A matter of attitude

I have observed foreigners in the milongas of Buenos Aires for years.  There are those who adapt to the customs and blend in like someone who dances regularly.   Others stand out especially in the way they dance.  Many foreigners have the general impression that it is difficult to break into the milonga scene here.  Here are some recent observations.

A woman returned last month for her second visit.  She enjoyed milongas I recommended last year, so she decided to attend the same ones.   Our paths crossed in Lo de Celia and Gricel several times.  She occasionally danced a tanda or two with partners who remembered her.  After a few hours each night, I saw her leaving the milonga.  While the women seated around her were dancing all the time, she sat slouched in her chair.

Another woman I met last year recently returned for her third visit.  I noticed her when I arrived at my table and went over to greet her.  I could tell that she was happy to be here to dance.  She sat forward in her chair anticipating the cabeceo from someone across the room.  Every time I looked over to her table, her chair was empty.  This was only her second time dancing in Lo de Celia, but she was dancing as much as any regular dancer.  She told me she was going home to give her feet a rest.  She enjoyed herself and left happy. 

The difference boils down to attitude.  You can be a good dancer, but no one will dance with you unless you have the right attitude.


3 Responses to “A matter of attitude”

  1. tangobob Says:

    Exactly Jan
    I meet women who say they do not get a dance because they are too old, too ugly, not good enough. To get men to dance all you need is a willing smile and a good attitude.
    All I want from a woman is for her to enjoy dancing with me.

  2. jantango Says:

    It is sad that the women listen to the ego making all those excuses. If we listen to the ego long enough, we learn to believe what it says rather than what is really true about each of us.

    I know there are lots of men who share your reason for dancing.

  3. Michael Says:

    At least in Buenos Aires, the women actively look for a partner, using cabeceo, in a well lit room. In the United States, milongas are just about pitch black so you can forget the cabeceo unless you shoot up a flare. Women just sit in a catatonic state waiting for a hypnotist to come up to ask them to dance by saying “when I snap my fingers, you will awaken to dance.” Most American women just wait to be asked and make no effort to find a partner. They never think to look around the room during a tanda and see if there is man who wants to dance. When you fly, the attendants say “your nearest exit might be behind you.” Well, the same thing applies to tangueros. They might be behind the woman.

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