Cybertango The three dance rule


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Asking for a dance with eye contact

Enjoy
Garrit

Larry E Carroll
FRSASSON
Alexis Cousein
Jean-won Chao
Susan Dees
Tom Stermitz
Jacques Gauthier
Valerie
Nina - La Vampiresa
Stephen P. Brown
JC Dill
Walter M. Kane
Bruss Bowman
Nina - La Vampiresa
Garrit Fleischmann
Laurie Moseley
Stephen Zisk
Laurie Moseley
Jacques Gauthier
Nancy Ingle


Date:    Wed, 7 Jan 1998 20:06:11 -0800
From:    Larry E Carroll
Subject: The Three-Dance Rule

Six or eight months ago a woman moved here: a good dancer, likable,
attractive. A few weeks ago she asked me why no-one would dance with her
except me and someone else.

At first I didn't understand what she meant, then I thought back to the
last few dance parties and remembered seeing her sitting down a lot. This
wasn't the situation when she first moved here; she'd been very popular.
That had changed so gradually that I hadn't noticed. I told her I didn't
know but I'd think about it.

After casually asking a few men if they liked dancing with her and
letting my subconscious work on the problem for two or three weeks, I
came up with the following possible answer. How true it is, I'm not sure,
but it reassured her enough so that she felt comfortable approaching some
of the men who'd danced with her in the past and regained the popularity
she'd had.

Besides myself she'd danced with a man who will dance all evening with a
woman if he likes her and this man had danced with her a lot. This woman
was too nice to say no to him, so she'd come into conflict with  the
Three-Dance Rule -- if a woman dances three dances in a row with a man
everyone assumes she belongs to him.

I say that rather than "they belong to each other" because I think at the
heart of this is something very primitive that shortcuts the thinking of
even the most modern and enlightened of us. Something created by millions
of years of bilogical evolution and thousands of years of social
evolution -- the rule that you don't mess with a man's mate (publically
anyway) if you value your life and limb and social status. It didn't
matter that everyone knows this man is happily married to a woman who
doesn't dance, nor
that this new woman had never showed any signs of being romantically
interested in him.

But there's more to it than that. I'm not sure of all factors but one
seems clear. Men don't like to be rejected or to dance with someone they
suspect WANTS to reject them. If a woman dances with a man a lot the
presumption is she likes him more than anyone else, or likes his style
more.

Why is THREE dances the black-magic number? Again I'm not sure; it just
seems to be the case. Maybe it's the old principle: once is an accident,
twice could be coincidence, three is a plan.

What do you think?
                        Larry de Los Angeles
                        http://world.std.com/~larrydla


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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 00:04:32 EST
From:    FRSASSON
Subject: Fwd: The Three-Dance Rule

Larry:

I don't think that 3 dances is the magic number, and I agree with you that the
woman is to blame for not saying no to someone who wants to dance with her all
evening.

However, in deference and defense of some well educated, well brought up
ladies who don't know how to say NO, ----  the short term and long term memory
of some of us men is deplorable as well. Wasn't that the same lady who not
long ago was just learning and was trying every trick in her book to get some
of the good dancers to take her to the dance floor?

Sure she was, and now when some handsome tanguero wants to pay her all the
compliments in the world by dancing with her all night, how can she say NO?

How does she know the problems that this will cause her in the future?

And in regards to the insensitive men,  (all of us, I've been there and done
that)
The unfortunate part is that there are no rules, The rules of politeness and
good upbringing should be law, and the only way to enforce them is to
communicate among the men, the need to have every lady in their group dancing
and happy,
because if not, pretty soon, the men will again , and still are, dancing among
themselves and with eachother.



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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 10:50:15 +0100
From:    Alexis Cousein
Subject: Re: The Three-Dance Rule

Larry E Carroll wrote:
>
> Six or eight months ago a woman moved here: a good dancer, likable,
> attractive. A few weeks ago she asked me why no-one would dance with her
> except me and someone else.

My future wife has about the same problem, but only worse -- I break the
Three Dances Rule *and* am romantically involved with her. We met while
on a tango gig. Everyone in the local tango scene has always seen us
together (5-6 years now). I must say that it's become *very* hard for
her to appear at a milonga and get many others to dance with her while
I'm there. That started even when she *was* one of the better followers
around.

