Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Alex's Deep Tango Thoughts...

I think it's not a good thing (being in a small community) to dance with the same three or four followers (really one or two) over and over again, week after week, month after month, year after year - for three years. I have known this since I first started dancing tango, but doing something about it can prove to be difficult logistically - work and weather and such can preclude runs to Denver for experiential tango diversity.

Like I said, I have known this for some time and here's how it manifests itself in my own case study. I attended one of Gustavo & Giselle's intensive 6 day workshops in BsAs back in April. The topic was "cambios de dirrecion"...changes of direction. I also took a four day intensive workshop with them this summer in Atlanta...more changes of direction with other stuff mixed in.

My problem has been that I have been unable to smoothly lead any of this new stuff with the followers in Aspen. But I try, try again. I study the video footage. I dance it in my mind. I dance it in "air tango" by myself. I practice it every chance I get, but to no avail with the followers in my (former) community. They just don't get it. I know, I know, the whole thing about it has to be clearly led and all that. But, a recent teacher said that followers have to "understand" that certain things are possible. Things outside of the tango norm.

Point being is that here in Austin, I went to a practica, and tried a few of these "changes of direction"...with women I have never danced with before...and they came out perfectly...no problem with lead or follow. The women made statements about it feeling "good"...and statements to the effect of "I didn't know you could do that..."

Don't get me wrong...I'm not blaming the (former) followers in this...it's just interesting that no matter how much I tried to lead it, it didn't work all these months, then all of a sudden with new followers, it works perfectly.

It makes me think that there is some sort of mental/ physical/ emotional/ kinesthetic/ hardwiredneuropeptide/ subatomic/ quantum physics kinda thing going on when you dance with same people over and over. The realm of possibility gets narrowed or restrained in some way.

And tango is all about the possibilities....right?

Note to self:: Post about "subatomic ochos"... and the conundrum of "superfast subatomic ochos in traspie"....(grin)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Viva la republica! (The Republic of Texas)

ALX_0865
ALX_0002
My splitting headache of the day subsided in Abilene, so I pushed on through on Friday night, pulling into Austin around 10:30pm. It ended up being around a sixteen hour drive on Friday - five hours on Thursday from Aspen to Trinidad, Colorado. Twenty or twenty-one hours total - nine hundred fifty miles.

I've been sleeping late, taking naps, going to bed early. The twenty hours on the road was good for my mind...good for my soul...long overdue and much needed re-booting. These past few days I have been hanging out and reconnecting with my older brother. We listen to 107.1 KGSR radio station almost continuously. Here is the link to the live stream: http://www.kgsr.com/Login.aspx?Destination=http://www.kgsr.com/stream/index.aspx. We walk/run around Town Lake...we talk about real estate and development in Austin...we talk about women...we talk about relationships...we talk about women some more...we eat bbq'd chicken in the backyard...and drink Miller Ponies...

I got some good tango last night...more later about my trip...my move...my transformation as a man...and tango...

It feels good to be back in Texas...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Painted Ojos

This is possibly my last photo in the Aspen area. This was a paint horse who was curious about my packing/loading activities. I am two days behind schedule, but then again, I had an artificially imposed departure date that was based on tango events in Austin on Wednesday night. I was going to go to tango last night in Aspen, but I guess it was cancelled because of the World Series game, or nobody showed, or the teacher didn't show - whatever - it's like I said in an earlier post - this tango community is dead or dying. There is a teacher coming in from Buenos Aires in less than two weeks for a tango workshop - he's a personal friend - and no one - out of the three organizers in the area (including the primary organizer) - has even sent out a notice that he is coming to Aspen for a workshop. It's no wonder we have the same six people showing up for workshops - now it will be five. Oh well, I can't worry about it anymore...it's just a shame to see a tango community die because of apathy and inattention....onward and upward...here is the photo....
Painted Ojos

Monday, October 22, 2007

Non-Tango :: Dance quells prison violence and teaches love...



Taken from the video blog on Nerve::

You’ve probably seen the charming, disarming video of 1500 Philippino prisoners dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Oh but there’s more…a little bit of mambo in their lives, Sister Act (above) and…the Black Eyed Peas?

