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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Friday Night Tango

When you were in junior high and high school, did you go to the dances? Wondering if someone would ever ask you to dance...wondering if you were dressed right, if you were cute enough, if you hanging out with the right kids? School dances (to me) seemed an exercise in psychological torture.

Luckily the tango dance scene for me does not cause traumatic flashbacks of the dance scene at Castillero Junior High and Pioneer High School. Ah, San Jose public schools...

But I digress. And I do kind of have a point.

As much as I do not regress to teenage angst at these milongas, the subculture of the tango world can be equally mystifying to the novice and not-so-novice dancers. But now I think I have a sense of humor about it. A little.

This past Friday, I went to a milonga in Diamond Heights. It's one I've enjoyed before and wanted to go back to but somehow never got a chance in past months. It was a densely foggy night, even by San Francisco standards. The mist and coolness of the air only added to my happiness of being there. I got there early enough to take the class, which is something I normally don't do. I made some nice connections and had my second experience dancing with P., a young quiet woman who is working very hard on her lead. We laughed a lot and I'm sure I was messing her up. I'm not used to dancing with a woman, let alone a petite one who feels very fragile. I was afraid I might fall on her.

I was glad to see that some people had arrived for the dance that I haven't seen in a long time. I got to dance with Mr. Big (any of you who've watched a few episodes of Sex and the City will know what I mean) until the better dancers showed, and I was cast aside. But I expected that, and was happy for the dances I got early on. Nothing personal there. Several other guys I enjoy dancing with were there, especially one who has been absent on my tango dance card for a few months now. For reasons I don't know, but let's just say I'm glad he noticed me again.

But then there's the other one, who is seeming a little more and more, oh...I don't know how to say this correctly: bi-polar.

It used to be that I danced with this guy, lovely tandas, at every single milonga, for months. And then he wasn't around for a few weeks. And then I would see him again and he would act like he just met me, which was odd. And then the next time, he would act like he couldn't live without me. And back and forth. Now it's just silly. I don't even want him to bother coming near me. I even went as so far to pretend I was talking on my cell phone just to get away from him.

And I thought I was done with junior high school...

Today I found a post on Tango Love and Other Demons, a tango site that is now a favorite of mine, which carefully explains the various species of the Tanguero. I have to say, it's spot on.

PS. The lovely image above is taken from some vintage sheet music that dear MJ bought me while we were in BsAs last year. The picture hangs near my vanity where I can see it every day and has everything I love: Paris and Tango!