Bailarina No. 6458

During my second visit to Buenos Aires in March 1997, I went to the milonga in Club Almagro on Medrano where a stout gentleman invited me to dance a tanda of Osvaldo Pugliese. Afterwards, he escorted me to my table and asked me to write my name on a piece of paper. He then gave me a small scrap of paper with a number on it. No, it wasn’t his telephone number. It was a number given to me as dancer No. 6458. I asked the woman with whom I was seated about the significance of this number. She told me that he is an accountant by profession and is keeping a record of the women with whom he dances in the milongas in a checkbook register.
In 2001, this same man—David Derman—gave me one of the cards he had printed to give to his dance partners with these words: You will always be registered in my heart for me not only as a name or a number. You will have this memory from one who deeply appreciates to have shared these minutes of dance in which we left the material world and we introduced our toes in the kingdom of emotion and joy that we call tango. Thanks for dancing with me. David referred to his register for 1997 and found my name and number.
One September evening, he parked his car on Riobamba in front of El Beso before going to dance. He never entered. David’s dance partners numbered around 7,600. His goal was 10,000, but he wasn’t given the years to accomplish it. He loved tango and jazz.
David Derman   —   April 9, 1933—September 4, 2002

Previously posted on October 3, 2002 to Tango-L

David danced with Sally Potter in “The Tango Lesson.”  See a clip


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2 Responses to “Bailarina No. 6458”

  1. Irene Ho Says:

    Dear Janis,

    That is a beautiful account of a beautiful gesture by a milonguero who truly appreciated his partners and relished this divine dance we call Tango. But Senor Derman is not the only one that has done something to celebrate the people he has had the good fortune to encounter and dance with. You, through your writing and your blog, have also done the same. Thanks for posting this.


  2. Colin Brace Says:

    I have a picture of him online, taken at Canning:

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