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

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

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I entered the milonga and immediately noticed this tall, thin brunette with a ponytail. Dressed in black. Not the gothic black, more along the lines of latex black. Skin-tight trousers, and a laced top. Supple, prompt to react, smiling easily. A girl, not a lady. Attractive. And the ponytail...mmmm...I've always liked girls with ponytails.
Typically the kind of follower whom I'd never dare invite. Her leader though was not that good. Tall, yes, so maybe she had accepted to dance because their respective heights matched well, but really he was nothing special.

Seconds later I met the friend who had asked me to come, a guy in the same A.T class, and we began our usual unsure leaders stuff: watching the couples dancing, having a beer, commenting, ranting, and declining the occasional invitation. Three hours later came the signal (A.T teachers appearing on the dance floor) that I had to leave. My friend stayed in, because he wanted to take a few shots of these teachers and advanced dancers with his new video camera.

A few days later, after our class and while we were walking to the metro station, he asked me:
"- Errr...Did you see this girl in black last sunday at in milonga?
- Hardly...Now that you tell me maybe I remember more or less...
- Well, I danced with her!"

This was as plausible as his being invited for a five-o-clock tea by Queen Elizabeth. There aren't that many leaders here as clueless as me, but he sure belongs to this select group. He went on and unveiled the whole story as was told to him by the brunette in latex while they were dancing. She was a former stripper. Nobody knew (or nobody cared) until a certain milonga last year. A kind of multi-faceted happening with tango, clowns, jugglers and...a strip-tease, done by hers truly. From then on the A.T community saw her as a lost girl and began to reject her. Husbands coming to the milongas with their wives were the first to stop inviting her, then the teachers, and little by little she found herself sitting most of the time.

"- Now, I'm doomed," my friend added, "people saw me."

I'm considering getting doomed too... if I ever happen to see the girl with a ponytail again...

...Sorry had to hide the comments about this post because of commercial spam...

posted by Pablo  # 10:03 AM

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I attended a group class 


This happened tuesday. I went there, and my partner duly came, as did the teachers.

So the streak of missed classes is broken. It had reached seven consecutive misses. The last miss was saturday, when to my e-mailed offer to attend a workshop the intended partner replied
I'm in the other Hemishere til January lol. We'll sure go to the milonga when I'll be back.
(Notice: "We"ll go to the milonga". Not to a class.)
I sure felt a bit rusty, but all in all the class went well.

posted by Pablo  # 2:44 AM (1) comments

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Guinness book of records 

Monday I experimented another variation on the theme "the missing partner". My partner duly came....and left the class after ten minutes, without a word. Afterwards she explained me that she had felt hungry and gone to a restaurant she knows from the times she was leaving in the neighbourhood. I suspect the real reason is that she disliked the class. The theme was the axis/the walk, and we were doing various individual exercizes for balance, posture, breathing, body-awareness and so on. I saw she was not doing the exercizes with dedication, but only more or less faked them, like when you're in a church for a wedding and you imitate what actual, seasoned believers do. In tango she likes the milongas, being in a leader's arms, being invited, the seduction game and the provocative outfits (she's quite pretty). She can stand a class but it has to be milonga-alike somehow, with a lot of dancing. Working on one's technique? Not for her.

And this morning I received a phone call from my (missing) partner of last week's tuesday: she won't come today either.

All in all, this are five ruined classes in a row, and still counting. One because I went to the wrong place, and four because of my (so-called) partners. Do I qualify for the Guinness book?

posted by Pablo  # 12:50 AM (1) comments

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Tuesday. Went to my weekly tuesday class. The other pupils were already there, warming up on d'Arienzo. I put on my shoes, waiting for my partner. Then swallowed a breathmint, waiting for my partner. Then watched people dancing, waiting for my partner. Then the teachers stopped the music, and everybody gathered around them, while I was putting off my shoes and sneaking out unnoticed . Partner had not come.

Wednesday. Same story with another partner and another pair of teachers. All the rest (shoes, warming-up, breathmint, d'Arienzo) unchanged. I tried to make a few eye contacts but none of the other pupils noticed. Here I felt like Patrick Swayze in [i]Ghost[/i], when he does not know yet that he's a ghost and still tries to live among people and to communicate with them, but to no avail as they can neither see nor hear him. I felt they would validate me as their equal only when seeing me with all my attributes, and until then I would merely remain a piece of furniture.

Saturday. Went to an A.T workshop. Found a ballet class there, instead. The ballet teacher explained me that the argentine maestros had found a more spacious place and changed their plan. Of course she didn't know in which remote part of the town the A.T class was actually beginning, and in any case it was too late to go. Couldn't anyone have sent me a mail or a call?

Sunday. Had tango plans but cancelled them. What is this community? I've been in team sport before and we had relationships/friendship/life out of the contests. We had meal together before the match, we shared the same hotel and played cards all night long when having a match outside. There was the feeling of belonging to a community. Opponents from other countries invited me, and spent hours to help me solving my visa problems. Another time I picked them at the airport. Once I even found a job as a trainer/player to one of their expats.
But A.T community? Just good to make you feel you're not part of it.

posted by Pablo  # 1:48 PM (1) comments


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