Monday, January 28, 2008

Tango Police

Most of us are aware of the tango codas. I would like to discuss one in particular - that of dancing only one tanda per partner and then clearing the dance floor during the cortina. This is a wonderful rule that is widely practiced in Bs As and partially practiced here in NYC. By partially I mean that it is very rare for NYers to clear the dancefloor but for the most part they enjoy changing partners frequently. For many years, I observed both parts of this coda but these days I often prefer to dance deep into the night with the same partner(s). There are others who prefer to do the same. Not everyone wants to CHANGE PARTNERS at the drop of a cortina. I firmly believe that rules are made to be broken but my concern and frankly objection is that it has now come to my attention THE WAY in which this coda is being broken.
I have been informed that some men use tricks to hold a coveted female dancer during the cortina. By tricks, I mean the use of clever dialogue and repartee, the telling of an engaging story to distract the unsuspecting and polite fairer of the species until the next tanda begins and he immediately dances her away. I have even witnessed this technique myself first hand. It was practiced on my by a woman who also clasped my forearms and held my gaze while telling me a bit of compelling gossip during the cortina. I found myself trapped at the end and forced to continue dancing with her. By tricks, I mean handcuffing and sealing the partner in an oversized Leche Can filled with water and then locked inside a wooden chest. The poor woman, being no Houdini is forced to hold her breath until the announcements and exhibition signal her release. One should not have to be a good escape artist to end a dance. If the lady wants to leave your arms, you need to behave like a gentleman and let her go. You know how the saying goes: If you love to dance with her, set her free. If she looks for your cabeceo again , she's yours. If she doesn't, she never was.
I myself practice the estilo of making an inquiry at the start of each cortina to find out whether the lady would like to continue with me into the next tanda. I want to make sure she is having as good a time as I. I want the feeling to be mutual. Not forced. Or continued out of politeness.
So, now these dirty tricks have been exposed. Please discontinue the practice of them. It will be better to spend your time with more simple virtues like developing the connection and musicality of your dance - for only then will she beg to stay in your arms.

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