Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Tangocoaster.

Since my resolution to dance more while not contracting Chronic Horrified Followeritis, I actually have been dancing more, so there's a lot I could write. Unfortunately, by the time I muster the energy to write in the first person (invisible-voice freelance strikes again!) it's already been eight or nine mental blogposts later and I end up wandering in a haze, wearing only four inch stilettos and a flannel nightshirt, looking desperately for any notes I might have scratched on my own arm reminding me what I wanted to write about.

Today, though, I am going to talk about something I DO remember, because it's pretty much the ONLY thing I remember from the last week. (Including where I live. Whose computer is this?)

I have come to the conclusion that I will never have two good dancing nights in a row. I am naturally uptight and one bad tanda will infuriate me up to a week later, so this is probably not the most unexpected conclusion I've drawn in my life.

Welcome to the Tangocoaster, where you can giro your way to the heights of ecstasy only to come crashing down like another woman's stiletto on your foot. (Then the open-toe shoe of your ego fills with the blood of determination, or something. I didn't really work on this metaphor beforehand.)

More than a week ago I danced at two milongas in two days. The first was at a milonga where I have never had good luck. It has something to do with the vibe of the room, which has always felt 'off' to me. Showy, maybe. All the guys lead their trickiest moves, and the women boleo as soon as they get an inch. I can never relax, which of course makes my embrace look like a Frankenstein impression, and then the guys start leading ganchos and weird spinny things and in an attempt to figure out what's going on I try to outguess my leader and it's all over. It was not good.

Tangocoaster: 1
Me: 0

The next day I went to a more informal milonga, where I was asked to dance by a man whose leading I've always liked, but who hasn't asked me before. I had pegged another six months or so before I was ready. But he asked me, and after the second tanda he said approvingly, "It feels as smooth as I had been hoping it would when I got up the nerve to ask you."

Ego trip! Clearly best tango dancer ever! Hooray!

Tangocoaster: 1
Me: like, 600

A little later into the evening, a much more experienced dancer asked me to dance. We're friendly, so I said no and explained there was absolutely no way I could keep up with him, because I am honest and also at that moment I was very very afraid. He insisted, so we danced.


Tangocoaster: 601
Me: 0

I'm not actually upset about this, since 1) I gave the dude fair warning it was going to suck and 2) I didn't fall over. I can expect no more of myself.

Oh, who am I kidding, I'm totally pissed. I've been practicing about two hours a night since then. Next time, tangocoaster, I'll be ready, and then the boleo of your exultation will be cut short by the back ocho of my justice!

(Metaphors: 2
Me: 0)


Caroline said...

It's a bit of a condundrum - on one hand, it's annoying when men push you past your skill level in a public place and yet it's a compliment when they do because you danced well enough to fool them into thinking you're at their level.

La Planchadora said...

Caroline, you got it in one. It's like, "Oh, me? Well, how flattering! But really no, I could never - no, no, really, I could never. NO REALLY."

Johanna said...

Dear Planchadora,
You are being WAAAAY too hard on yourself. You clearly are not celebrating one of Tango's most appealing aspects for women: it's all the man's fault.