Sadly, that has dampened the appeal of the dance to her to such a degree
that she rarely dances (well, she's pregnant, and of course, that
doesn't help either). And the fact that her appearances become more rare
doesn't really induce many leaders to ask her too much either...
--
Alexis Cousein


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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 10:57:36 -0800
From:    Jean-won Chao
Subject: Re: The Three-Dance Rule

        This is my personal preference when it comes to the "Three-Dance Rule".
For me, three dances are barely enough for me to spend with any of my favorite
dance partners.  It takes one or two to get truly comfortable with each other's
balance and styles.  I need time to relax.  The third dance is usually the
dance where I'm dancing the most instinctively and moving in sync with my
partner and music.  Is it my fault if I would like to prolong the state as long
as possible with maybe a 4th or 5th dance?

        However, that doesn't always happen.  Even some of my favorite partners
leave me after only one or two dances.  It is their choice.  Sometimes I
initiate the end of the set after only one or two. But that is also my choice.

        Why such short sets?  Maybe our styles don't mesh.  Maybe one of us is
having a bad night and is trying to save the other from an abysmal experience.
Maybe one dislikes the way the other does... that there is no saving the dance
but to leave. Maybe there's a jealous significant other watching intently and
it's best to end the set before World War III starts.  Maybe for one of us,
one or two dances is all s/he will dance with anyone at one time. Who knows?
We just thank each other and search for a different partner for the next tango.

        Thoughts from the SF Bay Area...
        -Jean


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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 14:30:53 EST
From:    Susan Dees
Subject: Three Dance Rule

It may not be applicable to Tango, but I believe that in the past dancing with
a particular partner more than three times was considered a social no-no. At a
young woman's debut dancing more than three dances with a partner was almost
the equivalent of an engagement announcement or, if that didn't come to pass,
it could be interpreted that the young woman was somewhat fast.

As to the woman who doesn't get to dance as often as should would like, if she
is comfortable with it and if the tango community has as one of it's norms -
then I would suggest she ask the men to dance... or offer to help new
followers learn .... Perhaps, inadvertantly, a barrier has been created that
seems to put her out of reach as a partner and she can break it with her own
actions.

Susan Dees

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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 12:37:43 -0700
From:    Tom Stermitz
Subject: Re: The Three-Dance Rule

>Six or eight months ago a woman moved here: a good dancer, likable,
>attractive. A few weeks ago she asked me why no-one would dance with her
>except me and someone else.
>
>At first I didn't understand what she meant, then I thought back to the
>last few dance parties and remembered seeing her sitting down a lot. This
>wasn't the situation when she first moved here; she'd been very popular.
>That had changed so gradually that I hadn't noticed. I told her I didn't
>know but I'd think about it.
..
>Why is THREE dances the black-magic number? Again I'm not sure; it just
>seems to be the case. Maybe it's the old principle: once is an accident,
>twice could be coincidence, three is a plan.
>
>What do you think?
>                        Larry de Los Angeles
>                        http://world.std.com/~larrydla


You may have a point.

But, three dances doesn't seem at all right for the tango. That would only
add up to one short set (tanda). The shortest sets we do here are
occasionally two milongas, and we'll sometimes play five tangos in a row.
Perhaps you should consider three sets of tangos to be a sign of
attachement, if that really is an indicator as you are suggesting.

I know that many of the North American communities play individual songs.
This seems really strange to me given that it takes one or two songs to
feel the mood or passion or skill of your partner at that time. The
environment of a milonga in which the DJ jumps from song to song without
the structure of clear set may contribute to your friend's problem.

Recently in New York, I found the lack of sets to be particularly
disturbing. It made it very confusing about when to change partners or wen
to stop dancing with a particular partner, which is a scattered or
confusing social environment. Here we only do it at our practices, but it
is okay if a practice is more broken up.

The DJ bears considerable responsibility for the social environment,
including managing the sets.

Tom Stermitz


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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 15:21:37 -0500
From:    Jacques Gauthier
Subject: Re: Three Dance Rule

>It may not be applicable to Tango, but I believe that in the past dancing
with
>a particular partner more than three times was considered a social no-no.

