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Looking to dance--or to love?

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Date:    Sun, 6 Sep 1998 11:36:53 EDT
From:    Cherie Magnus
Subject: Looking to dance--or to love?


Hi List,

Well last night I came to a realization, and it wasn't pretty.

when I wasn't looking, sometime over the summer almost everyone I usually
dance with has paired up. And when I say "paired up," I mean joined at the
hip. These couples come to the milongas, maybe 2 or 3 times a week, and only
dance with each other. That's it. Why don't they just stay home, save their
money, and dance to a CD in their living rooms?

I'm annoyed because my dance partner list is cut short. I don't understand why
people can't dance with other people, e.g., me and the other women sitting on
the sidelines. I can guarantee that I don't want to "steal" these guys away,
or sleep with them, or, God forbid, dance every dance in my life with them or
anyone else (of course I can't speak for all of the women.)

I really don't want to glom onto your boyfriends, ladies. You don't have to
glom so hard yourselves. Trust them. And have some confidence in yourself. And
gentlemen, are you really so insecure as to be jealous if your new girlfriend
dances at a milonga with other men? Love can't be put asunder by a dance.

Let's be social. And in so doing, our dancing will continue to improve by
leading/following different partners, and hopefully we'll have more fun.

Maybe the hardest thing to accept, I realized last night, was that all of
these women who have taken so many dance partners out of circulation in the
last 3 months, are blonde! Is it really true that blondes have more fun?

Just wondering.
Cherie, with auburn hair,
in Los Angeles

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Date:    Sun, 6 Sep 1998 12:38:32 -0500
From:    Dave Sherohman
Subject: Re: Looking to dance--or to love?


I suspect that Cherie's interest may have been more in venting than seeking
answers, but (as one who has approached the sort of behaviour she describes)
I may be able to offer some insight or even help a bit with the situation.

At 11:36 9/6/98 EDT, Cherie Magnus wrote:
> These couples come to the milongas, maybe 2 or 3 times a week, and only
>dance with each other. That's it. Why don't they just stay home, save their
>money, and dance to a CD in their living rooms?

A few possibilities:  Chance to see friends (even if they don't dance with
them).  Better floor.  More space.  More variety of music instead of always
the same 20 songs.  I'm sure there are other reasons out there, of course.

>I'm annoyed because my dance partner list is cut short. I don't understand why
>people can't dance with other people, e.g., me and the other women sitting on
>the sidelines.

Have they simply stopped asking anyone else to dance or are they actively
avoiding dances with others?  When I've dated within social dance circles,
my girlfriend and I have tended to be each others' 'default' dance partners.
We weren't averse to dancing with anyone else, we just didn't feel as strong
a need to ask them to dance since we would always enjoy dancing with each
other.  (And, yes, between our feelings for each other and the amount of
time we spent dancing together, we generally enjoyed dancing with each other
more than with anyone else.  But no matter how much you enjoy dancing with
one person, IMO, it gets boring to dance with just that one after a point.)

The down side of this is that, when the first of these women I dated and
danced with moved away, I found myself sitting out a _lot_ simply because I
was no longer in the habit of asking women to dance because she and I danced
about half the songs each night and other women asked me to dance the
remaining songs.  It's a very easy and very comfortable pattern to slip
into, but it has a price.

I realize that you're on the outside of this equation, but my point is that,
if their situations are like mine, these guys will probably be happy to
dance with you if you ask them to.  Of course, many women don't like asking
men to dance, but would you rather ask or sit around not dancing all night?

> I can guarantee that I don't want to "steal" these guys away,
>or sleep with them, or, God forbid, dance every dance in my life with them or
>anyone else (of course I can't speak for all of the women.)

While I doubt that this is a worry for the couples you're referring to, you
have to take into account that, for many of us, part of being in love
(especially in the early stages) is the desire to spend as much time as
possible with the loved one.  They're probably less concerned with having
you get close than they are with having to move apart themselves.

>I really don't want to glom onto your boyfriends, ladies.

Yegods, now there's a verb I haven't run across in quite a while!  Nice to
see that it still survives.