Thank God CNN brings the scoop (click here to see them perform Electric Dreams for CNN’s Hugh Riminton):

• About 1,500 inmates at Philippines prison are forced to dance every day
• One of their stars is a self-described "she-male" awaiting trial on meth charges
• Prison boss says violence has ceased ever since dancing started
• Accused mass-murderer inmate says dancing has taught him "love"

10/23 :: Addendum :: It doesn't look like they are "forced" very harshly, certainly not at gunpoint, and my guess is that they would much rather be out of their cells dancing, practicing, listening to music, and getting fresh air. I would say this is more positive therapy and better "rehabilitation" in theory. I would rather criminals re-entering society having experienced dance than the alternatives.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Adios Aspen

I thought about titling this post either "Adios Aspen" or "The Last Tango in Aspen"...my last tango in Aspen (tonight) was watching Jimmy and Mara dancing three songs at Jimmy's - prior to beginning salsa - Saturdays are "salsa nights" at Jimmy's, but he has always danced a set of tango before hand.

Jimmy (of Jimmy's Restaurant) and Mara dancing tango each Saturday night has done wonders for tango in Aspen. Heather - our teacher and community leader here in Aspen - and Jimmy were once a couple - and have a son together. My first tango classes were taught by Jimmy and Heather as a team. They split a couple of years ago but remain close friends.

I will never forget one exercise Jimmy had us all do in that first beginner class. He dimmed the lights and asked everyone to sit meditation style on the floor. He then asked each of us to visualize ourselves dancing a beautiful tango. As beginners, most of us didn't know what beautiful tango looked like, but I think this is an important exercise for more advanced dancers that we don't do enough of. Downhill skiers and other athletes visualize themselves doing what it is that they do. I recently read an article about this - I will try to find it.

So, in closing, my last tango in Aspen was watching Jimmy and Mara dance tonight - the last song they danced to was Adios Nonino by Astor Piazolla (Jimmy is a big AP fan...)...

And so it is..."Adios Aspen"...and adios to my tango days in Aspen...adios to the snow and cold...adios to the mountains and the aspen trees and the bears and the foxes/deer/elk...and the crisp cool clean air...these are the things I will miss...but saddest of all...and missed more than anything else...will be my friends...

Adios...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My dream last night...

I was treated to dinner by my closest tango friends in Aspen - as a "going away" celebration. It's sad really, to leave Aspen behind after 10 years, and leave behind my tango friends of 3 years.

At the restaurant, a friend from another table, Giovanna, came up to me to say goodbye - I ran into her earlier in the week and told her of my move. She said that she was sorry we didn't have the chance to get to know each other better. We hugged for a moment there between the tables, and I walked back to my table, choking back the tears which are now flowing freely. It was a beautiful thing for her to say, in my friend La Nuit Blanche's words - "terrible beauty".

Back to my dream...After too many pomegranate martinis, I crashed at about 1:30am. I dreamed that my Uncle and I were fishing large tree branches out of a river. (I did this last summer at a friend's lake house - there were many large branches in the lake after a close call by a tornado.) We were camping and as I pulled a particularly large branch out of the water and up into the woods, I was struck with the (apparent) fact that it was late morning but it was still very dark. Thick clouds loomed overhead, and it was like it was night, but you could tell on the horizon that the sun was up.

As I turned to go back to the river, I noticed two large bears - polar bears of all the possible species (Earlier in the day, I had watched some YouTube footage of the National Wildlife Federation's trip to Greenland - to witness the melting of the ice firsthand.) The two bears were wearing colorful sweaters - like stuff animals would.

I ran down to the river, behind them, but they caught my scent and started running, chasing me down I suppose. I ran the "tarzan run" trying to elude them, but they were close behind on my trail. They were talking to each other - in English - having a casual conversation like a momma bear and a baby bear - the momma was explaining in detail how to track/sniff prey.

And then I woke up...

Looming darkness...being chased by talking sweatered polar bears...a tangled mass of large tree branches under water...camping with my Uncle...it's either all very profound and auspicious...or it's the martinis...

The last of the fall colors...

Mount Sopris Massif...Elk Mountains

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Leone :: Sad Beauty


sad beauty
Originally uploaded by Leone.

