My second tango experience didn’t go quite as smoothly as the first. I still love the dance, but my first rejection on the dance floor smarts.
I have to tell you–tango is not easy to wing. While some men may be patient with beginners, most dancers want to dance with a woman of their caliber. I can understand this. I would too. With the right dancer, though, I can usually find the rhythm and improvise a bit, as long as my partner doesn’t try to turn the dance floor into a lesson.
At the beginning of this night, I saw a young man at the table next to me raise an eyebrow–an invitation to dance. He looked to be in his early twenties with stiff, gelled hair, a starched lavender shirt, and pungent musk cologne.
When he locked me in the tango embrace, I noticed that he had a tight, forceful way of dancing.
I did not think I would be so lucky to tango while in Buenos Aires.
Tonight, I visited La Viruta with V. and another barrio amiga. The bar appears a dance hall for beginners, but it was probably the best place for me to learn. I can dance salsa, merengue, swing, waltz, and foxtrot. I had confided to Deby that I wondered if I was ready for the tango without experience. She responded skeptically. It may seem easy, but lessons are essential.
At La Viruta, classes start at 10:30 p.m. The first partner I had, Raphael, was a good dancer–very strict and concentrated. He counted each step in spanish, declaring, “cinco y seis” at the end of each pattern. My second partner was a weak lead. I had no idea where my steps were placed. He knocked me into other couples, and I might as well have been dancing with a broom. There was no sentiment. He called the female instructor over for help as if I were the problem. She kindly told me not to lead. Well, this wouldn’t be a problem if he were a stronger partner. Continue reading