jeudi 17 décembre 2009

Etiquette 101 - Navigation, back-leading and the stare from Hell.

I love this pic from Tango in your Eyes

There are indeed many faces to Tango and one of the most annoying is the Tango arrogant snob who's too good to bother with the line of dance and can't figure out that they're not alone dancing.

One word of warning: if I get bumped when we dance because you enjoy confronting other men, I will never dance with you again... and I am not the only one feeling that.... trust me on it.  Poor navigation skills is worse than poor technique or lack of connection. 

Surprisingly enough it is not always the beginner dancer who lacks navigation skills. Nope!  More often than not it is the idiota who's been dancing for years and looks down on the rest of us. 

Most festivals have classes on navigation and some schools here are starting with etiquette courses in the curriculum.  If you have not taken such class yet, TAKE ONE!  Trust me, no one is above it.

Navigation is not the sole job of leaders though.  As long as there will be idiotas doing anything and everything on the dance floor, followers will need to pitch in when it comes to navigating safely.  On a crowded milonga floor, navigation is team work.  It's not okay for followers to close our eyes and forget there are 50 couples around us.  I signal my partner with a light touch where danger is coming from behind him.  Now of course it needs to be done with some finesse.  One leader I've been dancing with calls it "back leading". I call it back-seat driving ;)

Anyways, I came a long way with that.  From being told that it was disruptive to now getting compliments about it. Pfew!  I have also developed a related skill:  the "Stare from Hell".  I know most leaders who are navigation-challenged in our community and when I spot one of them getting too close for comfort, I catch his eye and give him the "Stare from Hell." It works only 50% of the time as some just don't understand anything but it's often enough to cool off a few which lessens the workload for me.

I recognize that's something not everyone can do.  Years of teaching have endowed me with a natural authority and the ability to have grown men break into a sweat just by looking at them.  Thank God I have other stares in my knapsack, otherwise I'd be a very lonely tanguera :D

Happy dancing....

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