A very nice photo by my flickr friend Leone...

Google Search :: Barcelona Italian Food Store

Using my site meter, sometimes it's interesting to look at how people arrive at my blog...

Today, someone did a Google search using the search string "barcelona italian food store" .... and my blog popped up in the search results... from the post on the Perdizione Grocery Store Tango short film...

I found this to be hilarious... the google search that is... and my blog being returned... in the top three results no less... hilarious...

Revisiting Tina Tangos on :: How to Sit at a Milonga

I always thought this was a good one...and very valuable/necessary/proper... written by Tina on her "siguiendo mi corazón :: tango, love, buenos aires" blog

Here is the "How to Sit at a Milonga" article...

Oreo Art :: Social Commentary :: Ultimate Protest/Sacrifice

This has nothing to do with Tango :: I ran across this YouTube video this morning and thought it was cool because it is "Oreo Art" and I love Oreos... this is pretty amazing talent...




The artist is Phil Hansen.


Then I searched for the original photo and was struck by the importance and magnitude of the original event - a Buddhist monk named Thích Quảng Đức self immolated in 1963 in Vietnam - in theory as a protest to the war. Here is more from Wikipedia :: Thich Quang Duc...


Monday, October 15, 2007

Clay's Tango Surveys

Clay (Portland Tango Fest) has created three surveys...
#1 Principles for Teaching Beginning Tango
#2 Characteristics & Traits of Tango Dancers
#3 Why I Dance Tango

they are quick and easy to take...here is the link...

http://www.claysdancestudio.com/surveys.shtml

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tanguera Worship

Tanguera Worship

un besito por la pantorrilla de una potranca rusa...at the milonga last night at the Masonic Temple in Glenwood Springs, Colorado...and sadly, very possibly my last milonga here...as I will be moving away from Aspen in the coming weeks...to the Georgia countryside...

It was a very small milonga, coinciding with a Saturday workshop by visiting Denver milonguero Tom Stermitz. There were only about eight of us all together. Essentially it was a small private milonga/party. We were gathered around one of the tables, with all the food arranged in the center, drinking wine and socializing - it felt just like a Buenos Aires milonga. They are all my closest friends in Aspen...and I will miss them...truly...

Note that I am copying the birthday card I uploaded a week or so ago. Photo of me and Tatyana by my friend Bob...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gotan Project Live

The Molinete - Lead & Follow

I am going to get into this topic in depth in the coming days. You know this ladies - front-side-back or back-side-front - however it was taught/learned.

I have a theory and I want to get some follower input.

Tanda Structure & Milongas

I am dj'ing our community milonga tonight - bringing my big stereo system to the Masonic Temple in Glenwood Springs to fill the room with mono sound. There is something about this though, it does seem to sound better, fuller, richer, to the point of almost sounding live. One of the tangueras said that she felt like she was back in BsAs. So I will lug it all down there - 45 miles downvalley.

Reworking my tandas (I use iTunes/playlists) last evening - I decided to go with this structure - 3 song tandas - Tango-Tango-Vals...Tango-Tango-Vals...Tango-Tango-Milonga. In the past, it was always TTVM-TTVM, but I felt there were too many milongas.

Not all of our dancers appreciate or are especially good at milonga. The followers think too much. The leaders don't have it down. So, I keep to slow milongas early in the evening, and then gradually get faster, then to what I call "nuevo" milongas. So I will try this tonight with fewer milongas - I can always throw in more.

I love dancing milonga and somehow "got it" very early on. I wish I could lead tangos like I am able to lead milongas. The faster the milonga, the better, although that usually precludes any traspie, and superfast ochos and ocho cortados become almost impossible to follow in a really fast milonga. The key for followers is not to think. I can tell immediately when a follower is thinking...and I usually whisper in her ear..."don't think...just clear your mind..."

Let me know your thoughts on my new tanda structure...TTV...TTV...TTM...

For your viewing pleasure, Thierry le Coq, with the fastest feet I have seen (Oliver Kolker is a close second)...(Geraldine Rojas would be the fastest follower I have seen, with the ability to throw in traspie embellishments...)



I guess my dry spell is over....

Oh...my...God...! I just watched this in toto again...I forgot about the superfast molinete in this video...amazing!

