Saturday, July 22, 2006

Fourteenth Lesson

So, I thought the worst feeling in tango was not being able to do something.

Turns out, the worst feeling in tango is knowing exactly how to do something and waiting for some asshole to figure it out himself because he refuses to accept "suggestions" or the instructor's help.

"You pivot, then take a side step, then pivot me, I think," I say, trying to stay calm as the guy digs his nails into my hand and steers me like I'm a lawnmower.

"I am," he says through grit teeth. (Not sure why he's locked his jaw; I'm pivoting on the ball of my foot in shoes with no traction, so I'm basically a Lazy Susan. You can grab my hands and run in a circle around me and I'll just turn and turn until I get sick of you and punch you in the face, because you shouldn't run in circles around people. It's rude.)

He is not. He is taking a front step, pivoting, then trying to pivot me into some imaginary space, where I run into trouble because there's no actual phyical space on the floor, and so I end up pivoting back in on myself.

I have to tune out all the stuff he's doing, so I concentrate on my posture.

("You have tense shoulders," says my teacher, and I watch this guy jerking me around and think, No shit.)

We change partners, thankfully, and the new guy admits he's lost.

"Okay," I say, "I think it's this," and I demonstrate. It's correct, and we manage to make a pretty good go of the move until he realizes he can't figure out a way to step out and close, and so I end up pivoting for fifteen minutes until he can ask the teacher how to escape.

I dance all night at the milonga (7pm-2am, I can't even calculate the hours, too depressing), and of all the guys I partnered in class he's the only one who doesn't ask me to dance. Once he passes me, his expression halfway between shame and pique, and pulls up the girl next to me.

I crack up.

Dear Sir: Not my fucking fault I'm a better lead than you.

p.s. You used that move when you danced with her. You're welcome.

And people wonder why women learn to lead.

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