"You dance well, you are pretty…".
Tango in Amsterdam: www.danstango.com
The milonga’s dance floor II
The proposal is to re-establish the milonga as a space for social encounter, not a place to show one’s dance; also to see if we can understand the reasons for a certain chaos that takes place during the “peak hours”. We continue the debate with Graciela González, Elina Roldán, Vilma Vega, Fernando Galera and Ramiro Gigliotti on diverse aspects of the subject.
Dancing tango is primarily an intimate situation between two people who, at the same time, co-exist in that space with many other couples. The issue is to share the dance floor with care and respect. Though it is very pleasant to watch others dance, the main objective is to meet and commune with another person in the same experience. Tango is the most intimate dance that exists between two people. What has changed in the last decade is that dancing tango has become more associated to a profession. Previously, it was basically a form of social encounter. Given the number of new professional dancers, at times the milonga is used as a place to show oneself. We do not speak of special exhibitions by dance couples, but of collective dancing. It is true that young people have great enthusiasm and energy, but, in certain cases, professional eagerness is added to this mix and we see steps only appropriate for an exhibition on a very crowded dance floor. This causes difficulties for its good operation. We are thankful for the proliferation of prácticas, where the dancers can test complex figures at leisure. There are no cortinas or tandas or strict codes, just space, music and freedom.
What women want: In most cases, an embrace that provides good support is much more important to them than many complex steps. The magnetism generated between the two torsos is all that is needed for dancing. Women are focused on being a foil for the man. They are thankful when he is careful, and does not lead steps that require movements larger than the room that the couple has available at any given moment. They do not need the man to show them all the steps that he knows. For many of them, just to travel through the dance floor in an embrace is enough.
What men want: They celebrate being trusted and allowed to lead. They expect that the position of the woman’s arms will not block their lead and that, in spite of giving themselves to the embrace, women will not lose their axis; that when they do embellishments they will continue to be aware, and not take too much time. Since men have to handle an infinity of situations at the same time, above all they have to calculate the movements of those around them so as to flow with them and continue to advance.
And what we all want is to please our partner of the moment. That is what it is all about. One of the greater successes of the structure that a milonga has—division into tandas—is the possibility to change and choose a new partner and to live with each one a unique experience. Besides, a recent slogan rightly said: ”You dance well, you are pretty…”.•
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