The song is Francisco Canaro's "No Hay Tierra Como Mia" [1939]...

Aprés Tango

I took these photos last night, through the window of an art gallery. We have lots and lots of art galleries in Aspen and the art, not suprisingly, is very expensive. I will go back to this gallery today and check the price tag...

Everyone in our small tango group loves this painting. I am surprised that it hasn't sold already. It's been in the window for over a year now. It reminds me of an "aprés tango" scene, one which I have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing.

The question is this: Is she leaving after having had her way, or is she about to get into bed with her man? When I first saw it, it struck me as though she were leaving, leaving the man spent and exhausted (and probably asleep) after a night of tango oblivion and then lovemaking.

The artist is Antonio Tamburro, an Italian living in Spain. He has an impressive CV including painting several frescoes in churches. The original oil is $25,000 US, this is a giclee print with oil applied by the artist for $4,200 US.
http://www.antoniotamburro.net/en/Biografia.aspx

What do you guys think?

Aprés Tango

Then here is a metal sculpture that was just next to the painting...I like this piece too...
P1020689

Tango-L::Growing up an excellent man-dancer...How?

This was my response to thread on Tango-L earlier this week...but I never sent it...didn't think I was saying much of importance...I have been in a dry spell all week, nothing much to say about Tango or anything...traveling for two solid days with two red eyes didn't help my mental acuity...

Anyway, here it is...straight from my "Drafts" folder...

Bad, Mediocre, Good, Excellent

Inexperienced, Experienced, Newbie, Seasoned Veteran

It's all so subjective...

I know of one male leader (am I being overly politically correct or overly redundant?) who has only been dancing a year... one 3 year follower I know thinks he is the best leader she has ever danced with, and one 5 year follower I know thinks he is the worst leader she has ever danced with...

I also know leaders who have been dancing "tango" for five or six years (getting all the dances they want - I even witnessed one dancing with three different women for three different songs in the same tanda!!!), yet when I watch these leaders dance, I fail to discern anything even vaguely resembling argentine tango...

I intently studied the dancing style and technique of some (a few) of the true old milongueros when I was in BsAs - truly very experienced, truly beautiful dancers, theoretically "excellent" leads - but I was not impressed by their "handsy" "steering" easily visible lead technique - and can't imagine that women would truly enjoy this type of lead - unless it's more about the milonguero "mystique". At least this goes for the gringas in BsAs... experiencing for the first time the mystique of milonga in BsAs, dancing with her first milonguero - so her perception is that it was all wonderful, including his lead, when in fact, it may have been less than wonderful. (I am sure there are some truly magnificent milonguero leads in BsAs. I just hope to be "better" [and ascended to the level junior/honorary milonguero :) ] in another 20 years when I am 67 years old.)

So, ultimately, does any of this matter? Bad leads are not even dancing tango and getting all the dances they desire; followers are dancing with less than stellar leads and having the time of their life in BsAs (and around the world); experienced/excellent leaders are dancing with rank newbie followers and having a pleasant time; two newbies (I hate this word...) in a beginner class are bitten and smitten with tango and perhaps each other because of the wonderful feeling.

Is it all just about the tango, the music, the dance, the connection, the "mystique", the socializing, the tango experience - and nothing else matters? Sure there are the truly bad scenarios, dangerous leaders putting our women in harm's way, followers running up the chiropractic bill, and it will always be this way, as nature/the universe intended, and we will all continue dancing, because we no longer have a choice in the matter.

Just my two centavos on the subject...in summation, it's all subjective and relative.

Oops, I got sidetracked a bit...I think it's up to the teachers/instructors... to have a "brutal honesty" policy when a leader needs more classes/privates/whatever/(or needs to quit), they need to tell them. I danced all my first year with a bad walk. Luckily I figured it out myself - but no one, not even my beautiful friend and teacher - told me that I needed some concentrated work on my walk. On my own, I sought out privates and workshops outside my community - but others may not have the free time/resources to do this within their own community.

But, it is counterproductive to a teacher (their "business" of tango) to tell a class full of beginners that they won't learn tango in the first month, that it will likely take years. If you tell them that in the first class, the second class would be empty. Who knows what the answer is? I think it is what I was saying earlier - there will always be the ebb and flow, the yin and yang, the good and bad, the beautiful and the ugly - in tango and all aspects of our lives - just as the universe intended.

