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Tango: my life as a not-so-good leader

And you thought that YOU were the worst dancer in the world ?

Monday, January 17, 2005

Bad excuses 

Here I was yesterday at the milonga, listening to the DJ's tandas and waiting for the announced orchestra.
Sitting on my little chair in the middle of all these skilled social dancers, I was once again realizing that I was still very far from their level. Fortunately for me, nobody seemed to know me, so I could enjoy the music without fearing any invitation. The floor was very packed and all I can do in these sardine-can conditions is walks, giros, ochos, barridas, mixed with apologies to my partner or to other couples for bumping.

Finally the musicians (a quinteto) climbed on the stage and began to play.
At the beginning of the second song, a nice young blonde came to me:
"- Hi, Pablo, I remember dancing with you at teacher X's class. Shall we dance?"

Like in these movies where the hero dies and in a few seconds he remembers his whole life, an episode of my youth popped up. During a holiday in a mountain resort with my parents, a dance evening was organized. I was 18 or 19 and by then could not dance anything, but I had come anyway by lack of a better plan. First they played oldies, my parents danced something that maybe was social paso-doble, then some younger music came (new wave, as they called it) and I watched with anger and frustration all these boys who knew swing sequences and disco gesticulations. Then came the slow numbers, and one nice young blonde, remaining alone on the
floor, began to scan around. I had not anticipated this. It's not a shame to be unable to dance complicated things like swing or disco, but a slow number, everybody knows how to dance that, right? Wrong. I didn' know to. The exit door was on the opposite side, so standing up to go out was not an option as I should have had to walk through the dance floor. I tried to make myself as small as possible on my chair. Not small enough yet, the girl soon noticed me and extended her hand:
"- Shall we dance, Pablo?"
My parents were sitting behind me. I turned to them with a desperate look, hoping they would rescue me, but they misinterpreted my move, thought that I was asking for their permission and said something like "Of course Pablo, go, go!".

And I had to go for bad excuses.
"- Er...my shoes are inappropiate for dancing!"
"- Come on, it's not a contest. Come, it's such a nice song!"
"- Well, I don't like the Stones [it was Angie] very much, indeed it's precisely this particular group that I dislike the most, really it's impossible for me."
"Sure? Well, ok..."

Yesterday, my bad excuse was:
"- Oh, but the orchestra is playing! We're supposed to be just listening..."
"- Hey look, they're all dancing!
"- Well, they're all wrong. Really, it's impossible for me."
Here the guy sitting to my left stood up and without any word invited the blond damzel, avoiding her the embarrassment of a refusal.

However I do progress in some A.T fields: out of the four songs the orchestra played in this tanda, I identified three: Felicia, Gallo Ciego and Uno.


posted by Pablo  # 3:28 AM
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