Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Adam's Note To Leaders (on giving unsolicited feedback)

This is what prompted my poll in the prior post. Hat tip to Daniel Boardman - organizer of the Albuquerque Tango Festival.

From Adam Cornett's Blog:


Every week one of my students comes to our private lesson with “feedback.” The feedback she tells me about is the feedback that numerous leaders in the community have been giving her. For many weeks I just answered her questions regarding the feedback (often times I was telling her that the feedback is wrong, because it has been) but today I asked her “how do you get all this feedback from these leaders, do you ask for it?” Her answer “sometimes but usually not.”

I mentioned this to Tilly and told her how surprised I was at how many leaders are giving this follower feedback and Tilly’s first comment was “that’s just part of being a follower.” She didn’t mean this as “that’s what makes followers good,” she meant it as “that’s a sad realization that followers have to put up with.” Tilly herself dealt with this for years when she was trying to be a part of the Boston tango community but quit multiple times because she as creeped out.

Here is my suggestion to leaders: STOP IT!!!

There is no reason why you should be giving this feedback. I watch so many leaders try to teach followers on the dance floor, STOP IT!!!

First: It is completely disrespectful to the follower. You are assuming that you are better than she is, which may not be the case.

Second: You are not the best judge of your own abilities. Often times if a follower is doing something wrong it is because your own problems are being amplified through her body and you are actually seeing your own problems. A true test of your own skill as a leader is to dance with a beginner and have her successfully move on the dance floor with you without saying a word. Showing/teaching her the new gancho (or anything for that matter) you just learned from youtube (or in a class but most likely not because you are now too good to continue your education) is ridiculous .

Third: You are scaring off our new followers. So often I see old men (and some young men) prey on the youngest and newest dancers to the community. There is nothing wrong with large age gaps in dancers. One of my favorite dancers in the world is Lyne Laflamme. Although I don’t know her age, our age difference is relative to this point. If you are much older than that early 20 something follower walking in for her first or second time and you feel it necessary to teach her how to dance allowing you access to her for 3-5 tandas, you’re being creepy, STOP IT!!!

Fourth: Leaders, when talking to an advanced follower stop comparing her to anything else but herself. She is not a porsche, lamborghini, volkswagen or any other car, or any other item. If you MUST say something, tell her “you are such a wonderful dancer,” a leave it at that.

While I’m at it (and these are actually complaints I’ve heard from women over the years): shower, wear deodorant, don’t push your package on her, don’t kiss her, don’t touch her inappropriately (grabbing areas that are not part of the dance), don’t put her hand on your parts, don’t sing in her ear, don’t assume that it’s always the other guys fault when you two bump, stay in your lane, don’t get within a dancers width of the couple in front of you, don’t dance around the room without your embrace (tango without hands or chest) expecting your follower to read your body language as a connection, and last but not least USE THE CABECEO (see awkward picture of me up top, don’t do that).

Poll on Unsolicited Feedback at Milongas

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Strangely Aroused -- Bando-Kink -- Ayelen Pais Negrin Bandoneonista

Goddamn man...I find myself strangely aroused...bando-kink? Is there such a thing?

Ave de paso (Charlo y Cadicamo)
Bandoneón y arreglo Ayelén Pais
3 de febrero 2018
Estancia Gonet, Jacinto Arauz, La Pampa (Argentina)
Realizacion de video: Cristian Asato
Asistentes: Mónica Negrín, Adrian Gonet, Elda Juin

Florencia Bornia y Marcos Pereira Vals Improvisation -- Milonga Conexion Austin, Texas

I recorded this Friday night (2/7/20) at our local Milonga Conexion (Ricardo & Lindsay). First Fridays of each month. Really cool venue, an old church in SoCo (South Congress area), essentially right behind the South Congress Hotel. Easy parking. Highly recommended. There were 80 or so folks. Several out-of-towners - several folks from Houston.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

What it means to call yourself a liberal

Ron Howard
January 24 at 5:41 AM

I'm a liberal, but that doesn't mean what a lot of you apparently think it does. Let's break it down, shall we? Because quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for. Spoiler alert: not every liberal is the same, though the majority of liberals I know think along roughly these same lines:

1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. PERIOD.

2. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that's interpreted as "I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all." This is not the case. I'm fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it's impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes "let people die because they can't afford healthcare" a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I'm not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.

3. I believe education should be affordable. It doesn't necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I'm mystified as to why it can't work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt.

4. I don't believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don't want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can't afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist.

5. I don't throw around "I'm willing to pay higher taxes" lightly. If I'm suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it's because I'm fine with paying my share as long as it's actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.

6. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn't have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live.

7. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; *compulsory* prayer in school is - and should be - illegal). All I ask is that Christians recognize *my* right to live according to *my* beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I'm not "offended by Christianity" -- I'm offended that you're trying to force me to live by your religion's rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That's how I feel about Christians trying to impose biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don't force it on me or mine.

8. I don't believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the *same* rights as you.

9. I don't believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN'T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they're supposed to be abusing, and if they're "stealing" your job it's because your employer is hiring illegally). I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc).

10. I don't believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It's not that I want the government's hands in everything -- I just don't trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices/etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they're harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation.

11. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can't get over an election, but because I've spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past.

12. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege -- white, straight, male, economic, etc. -- need to start listening, even if you don't like what you're hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that's causing people to be marginalized.

13. I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is the enforcement of present laws and enacting new, common sense gun regulations. Got another opinion? Put it on your page, not mine.

14. I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think it's social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles I'll call you Charles. It's the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you're using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person?

15. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else.

16. I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work, should have the same rights as men and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn't they be?

I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I'm a liberal because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn't mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don't believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.

Copy & paste if you want.

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, January 25, 2020