. It mimics the appearance of real-life affection. Perhaps, if you are a very jealous person, you shouldn’t watch too closely, just as you might not want to watch your actor boyfriend rehearse a love scene. You hold another person close to you for a length of time which would have all kinds of implications outside a dance context. If you gave someone four long consecutive hugs of three minutes each, without moving — and they happily let you — well, things would probably get pretty steamy quite speedily, unless you have exceptionally snuggleable friends. But, as always with touch, context and intention are everything. We don’t embrace because we are longing to touch each other; we don’t dance because we want to snuggle. It feels snuggly at times, it feels sensual, at least to me, but that’s the nature of this dance. It’s not personal. Our intention, our wish, is to dance. The focus is not on us, we’re not a couple and we certainly wouldn’t hug each other for three minutes at a time in any other situation.

Tango is a liminal space between sex and art: but almost always situated deep within art’s side of that boundary. Its relationship to the sensual often feels less like raw attraction and more like an allusion to romance. You feel more like a student actress reciting Juliet’s lines to whoever the director happens to have cast than like a happy girlfriend walking hand-in-hand along the beach with your lover. The sensuality of it, the intimacy, isn’t fake. But it isn’t real either. Which is why I can dance in close embrace with other women with great enjoyment, but cannot have sex with them; which is why a friend of mine guiltlessly dances with his sister; which is why most people are monogamous in their love lives, but dance with a wide variety of people at the milonga (we need the bumper sticker that says “Tango dancers do it all night long, changing partners every fifteen minutes”). Sublimated into art, we can take something which is usually exclusive and, without getting rid of all its eroticism, transform it into something which can be widely shared. It’s a magical mutation, a midwinter night’s dream, a topsy turvy approach, a land of lavenders blue, lavenders green. I’m not threatened by this when I’m in a couple. And I’m not guilty about it when I’m not. I think it’s subtle, hard to explain to non dancers, but fundamentally both innocent and deeply life enriching.

Posted in Musings, Tango and Sexuality, The embrace | 5 Comments

Some versions of musicality

Since people are always asking me what I mean by dancing “musically”, here are some of the things I understand by it. I try to think about these in my own dancing and I also teach seminars on some of these specific topics (2, 5, 7 and 8, in particular). 

1. Choosing vocabulary to suit the musical colour (I often like to think in Murat Erdemsel’s use of the terms kiki and bouba to classify movement vocabulary, i.e. more rounded steps for more legato musical moments and more abrupt, lineal or spiky movements for more staccato moments — but this is only one possibility). 

2. Choosing to dance to unusual rhythms within the tango instead of just stepping on the main pulse: offbeats, syncopations, 3-3-2 patterns, etc.

3. Making minute differences in what dancers call “cadence” (I’m not using this term as a musician would) that is slowing down or speeding up within the step — i.e. choosing to glide or flow through the movement evenly; to suspend or delay it slightly and *almost* arrive late for the beat you want to land on; or to hurry and change weight *almost* early. This is subtle, but it can feel really great.

4. Changing the quality of your movement to suit the music, i.e. dancing the same step in very different ways to reflect what you are hearing (smoother, more abrupt, cleaner, more ornately decorated, more unrestrained, stompier, bigger or smaller in size to reflect dynamics, etc.).

5. Dancing to submelodies played by non-dominant instruments or secondary voices within the music (which might be shared between several instruments).

6. Dancing with leader and follower emphasizing different levels/voices/instruments/rhythms, etc. (The fact that leaders and followers often have different steps and timings in tango, rather than dancing as mirror images of each other, makes this very possible at some points in the dance. And decorations can also help to achieve this).

7. Using pauses judiciously, deliberately omitting to dance to some notes in order to emphasize others. (Although trying to catch every last note in a fast bando variation, say, like an insane dervish can be fun too).

8. Marking the changes in the music with changes in your dance. Music has a tendency to divide into sections, which are parts that sound different from each other (apologies for stating the obvious). One of the easiest ways to dance musically is to reflect that in your dance: when the music changes within a tango, you can change the way you dance by altering such things as your choice of vocabulary, quality of movement, amplitude of movement, amount of decoration, etc.

In all of this, for me, the follower’s musicality is at least as important as the leader’s and the musical interpretation is created together, as a couple, by listening not only to the music itself but to how you each hear it (which requires excellent somatic listening and communication skills from both parties). And led-and-followed moves and decorations and other solo movements are complementary ways of expressing the music.