Monday, October 8, 2007

is this funny?

funny? or just plain sad...a buddy sent this to me as a joke...reminds me of aspen...and my last post...

ORIGINAL INQUIRY


THIS APPEARED ON CRAIG'S LIST


What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I'm tired of beating around the bush. I'm a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I'm articulate and classy. I'm not from New York . I'm looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City , so I don't think I'm overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that's where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won't get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she's not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:

- Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars, restaurants, gyms

-What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won't hurt my feelings

-Is there an age range I should be targeting (I'm 25)?

- Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I've seen really 'plain jane' boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I've seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What's the story there?

- Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY

Please hold your insults - I'm putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I'm being up front about it. I wouldn't be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn't able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or
other commercial interests


---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------


PostingID: 432279810
THE ANSWER
Dear Pers-431649184:

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament. Firstly, I'm not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here's how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a cr@ppy business deal. Here's why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here's the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity...in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won't be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you're 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold...hence the rub...marriage. It doesn't make good business sense to "buy you" (which is what you're asking) so I'd rather lease. In case you think I'm being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It's as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as "articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful" as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn't found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn't need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you're going about it the right way. Classic "pump and dump." I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Overheard in Aspen

It snowed yesterday and last night...in town...Aspen is at about 8,200 ft elevation...it was starting to spit a bit and I heard a dad at the park/playscape telling his young son and daughter it was time to go back to the house...the four year old daughter started to whine and whimper saying she wanted to stay longer.... the dad said "you know, I am beginning to regret bringing you to Aspen..." to which more bawling ensued... a four year old... his tone sounded like he was talking to his trophy wife or trophy girlfriend...

A group of three very well made up women walking down the sidewalk...huge diamond rings (I notice that I check out the ring finger alot these days...) ... and one of them says .... "It's like that new trend, 'white trash gourmet'..." I actually considered walking back to ask her more about this new trend... just out of curiousity... but I didn't...

Anyway, I found these two amusing/interesting enough to share... I like "white trash gourmet"... I will have to start using that one...

I came back to add this one... it happened to me last night at the Caribou Club... a twenty-six something realtor babe came up to me in a drunken stupor... with some kind of drug/chemical induced not-so-pleasant breath... she had given me some indisputible smiles of "interest" earlier... so she came up to me at the bar... struck up the typical lame conversation... Realtor Babe: "where are you visiting from?" ... Alex: "I live here"... Realtor Babe: "oh, where do you live?" (meaning in Aspen proper or what we call "downvalley") Alex: "I live here in Aspen." Realtor Babe: "Where in Aspen?" Alex: "On Main Street" Realtor Babe: "Where on Main Street?" Alex: (telling the truth) "In a basement apartment under a commercial building." Realtor Babe: no response.... she just turned and walked away without saying a thing.

I am actually laughing out loud as I write this. My ego is secure - actually boosted a bit that she at least found me visually appealing at 20 years her senior - even if my net worth wasn't up to snuff. Had I answered "Red Mountain"... or "The West End" ... or lied and said I was visiting from out of town and staying at "The Little Nell"... it might have turned out differently... but then again, I am not that kind of guy... she wasn't my type... and the sickysweetacridchemicaldruginducedbreath thing... so sad...

Anyway, I went to the Shell station (our only 24 hour store) where everyone hangs out in the late late night... to see if I could find a sweet thing to take home with me... which I did... and crawled into bed... under the down comforter and silk blanket... naked... with my bag of Oreos...

I need some tango.... bad...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Julio y Corina

La Tanguera found and posted this YouTube video from the May 2007 Denver Milonguero Festival...it's the video version of my photos of their performance...



Here is the photo...click it to see more from my Flickr account...
Julio y Corina 2

To dance or not to dance...brutally...

I just got back from doing my solo tango workout and practice. This is what we have to resort to in a resort town with an extremely small tango community. A friend of mine jokes with me about my "air tango", but, it's better than nothing. He and I are the only ones that I know of who practice solo on occasion.