>Let's be social. And in so doing, our dancing will continue to improve by
>leading/following different partners, and hopefully we'll have more fun.

Agreed.

>Maybe the hardest thing to accept, I realized last night, was that all of
>these women who have taken so many dance partners out of circulation in the
>last 3 months, are blonde! Is it really true that blondes have more fun?

If it makes you feel any better, the woman with whom I first went through
this pattern has jet-black hair.  The one blonde I've dated was the only
partner I didn't do this with.

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Date:    Sun, 6 Sep 1998 15:14:50 PDT
From:    rosita marie
Subject: Re: Looking to dance--or to love?


 Cherie wrote:

>Hi List,
>
>Well last night I came to a realization, and it wasn't pretty.
>when I wasn't looking, sometime over the summer almost everyone I
>usually dance with has paired up. And when I say "paired up,"
>I mean joined at the hip. These couples come to the milongas,
>maybe 2 or 3 times a week, and onlydance with each other. That's it.
>Why don't they just stay home, save their money, and dance to a
>CD in their living rooms?


Maybe because after a week of working long hours, not seeing each other,
and dealing with the day to day stuff that makes life so mundane, it's
nice to get dressed up and escape from home to the milonga. There they
can spend hours in each others arms, and get carried away by the
romantic music.

[snip]

>I really don't want to glom onto your boyfriends, ladies. You don't
>have to glom so hard yourselves.

 My partner and I really enjoy dancing with each other the most. We have
our favorite orchestras or songs and dancing to them with someone else
just isn't the same. It may be fun to occasionally dance with others but
not when it becomes a chore or obligation. I have witnessed women
telling my partner he "owes them" a dance or chiding him because he
hasn't danced with them lately. He says that is the one sure way to put
him out of the mood to dance with her. If it seems like were gloming,
perhaps we're just catching up on the weeks events or happy just to sit
quietly together!


>Maybe the hardest thing to accept, I realized last night, was that all of
>these women who have taken so many dance partners out of circulation in the
>last 3 months, are blonde! Is it really true that blondes have more fun?

Do they also have blue eyes??!!!!

I hope you find the partner of your dreams(I've found mine and if you
can catch his eye, smile sweetly and it's not Pugliese or Calo he may
ask you to dance!),

Rosita

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Date:    Mon, 7 Sep 1998 02:32:26 EDT
From:    Cherie Magnus
Subject: Re: Looking to dance--or to love?


 Rosita wrote:
<<I hope you find the partner of your dreams(I've found mine and if you
can catch his eye, smile sweetly and it's not Pugliese or Calo he may
ask you to dance!)>>

I'm happy for you, Rosita. But I'm not looking for an exclusive dance partner
of my dreams. I've noticed that the people who only dance with each other-and
some dance very well together--often don't dance very well with anyone else.

I don't go to the milongas to find a life partner, either. I'm looking to be
the best dancer I can be and to have the best tango experience I can. It's the
Tango that has taken me.

And to Dave Sherohman who wrote <<these guys will probably be happy to
dance with you if you ask them to.  Of course, many women don't like asking
men to dance, but would you rather ask or sit around not dancing all night?>>

No, I don't ask men to lead me around the floor. Especially not the men I used
to dance with who are now exclusively blonde-coupled. Anyway, I've found that
if someone wants to dance with me, he'll invite me. That way we both enjoy it
more. I want to dance with good dancers and people I'm comfortable with who
want to dance with me.

If not, yes Dave, I'd prefer to sit and watch. But I believe we've had this
discussion before on the List and it will never be resolved. Vive la
différence!
Let's just dance.

Cherie, with auburn hair,
in Los Angeles
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Date:    Mon, 7 Sep 1998 09:44:10 -0500
From:    Dave Sherohman
Subject: Re: Looking to dance--or to love?


At 02:32 AM 9/7/98 EDT, Cherie Magnus wrote:
>I don't go to the milongas to find a life partner, either. I'm looking to=
 be
>the best dancer I can be and to have the best tango experience I can. It's=
 the
>Tango that has taken me.