This was originally published in Sugar Mountain Land. I’m republishing it here for my WordPress readers who prefer not to climb the saccharine slopes. 

Posted in Musicality, Musings | Leave a comment

Cabeceo: A user’s guide

Since so many people still seem confused about how cabeceo works, here is a brief guide to what I understand by effective cabeceo.

1. From your seat (at a formal milonga) or (at a semi-formal or more informal place) from some other position from which you have a clear sightline to your target: look at them until you make eye contact. You can do this at any point during the tanda, in principle, but during the opening bars of the first song is most practical, particularly if the milonga is crowded (later, people on the floor will block your sightlines across the room).

2. The first step is to establish eye contact. This may take longer than you think. Use judgement and discretion but be aware that people need time to respond.

3. You are both looking at each other? Great. Men (or, at some milongas, leaders of either sex) indicate your interest in dancing. This is usually done by cocking your head to one side and raising your eyebrows, but choose whatever gesture is clear and unambivalent.

4. Women (or, at some milongas, followers of either sex), nod your agreement.

5. If the milonga is very crowded and there are many people seated near you, you might need to clarify that you really are the person intended. Look around you to check to see if someone next to or behind you is cabeceoing your target person. Men (or leaders) often point at their chests and mouth “me?” to clarify.

6. Men (or leaders), if you are sure the woman has accepted, cross the floor and collect her from her seat. Women, stay seated until he gets there, but maintain eye contact with him, smile encouragingly and make bottom-shifting motions to indicate that he is not mistaken, you are waiting to dance with him.

7. Congratulations! Your cabeceo was successful.

Some considerations to bear in mind:

1. Don’t cabeceo during the cortina. You can, however, do flirtatious pre-cabeceos, looking at and smiling at people, so that you know where they are seated, they are aware of your presence and you are signalling your probable desire to dance with them at some point in the evening. This is not actually a cabeceo, it’s more like “hey, big boy/cutiepie, I will look for *you* later”. Like all flirtations, this does not imply any future contractual obligations.

2. While there is no rule against dancing consecutive tandas with someone, if you have just danced with them within the last couple of tandas, they will probably not be expecting to dance with you again and will probably be unreceptive to your cabeceo.

3. If you look over at someone for cabeceo and they wave, grin and mouth ‘hello’ this usually means “I am acknowledging your eye contact in a friendly way, but I don’t want to dance with you right now.”

4. If someone is seemingly staring fixedly at you but doesn’t respond to your cabeceo/cabeceo you, they are probably actually trying to look at someone directly next to you or behind you. Look away to give them a chance to do that. You can try to look back at them again later.

5. If someone is clearly trying to do cabeceo with someone else, it’s fine to wait, see whether they are successful and try to catch their eye if their first choice doesn’t work out.

6. At milongas where you can move around, don’t position yourself really close to your cabeceo target — it can seem very aggressive. You need to give them the option of graceful refusal.

7. Remember that it’s fine to have several (or more) people in mind for a particular tanda. If one cabeceo doesn’t work, move on to the next. This is normal. And remember that “no, thanks” in cabeceo means “not right now” not necessarily “no never”.

Final point: what happens if I make a mistake?

If you make a mistake, you will be publicly flogged.


It can easily happen that two men cross the floor, both thinking their cabeceo has been accepted by the same woman. Some particularly suave men have mastered the art of swerving off at the last moment to visit the toilet or get a drink from the bar when they suddenly realise it wasn’t their cabeceo which was accepted. As woman usually stay seated, their mistakes are less obvious, but often two women think they have been accepted by the same man. If this happens, it is really NO BIG DEAL at all. There is absolutely NO OBLIGATION to dance with the person who was mistaken about the object of the cabeceo, either then or in the future. The people who actually wanted to dance with each other, go ahead and dance, after a brief apology to the mistaken-ee/s (as I’ll call them). If you were the one who was confused, don’t worry. It happens to everyone from time to time and is not a reason for any special drama.

And, lastly, always, always spell it C-A-B-E-C-E-O. It comes from the word for cabeza, meaning head; not calabaza, meaning butternut squash. So use your noddle not your pumpkin and make sure you only have one A in the word. 

Please note that this post was first published in Sugar Mountain Land. I’m republishing here for my WordPress readers who prefer to stay off the saccharine peak.

