Saturday, January 13, 2018

Follower Wisdom from April Parker

Here's the text of her post:

There seems to be a misconception in my region (Atlanta/SE U.S.) surrounding the rules of engagement in milongas. I hope that an experienced dancer and teacher (ME) can shed some light on things for those of you who are confused and experiencing emotionally painful things in milongas. It can be devastating to get all dressed up, go out, and then sit all night watching everyone else have fun. It hurts because you think that maybe these other dancers don't think you're good enough. I've been there many times. And I had to get past myself in order to grow out of that time. These days it is RARE that I'm sitting out against my will.

LADIES/FOLLOWERS: You. Are. Not. Meant. To. Be. Passive. Why should you be? You can work, be breadwinners, vote, hold public office, and many other things. Why do some of you think that it has to be always the man's choice and decision to help you have a fun night of dancing? F*** all that! Cabeceo does not involve you sitting there waiting for somebody to ask you to dance with them. You should be CHOOSING the men/leaders you want to dance with! Go forth and use those eyes! Show them with your smile that you're interested in dancing with them. The leaders have a hard enough time getting the nerve up every time to ask people to dance with them, and I can guarantee many will be very delighted to see you clear a pathway for them to ask you back with their eyes, and they will know it's going to be an easy deal!

Sometimes they won't look back, though. This probably means NO. And that's ok! They also have the right to refuse- JUST AS YOU HAVE. You should NEVER turn against yourself by blaming yourself, and you should most especially NEVER turn it against them and call them snobby/elitist. Deflecting your pain onto others by blaming them is not the best way to have a good time in tango- for everyone involved. Most important thing to remember: you are not entitled to dances, period. Just because you're in the room does not mean people owe you a good time. That's your business to make a good time happen for you- not the other way around. And if good times still aren't happening, in spite of all your actions taken to mingle and meet people, and looking at partners to signal your desire to dance with them-and no one at all seems to know you exist- you've got to try to remain positive and remind yourself that NO ONE OWES YOU A GOOD TIME. Remember that from all that mingling, you've just made some new friends. And they very well may look to dance with you the next time you see them. That's not bad!

I have more that I'd like to share on this subject, but this post is already long- so I will save the rest of my thoughts for a later time. I just see the discussion happening around this week surrounding these subjects, and I feel the pain of those involved. And I want you to know that I've been there and I've gotten past that part. And I'm much happier now! I hope that my thoughts and experiences can help you also get past your pain. Please inbox me if you have questions- I'd really love to help those who desperately need to understand and want to enjoy instead of having bad experiences.

Please everyone- do not use this thread to argue your opinions on cabeceo. Or to argue at all. With all my love, I am reaching out to people who need to understand how to get past painful ruts in their tango journeys.

Love, April

And I KNOW how stinking long this post is, but I have to clarify one thing: IF YOU ARE IN A RUT AND YOU ARE FEELING BAD, READING BLOGS WILL NOT HELP YOU. Please call me, write to me, set up coffee date with me- just give me a chance to listen to you and help support you. You need help getting past this, and I want to help you.


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