Side point:  While I hope that nobody goes to milongas (or practicas or
classes) with the specific intent of finding a MOTAS to hook up with, there
are those of us who are so involved in tango that dating someone who isn't
at least interested in learning to dance isn't a realistic option, if only
because of time constraints.  If they already dance well and share the
passion for the dance, well...  (Not to mention that when there's a >50%
chance that you'll be dancing tango on any given night, where else are you
going to meet people?)

>And to Dave Sherohman who wrote <<these guys will probably be happy to
>dance with you if you ask them to.  Of course, many women don't like asking
>men to dance, but would you rather ask or sit around not dancing all=
 night?>>
>
>No, I don't ask men to lead me around the floor. Especially not the men I=
 used
>to dance with who are now exclusively blonde-coupled. Anyway, I've found=
 that
>if someone wants to dance with me, he'll invite me.

As I mentioned in yesterday's message on this topic, there have been times
in my dancing life when I could have just as easily said, "...if someone
wants to dance with me, SHE'll invite me."  Does this mean that I didn't
want to dance with the women I didn't ask?  No.  Does it mean that the women
who didn't ask me to dance didn't want to dance with me?  No.  It just meant
that I was in a habit of dancing with one particular person.  This habit
didn't bother me, so I didn't make the effort of breaking out of it.  And I
can assure you that when I did dance with someone else, regardless of which
of us did the asking, we both enjoyed it greatly.

> That way we both enjoy it more.

Uh-huh.  So if you ask him, you enjoy it less, but if he asks you, he enjoys
it more.  Sorry, but your logic eludes me on this one.  (Not to mention that
my personal experience is that I generally enjoy being asked to dance by
women more than I enjoy asking them to dance.  And the if dance itself is
any different between the two cases (which I doubt), I would expect to dance
better when she asks me because, as you know, it feels good to have someone
want to dance with you enough to ask.)

>If not, yes Dave, I'd prefer to sit and watch.

Then you have made your choice.  It is unfortunate that you find it so
unpleasant.

> But I believe we've had this
>discussion before on the List and it will never be resolved. Vive la
>différence!
>Let's just dance.

Of course it won't.  I doubt that anyone could sway your position and I am
not trying to do so, even though it may look like it.  I may (and do)
dispute the reasons you give for why you don't ask men to dance, but I
suspect that the only reason which really matters is that you don't like to
do it.  And I wouldn't argue that point with you even if I thought I had a
chance of changing your mind.

And if I ever find myself in LA, I'll be sure to ask you to dance.

Anyhow, I hope I haven't left any dangling ends on this message, since a
trip to Buenos Aires (my first) will prevent me from responding until next
week.  See you all when I get back!

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Date:    Mon, 7 Sep 1998 11:43:35 EDT
From:    Cherie Magnus
Subject: Re: Looking to dance--or to love?


I just gotta respond to this:

<<h-huh.  So if you ask him, you enjoy it less, but if he asks you, he enjoys
it more.  Sorry, but your logic eludes me on this one.  (Not to mention that
my personal experience is that I generally enjoy being asked to dance by
women more than I enjoy asking them to dance.  And the if dance itself is
any different between the two cases (which I doubt), I would expect to dance
better when she asks me because, as you know, it feels good to have someone
want to dance with you enough to ask.)>>


How very fair and unisex! I suppose then, the woman leads you most of the
time. I myself don't lead. This isn't disco we're talking about, but Tango!

Sorry, one reason of so many that I like tango, is the macho code, so hard to
find in the U.S. I like the man to approach me, lead me strongly and
confidently around the floor in a good tango, return me to my table. That's
what happens in Buenos Aires, and that's what I like.

It's worth waiting for. But to tell you the truth, I really don't have to wait
too long most evenings, just the occasional rocky holiday weekends.

Cherie

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Date:    Mon, 7 Sep 1998 12:27:31 EDT
From:    Janis Kenyon
Subject: Re: Looking to dance--or to love?


In a message dated 98-09-07 02:35:06 EDT, Cherie Magnus wrote:

<< Anyway, I've found that
 if someone wants to dance with me, he'll invite me. That way we both enjoy it
 more. I want to dance with good dancers and people I'm comfortable with who
 want to dance with me.
  >>

I agree with Cherie.  If I were to invite a man to dance with me, he might
feel an obligation to have a "token" dance with me.  But if he invites me, I
know that he wants to dance with me.  If we both enjoy the dancing, all the
better.

