Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Stupid out of pratice...ness!

Thanks for all the comments a few posts back on my leading frustration; it was awesome to have the reassurance that I am not a hulking alien beast out to stomp on tango traditions the world over. In fact, Miss Tango in Her Eyes pointed out that men used to dance with each other for practice, which is not only a pratical idea when out on the range for months at a time, but also an excellent reason for some of my favorite tango boys to start dancing together! (Though guys seem to freak out about that, which is hysterical when one of the visiting male instructors asks to see the move and takes the follower's position, and the student is more freaked out about the fact that it's a dude than the fact that they can't do the move.)

I went dancing for the first time in two weeks on Monday, and my following was fine - I've begun the tentative entry into the world of embellishments, which means that every once in a while I tap a downbeat and feel a wild surge of elation that I haven't fallen over. Nothing like keeping expectations low!

Sadly, after two weeks of not leading I could tell a difference in my embrace, and after one tanda with the world's sweetest woman, who pretended I wasn't suddenly boring, I cut the night short before I could manhandle anybody. Morale was low at home that night.

I think I'm going to go back to my current training trick, where I dance in my living room with a stack of wafer cookies in the crook of my right arm. If I open my embrace too much (losing my imaginary follower), the cookies fall. If I manhandle her, the cookies are crushed, and then I have to clean up thousands of tiny cookie crumbs from my floorboards, and it serves me right for being a bad leader!

Plus, I get to fill my house with wafer cookies. Their sweet, chocolately filling compels me!


Caroline said...

yum, cookies!

seriously though, as far as embrace goes, you do need to be flexible and I think that the cookie idea might limit your range too much.

leading is hard! so much harder than following. the few times I danced with women (non-teachers), I felt as though they were overly aggressive, almost throwing me here and there as if overcompensating for not being male. so, if you have a chance to lead at practicas, ask for lots of feedback.

La Planchadora said...

I totally agree - half of the women seem overly-agressive and the other half too timid, nothing there to read. It's for this reason I stack cookies on myself! The noble cause of good-leaderness!

I totally see your point, but the cookies train me to lead with my chest and not with my arm, which is something I'm desperately trying to absorb. In practice my embrace is more flexible (I can finally lead a turn out of a back ocho!), but I'm really concentrating on the lead from the chest, so the arm gets cookied.

I am such a dork. ;)

Danzarin said...

I think the cookie idea is ingenious, I should try it! Thanks:)