[Tango-L] Mario goes to the milonga tonight.

Sergio Vandekier sergiovandekier990 at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 27 09:36:18 EST 2008

Mario goes to the milonga tonight and has some program in mind:    my comments are intended to be helpful and are given with humility, knowing that there may be several answers to the same question.

1. I will not drink any tequilla tonight.

Great idea, if you drink alcohol you will have problems with your equilibrium. A.T. has a narrow base and equilibrium can be a problem for the beginner.

 2. I will never square a step, no milonga boxes.

The direction of the steps in tango is similar to those of fox-trot.   Forward, backward or sideways.  There are no diagonal steps.  You always point with your body in the direction of the move : your chest faces a forward step, your side a side one or your back a backward step.  I do not know what you mean by not squaring a step.

3. I will not dance my follow starts to think of 'bills she has to pay'I will pause instead. 

She may keep her mind someplace else during the pause as well.  It is better to finish the tango and kindly take her back to her seat.

4. I will pay attention to the beat and dance to it and nothing else. 

I am sorry to say, it is not that easy: You will need to : feel the music, decide what you wish to do with that perception, (an artistic interpretation of that feeling through your dancing),  communicate to you partner what your wish her to do, (you lead), you feel her response to your dancing proposals, and establish a rapport with her, you do not lead anything that she may be unable to understand or to follow, then you are aware of the other dancers around you, so that you navigate the floor properly, without disturbing them, avoiding collisions and protecting your partner.

5. I will bend slightly forward at the waste.

You do not bend at the waist. You lean forward with your whole body, starting at your ankles.

 6. I will lead with my chest and project feeling the song thru the embrace.

Very good for starters.  In time you will learn to use other parts of your body to lead or complete complex leads.

7. I will watch videos of Robert Hauk and Alberto Dasseau before the dance.

Very good.  You should learn to dance from those that you admire.  In time you may want to observe videos of different  dancers to get an idea of all the possibilities and tango styles.

 8. I will dance with each of the gang-of-four (complainers).

Are you masochistic?

9. I will ask them after each dance if there was a moment of Foxtrot.if they say 'yes' ..I will ask them to 'please, explain.'if they say 'no'... I will ask them what else was 'wrong'. 

Women in general are followers (few are also leaders), their perspective of tango is from the followers point of view. They dance with many men and may be able to tell you what is different in you, that they do not like (things may feel wrong to them but they might not be able to tell you what is that causes that feeling).  You can get lots of benefit from being corrected and taught by a good male tango dancer. (or a woman leader?). 

10. I will not dance the Milongas nor Vals's ..(no one complains about them.)

Why not? Milongas and valses are a lot of fun to dance. If you do not get complains, this should be an encouragement for you to do them more and not less .

11. I will sacrifice my 'having fun' to the rigor and seriousness of Tango pain.

There is no pain involved in dancing tango , it is some sort of different joy, that finds its expression inside of you rather than outside. This intense pleasure at could  climax into what has been described as "a magical moment" some form of self hypnosis. 

In time you will be very selective with those that you dance with because tango dancing could be a pain when danced with the wrong person.

But whatever you do, have a great time. You seem to have "muy buena onda" (a great personality) so I am sure women will put up with any minor mistakes on your part.

Best wishes, Sergio.

Mar del Plata - Argentina

I am flying   to Buenos Aires, on Sunday - Can hardly wait.:)
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