Also, i consider it a social no-no to show up with a date and end up
dancing most of the evening with someone else.  (If both get to dance
with their friends it's no problem but if one ends up sitting down not
dancing it's a no-no.)  One's date shouldn't be treated as a "spare tire".


>As to the woman who doesn't get to dance as often as should would like, if she
>is comfortable with it and if the tango community has as one of it's norms-
>then I would suggest she ask the men to dance... or offer to help new
>followers learn .... Perhaps, inadvertantly, a barrier has been created that
>seems to put her out of reach as a partner and she can break it with her own
>actions.

I think a lot of men are flattered to be asked by a woman to dance.

Jacques G.


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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 12:16:10 -0800
From:    Valerie
Subject: Re: Three Dance Rule

>
> It may not be applicable to Tango, but I believe that in the past dancing with
> a particular partner more than three times was considered a social no-no. At a
> young woman's debut dancing more than three dances with a partner was almost
> the equivalent of an engagement announcement or, if that didn't come to pass,
> it could be interpreted that the young woman was somewhat fast.
>

I have read that in Regency England, to dance with the same partner three
times in an evening was to announce your intention to marry.  If the
gentleman did not show up to ask her father's permission the very next
day, he was labelled a cad.


Valerie

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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 13:50:56 MST
From:    La Vampiresa
Subject: Re: Three Dance Rule

Valerie wrote:

>I have read that in Regency England, to dance with the same partner three
>times in an evening was to announce your intention to marry.  If the
>gentleman did not show up to ask her father's permission the very next
>day, he was labelled a cad.

How interesting!  Then, perhaps, is there a chance that we are too casual in
our approach to how many tandas we dance with whom?

I have noticed that in other dance communities, such as vintage dance,
people rarely say no to an invitation, treat every dance as just another
dance, and make no big deal when they dance with one partner all evening, or
ignoring their regular partner.  It is all treated very lightly, nothing is
a big deal in the end.

The words for the idea I am trying to put forward do not seem to roll of my
tongue at the moment. Perhaps, to apply similar casual approach to our
budding tango communities would be a mistake.  Looking back at the historic
perspective of what number of dances with one partner meant, would suggest a
degree of intimacy we in the world of tango are well aware of.  But, we do
not have cultural social codes which would guide people's behavior.  Such
codes would allow people to communicate with each other and the world in
what I find to be a rather graceful way.  To dance two, three or many more
tandas in one evening with one partner would mean a lot.  It would be a
clear intentional communication that this partner is well liked by the
other, that things are special between people.  If this is the code, then no
one is confused.  Everyone involved would know right away that these people
danced so many tandas with each other by choice, not because no one else was
available.

The reason why dancing with one partner today many times in one evening
would not mean engagement is because over time we became much more free with
the allocation of resources, including mating.  But freedom does not mean we
should be casual.

A quote by Oscar Wilde come to mind: "Familiarity breeds contempt... and
children."

Perhaps, familiarity with dance partners should not be treated casually.
Many of us dance in new communities, without old traditions.  As we develop
our codes of communication, we must be careful with recognizing special
things, like an opportunity to dance many times a night with our most
favorite partners.

Another thought comes to mind.  I have noticed that we often treat people
closest to us worse than others.  I am noticing this to be true in tango as
well.  If one has a regular partner of their choice, they often begin to
take each other for granted.  Because regular partners practice with each
other a lot, at a milonga one or both of them suddenly feel compelled to
dance with others more, sort of making rounds, while ignoring their regular
partner or music that may be special to them both.  This cannot be addressed
between people in words, as the reason would always speak louder than
anything saying "But we already dance a lot together!".  What I am talking
about is not a rule, just something that happens, and things like it leave a
thick, gooey residue which is hard to remove in its entirety.  I am sure
there are many other examples where a social environment, or enjoyment of an
evening by a person, is tampered by a lack of a precisely designed for tango
social code.

Any other thoughts out there on the subject?

My Best Regards to All,

Nina



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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 16:27:29 +0000
From:    "Stephen P. Brown"
Subject: Re[2]: Three Dance Rule

     Here are a few ideas about why there is less switching of partners in
     Argentine tango than other dances.