Posted in Cabeceo | 1 Comment

The Land of the Long-Term Beginner

There are two kinds of tango scenes, two kinds of approaches to tango. The first, I’ll call The Tango-Lovers’ Country — a place where people go because they love tango specifically, because they want to hear that music, dance to the best of their ability, aware that tango is a constant challenge for everyone and find bliss on the dance floor with the specific partners they enjoy and freely choose. That is my natural habitat. But one memorable almost tanda-less night, I was at the other kind of scene, what I’ll call The Land of the Long-Term Beginner.

How do you know when you have crossed the border into that other country? How do know if you are a denizen? Well, in case you need a travel guide, here’s a brief list of identifying characteristics:

1. If many or most people have been dancing for at least five years and a significant proportion, perhaps the majority, have been dancing for ten or twenty, but rather than their dancing improving in that time, you have noticed a steady, relentless deterioration. If there is actually a consistent inverse relationship between how long people have been dancing and how well they dance, you probably live in The Land of the Long-Term Beginner.

2. If you are often struck by how many different ways the human body has of moving, how many ways you can walk anticlockwise around a dance floor — scurrying, bouncing, hobbling, staggering, lurching, shuffling, trudging, prancing. If observing the dancing reminds you of looking at a sample of pond water under a microscope: it’s swarming with a strange and beautiful kaleidoscope of creatures, moving in random directions with a rich variety of means of locomotion. If you often reflect on how much more unnatural and unhealthy tango movement seems than normal movement, if you are struck by the way in which a person who moves with perfect ease in everyday life can be transformed into a shuffle-footed geriatric who looks as though they need a zimmerframe as soon as they get on the dance floor, you probably live in The Land of the Long-Term Beginner.

3. If most people you dance with either clutch at your arms and hold you out away from them as though you had a contagious disease or, alternatively, squeeze you with a grip that would put Xenia Onatopp to shame. If your doctor, chiropractor or Alexander technique instructor has begged you to give up tango for the sake of your health, you probably live in The Land of the Long-Term Beginner.

4. If there are more women than men and the men approach the women with confidence to ask them to dance, knowing that they will never be declined. If it’s considered rude or snobby to be choosy about who you dance with. If men react with surprise or disgruntlement at a polite “no, thanks”. If you feel you will be socially ostracised if you decline too many dances. If even that guy, you know — the one who smells of fag ash, McEwan’s Export and a football player’s laundry basket and who almost dislocates your cervical vertebrae with his embrace — if even that guy gets plenty of dances, you probably inhabit The Land of the Long-Term Beginner.

5. If people care little about the music. If they will get up and dance with the same timing and the same steps whether the DJ plays the fastest D’Arienzos or the serenest Canaros. If they mistake the DJ’s cortina “Nature Sounds for Meditation: Track 2, Birdsong and Early Morning Rain” for a tango and stride valiantly through it with the aid of those inner metronomes which never fail them, marking constant time no matter what is playing, you are probably in The Land of the Long-Term Beginner.

6. If many of the older men enjoy dancing with beginner women and like to give them many helpful pointers about their dance. If being out on the floor with some of the guys feels like being in the arms of a Svengali who gives a running commentary faster than a Wimbledon commentator during an exciting rally (“that’s it, put your foot there, now do a back ocho, pivot there, now change weight”), you probably live in The Land of the Long-Term Beginner.

6. If you frequently hear “Tango’s just a good laugh, isn’t it?” “I like this place because it’s really friendly and sometimes Maureen brings her famous flapjacks for everyone — yum.” “I don’t understand why people get so stuck-up about it.” “The only way you’ll get better is by getting out on the dance floor lots and getting better dancers to dance with you.” “If you have the right attitude, you can enjoy dancing with absolutely anyone.” “We’re all just here to be sociable, have a bit of fun and have a great evening, aren’t we?” “I will dance with anyone and everyone, I’m just happy to dance.” “Why won’t she dance with us? Does she think she is too good for us? What a snob!” “His dancing is almost unbearable, but it’s hard to say no to him, isn’t it? It might hurt his feelings.” Well, then, you probably live in The Land of the Long-Term Beginner.

There is nothing wrong, as such, with The Land of the Long-Term Beginner. But it’s not my country. I am a foreigner there and whenever I visit I cannot conquer my culture shock, I cannot recover from my jet lag. So, if this is your native land, please understand if I might choose not to do much sightseeing. I wish you joy of it, but it’s not for me.

Note: This post first appeared in Sugar Mountain Land. I’m reposting it here for my WordPress readers. 

Posted in Bad dancing, Beyond Buenos Aires, Musings, Uncategorized | 5 Comments