less is more

I was at Negracha on a Friday a couple of weeks back. I arrived late and didn’t make the class. I normally try to attend the class unless its being held by teachers I really didn’t like. Most of the time, I think that you will get something by attending a class. Even if you meet someone new or warmed up or got yourself in the tango mindset, you’ve got something out of the class. Whether or not its worth £2 (or sometimes more) is a different story.

Since I didn’t make the class, I wanted to warm up and dance with someone I’ve not danced before. But having arrived just after the class at Negracha means that there’ll be a shortage of women. Its strange, where do all the women go? In class, there are usually a couple of women over, but after class, there are loads of men sitting down. The music isn’t bad, but the men are sitting because the women have disappeared. They haven’t just gone to refresh themselves got there’s usually a shortage of women until around 10pm, a good 45 minutes after the class has ended.

I invite a lady whom I knew was a relative beginner. I keep my dance simple, just walking at first. She’s a bit tense but I was like that too when I started. Then an ocho or two. Not bad, she didn’t step too far and seemed to have decent control. Later a parada or a sandwich and she responds with a back boleo, low sweeping pivot and a triple tap up my leg before finally walking over my stopping leg … interesting. That was quite hard work just to walk over a leg. I try the stop again and she responded with exactly the same combination except this time the sweep was even lower. Clearly this came from some workshop or some class or maybe even a youtube video.

After the second song she said she was a beginner. I didn’t mind, and told her just to relax and enjoy the dance. No need to try and do fancy stuff. Social dancing is about having fun, no matter who you’re dancing with. We finish of the tanda but I keep it even simpler – no more paradas – theres no need for her to work so hard just to dance.

I wonder if she’s even having fun when she isn’t trying to do such fancy stuff? How much did she pay to learn to walk over a leg? She isn’t the first lady I’ve danced with that tried to go overboard just to walk over a leg.

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3 Responses to “less is more”

  1. jantango Says:

    Perhaps when she has more time to watch other women dancing, she will realize that social tango has nothing to do with the choreography she has been taught in class.

    They work hard at getting it right, as though their partners will appreciate it more.

    It’s sad that many who teach don’t know what tango is. And they won’t find out by watching videos on YouTube either.

  2. Arlene Says:

    Unfortunately, over here, the newbies are all trying adornos and tricky moves and shoe polishing. A shoe polish has a meaning. You better mean it if you are doing it. I only do it with one friend and to make a point for him to lighten up or pay attention and not go on automatic pilot. Works every time!

    I blame the teachers. And youtube. A night of watching the dance floor at Negaracha’s makes me cringe most times I go there. She won’t learn anything there unless she gets someone like me to point her in the right direction.

    Hey Yabotil! Shame on you for using a newbie for a warm up. That’s what tried and trusted friends are for! Though I take my hat off to you for trying to keep it simple.

    • yabotil Says:

      Hi Arlene, I actually chose her because she was sitting alone and close to where I was sitting, looked liked she wanted a dance, and none of my female friends had arrived yet and a good song had came on. I’m picky with music, I don’t invite someone to dance unless its the music is something I might enjoy and at Negracha, you never know, you might not get a good song for a while. After dancing with her, I sat down for almost an hour cos the music just didn’t move me. (So much for warming up.)

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