So, I'm back here reading Tango-L about retaining men in Tango, and women getting dances. I thought I would write about why I invite women to dance, and why I don't.

1] First and foremost, I am a tall guy - easily 6'4" with my tango shoes on. So, I have some issues with shorter women and with taller women. Dancing with shorter women tends to tweak my lower back - an issue with my lead. I have started dancing more open embrace with shorter women to compensate. Taller women, when the top of their head reaches my eye level, then I have a blind spot to my right. I find this to be limiting to my lead. Final point - it is very difficult if not impossible to determine how tall a woman is when she is sitting down. So, I invite more women in the 5'4" to 5'-9" range.

2] I am a big guy - sometimes I feel like a giant. When I see photos of myself on the dance floor, I dwarf all of the other people. Perhaps this is a self image thing, but the reality is that I am built like a linebacker or a fullback. 6'3" 225lbs. Given this, I tend to avoid women who are very slightly built. There is a particular follower - beautiful woman and beautiful dancer - but she is so slight, I feel like I am going to break her sometimes. So, I tend to not invite very tiny women.

3] I find women who have thier own gravitational pull difficult to lead. I'm getting better at leading these types of celestial bodies - but sometimes it feels like I am trying to navigate the fully loaded Exxon Valdez through the straits while intoxicated. I tend to not invite women who have their own gravitational pull.

4] I never refuse an invitation from any woman. (Okay, there are one or two who constantly bug me to dance, and I always decline politely, because it is downright unpleasant to dance with them.)

5] When a woman smiles or better yet, smiles AND says "hi" or something, she is guaranteed to get an invitation, no matter what her dancing ability.

6] I lost my tango. At one milonga, I literally "lost my tango". I don't know if it was because I was tired, or what. I did turn down a few invitations - not wishing to subject any woman to a poor/non-existent lead. I didn't make any lame excuses with these women - I literally told them that I was no longer dancing because I lost my tango.

7] If a woman back-leads or gives me "tips", I won't invite her.

8] I realize this is starting to sound negative, but I don't know how to say it otherwise. If a woman is overly embellish-ey, especially if she does embellishments which are meant to be lead, without the lead, all by herself, I don't invite.

9] If a woman is a frequent leader (in a social/milonga setting), I generally don't invite. I don't get that, sorry...

10] Women who dance (close embrace) with their eyes open, scanning the room for potential leads, cannot, in any way shape or form, be "present" in the moment of dancing with me. I will not invite.

11] Women who can't keep their axis and lean on me too much don't get invited.

12] Women who are too "hippy" (motion) and "sway-ey". This can be described as trying to push a wheelbarrow with a top heavy load that is shifting back and forth.

13] Women who are obviously dancers/athletes/athletic/yoginis/fit tend to be more responsive - lighter on their feet - ball bearings under their forefeet - more reaction and energy - (Read my post titled "Fuck me back") tend to get more invites. I find women who are the opposite of this tend to be "mushy" feeling - like I am dancing with "The Blob". Just being brutally honest here...

14] Some really advanced women who I don't feel my lead is up to snuff. It's an insecurity intimidation thing.

15] The followers/wives/partners of tango teaching couples...in spite of #14 above, I always ask them to dance, because often it seems no one else does.

16] If a woman is overweight, not-so-attractive, just an okay dancer, but "nice", she will win out any night over a beautiful tango diva who is the best dancer in the room, but a "catty bitch" who knows she is the bestdancerbeautifultangodiva in the room. Nice-ness, smiles, eye contact, humility - these are the qualities that get me every time.

17] Timing, hesitation, poorly executed cabeceo, missed opportunities, interlopers, usurpers, bathroom breaks, refreshment breaks, sore feet, etc. all combine to create many missed invites... Tango interupptus...

To sum up.... smile, make eye contact, say "hi", make yourself available, be polite/nice/notabitchysnob, smell good, shampoo your hair.... and... wearing Comme il Faut's helps too... goofy ballroomy shoes are a turnoff... get rid of them...

Okay... I gotta go dancing now... I gotta... tomorrow night...Denver... The Mercury Cafe...it's been too long... my last "big city" milonga was... last May in Denver?... no, one in July in Atlanta... too long...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007