My regular tango partner returned recently from two months in Buenos Aires to
study and dance in the milongas.  Marcelo was being asked to dance by the
girls in Buenos Aires because he is handsome, a good dancer and only 12 years
old.  He knows that it is his decision who he dances with and when.  He
doesn't like being asked to dance.

I have been to Buenos Aires four times.  It is clear that the man invites the
woman to dance.  I like it that way.  Yes, there are times when I want to
dance but am not asked.  I maintain the attitude that I'm HERE in Buenos Aires
and I can enjoy the music and dancers even if I'm not on the dance floor with
the partner of my dreams who it taking me to tango heaven.

Janis Kenyon

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Date:    Wed, 9 Sep 1998 03:26:03 +0300
From:    "Jari Aalto+list.tango"
Subject: Re: Looking to dance--or to love?


|Mon 1998-09-07 Cherie Magnus <MACFroggy@AOL.COM> list.tango
| I just gotta respond to this:
|
| <<h-huh. So if you ask him, you enjoy it less, but if he asks you, he
| enjoys it more. Sorry, but your logic eludes me on this one. (Not to
| mention that my personal experience is that I generally enjoy being asked
| to dance by women more than I enjoy asking them to dance. And the if
| dance itself is any different between the two cases (which I doubt), I
| would expect to dance better when she asks me because, as you know, it
| feels good to have someone want to dance with you enough to ask.)>>
|
| Sorry, one reason of so many that I like tango, is the macho code, so hard to
| find in the U.S. I like the man to approach me, lead me strongly and
| confidently around the floor in a good tango, return me to my table. That's
| what happens in Buenos Aires, and that's what I like.

Culture

        Natuarally it's question about one's preferences, but I think it is
        as much cultural and habbit thing too. It would be quite the
        opposite if Women were askin men to dance in Argentina, because
        they have different culture and civil code than what US-Europe-like
        cultures. Well, A better comparision might be Spanish-Latin
        American vs. {I can't find the word, but you know the opposite}.

        In Nordic countries the equality between Men an Women has been on
        the table and respected amongst both sides for a fairly long time.
        This also reflects the way women and Men behave at least here in
        Finland. I know that even in the US, Women expect that Men open
        doors and that Men are supposed to pay the bill and that women
        aren't supposed to go out without make up, or even tan herself
        without "lookign good" (I'm drawing caricatyres here). I believe in
        assumption that Spanish cultures has the strongest man/woman code,
        and US still has some of it, but it is least visible here in Nordic
        countries. Sweden in ahead of Finland and then comes Norway,
        Denmark is bit different because it's so close to Holland and
        Europe.

Local folklore danca barns or dance restaurants

        If you go to a dance barn, It makes no difference who it taking you
        to dance. There usually is one/two Women's hours, for only Women to
        choose Men and rest of the night is "Men's first"

        But Then there is days in dance places solely for "Women's turn",
        where men are not supposed to initiate the invitation to dance,
        unless the dance has already begun and "him" has not been taken
        into floor. Then Man can go and ask a Woman to dance. It's kinda
        "ladies first" day.

        Usually if you hit an eye on somebody, you sure should keep hurry
        or the other 20 take him/her.

        If you go sit on your place and look cool for waiting the
        macho/fminine partner to pick you you, you better be very good
        dancer to afford to that kind of luxury!

Tango places

        There are so few place in Finland to dance tango that there
        virtually is no dance code, Everybody are mostly dancing with their
        regular partners, because it's the easiest, but Men or Women can
        ask anyone to the dance floor, so the Finnish Folklore style
        invitation style is also used in Argentine Dancing.

        Yes! There are women that are more confident with themself, who do
        fear asking men to dance and there is others who want to saty back
        and expect men to pick them instead, but the general style here is
        what I described.

Jari

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Garrit Fleischmann Sep.98
Email: kontakt(at)cyber-tango.com