Do you want to sit or dance?

An American friend who shared my table in Lo de Celia sent this email during her three-month visit:

I’d like to give this tiniest piece of advice (normally I don’t give advice unless asked for it so you can delete this immediately if you don’t want to hear it).

I wish you would dance with more men at the milongas other than just the “best” dancers.  I think you are missing out on a chance to maybe get to know someone really wonderful.  Like that handsome man I danced with at Nuevo Chique.  He wasn’t a great dancer–just a passable dancer–but I looked into his eyes and saw a very kind man who might be looking for someone to love.   They are not all rascals.  But if you only dance with the best you miss all the others. 

I know how you feel about dancing versus sitting in the milongas.  You don’t have the opportunity to dance every day of the week for hours at home.  You and I don’t get to talk much at the table because you dance every tanda, and that’s wonderful.  You came to Buenos Aires to gain more confidence as a new social dancer.

My situation is different.  I live in Buenos Aires, and I have danced all my life.  I don’t need to dance every tanda.  I enjoy listening to the music and watching the dancers.  I prefer quality over quantity, not just in tango, but everything in my life.  One tanda with a milonguero viejo is enough to satisfy me for the night.  I’ve danced my share of unsatisfying tandas in 13 years.


4 Responses to “Do you want to sit or dance?”

  1. Lilly Says:

    “He wasn’t a great dancer–just a passable dancer–but I looked into his eyes and saw a very kind man who might be looking for someone to love.” Hahahaha. I guess some women still fall for that in the milongas, huh. 🙂
    I wonder if the lady come to Buenos Aires to look for someone who would love her, too…

  2. jantango Says:

    Dancing is one of the nicest ways to meet. In 1939, Edward met Marjorie at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. They married in 1941, and I was born in 1948.

  3. T Says:

    I suspect people think I’m being a miserable git if I don’t dance at a milonga. Sod it, I like watching the people on the floor and letting the music wash over me. If the music inspires me to dance and there’s someone available I think would suit the music, I’ll dance.

    I still ask myself if I should feel guilty towards the women who sit patiently for a dance.. perhaps because I somewhat do.

    Increasingly I seem to be asked verbally to dance by women.. Perhaps I should learn to say no.

  4. jantango Says:

    The next time a woman asks you to dance with her, say this: Would you like to dance with someone who dances for the sake of dancing and isn’t inspired by the music? If she says no, tell her you feel the same way and wait for music that makes you want to dance.

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