Saturday, October 13, 2007

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.

1 comment:

Johanna said...

I think everyone wishes at one time or another - especially when caught in the embrace of a dancing disaster - that their teachers/ partners/ friends would tell total klutzes to "give it up".

Except... When I first started dancing, even as a beginner I could tell who was a disaster. Usually it was other beginners. As I evolved, it seemed they did not. They were stuck in Klutzland. Then suddenly, 5, 6 years later, they had figured it out. One of these lead-ers is now, in fact, one of the lovliest dancers I know :-)