     1)  Traditions from Buenos Aires--in which one danced primarily with
     friends, family and a few others from the neighborhood.

     2)  The intimacy and sense of personal communication is greater in
     Argentine tango than most other dances.

     3)  Height differences can be more important in Argentine tango than
     other dances.

     4)  The complexity of Argentine tango permits a greater sorting of
     partners by ability and experience.  In fact, many of the less skilled
     dancers may be more reluctant to ask better dancers to dance.

        The city where I have observed the greatest willingness to switch
        partners has a much narrower distribution of ability than I have
        observed in any other city.

     5)  The complexity of Argentine tango and the variety of styles also
     allows the dancers to sort out by preferences or tendencies.  Perhaps
     in the case of Larry's friend, the tendencies of the men who have
     become her two regular partners might suggest that she likes to dance
     in a way that is different from what the other men like.

        On Seinfeld, Jerry once broke up with someone because he found out
        she had once dated Newman.  ;-)

     6)  The long hours required to really learn Argentine tango could mean
     that those who have learned to very well put in their hours in with a
     few partners, and those are the people with whom they are now most
     comfortable dancing.

     All of these ideas suggest that there could be a lot more at work than
     some unspoken three-dance rule, which seems to have more of a
     historical basis in England than Argentine tango.  This not to say that
     one's own body language, the body language of one's partners, and
     limiting one's dancing to only a few people might not signal a lack of
     availability.

     --Steve de Tejas


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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 14:43:45 -0800
From:    JC Dill
Subject: Re: The Three-Dance Rule

At 10:50 AM 1/8/98 +0100, Alexis Cousein wrote:
>Larry E Carroll wrote:
>>
>> Six or eight months ago a woman moved here: a good dancer, likable,
>> attractive. A few weeks ago she asked me why no-one would dance with her
>> except me and someone else.
>
>My future wife has about the same problem, but only worse -- I break the
>Three Dances Rule *and* am romantically involved with her. We met while

I think that "Three" is far too a small number, it takes perhaps five or
six dances minimum (at least 2 separate sets) per night repeated over
several nights to establish any obvious visible pattern of preference or
togetherness in a couple that isn't otherwise clearly entangled (kissing,
always sitting together, arriving and departing together, etc.)

>on a tango gig. Everyone in the local tango scene has always seen us
>together (5-6 years now). I must say that it's become *very* hard for
>her to appear at a milonga and get many others to dance with her while
>I'm there. That started even when she *was* one of the better followers
>around.
>
>Sadly, that has dampened the appeal of the dance to her to such a degree
>that she rarely dances (well, she's pregnant, and of course, that
>doesn't help either). And the fact that her appearances become more rare
>doesn't really induce many leaders to ask her too much either...

IMHO as a follower who has been in this situation (I was married to a
dancer for several years), I say it is incumbent on such a woman to be
assertive and ASK other men to dance until it is firmly established in the
collective minds of the community that she wishes to dance with many
partners and not just her spouse/lover/regular partner.  Ditto for the
men/leaders.  When you (man or woman) appear as "one of a couple", it is
then incumbent on *you* to indicate your willingness to dance with others.

YMMV

jc


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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 16:06:15 -0500
From:    "Walter M. Kane"
Subject: Re: The Three-Dance Rule

The discussion so far about the 3-dance rule and related questions on the
subject of changing dance partners, is interesting, but so far emphasizes
the protocols for unattached (at least for the duration of the milonga)
females.

My wife and I are both in the fortunate position of having a "built-in"
partner. We take classes together (finally found teachers we're no longer
in a desert), practice at home together, and, at milongas, will want to
dance MOST of the dances together. MOST, but not ALL. We also want to enjoy
the social and educational benefit of dancing some of the numbers with
other partners.

Are the protocols different for married or other steady couples? They (we)
will most likely dance 3 or more consecutive numbers together. Will that
preclude other men asking the woman to dance? On the flip side, if the man
is attentive to his wife (or steady*, or date), he will not leave her
sitting without a potential partner and go and ask another woman for a
dance. In a close group of friends, this won't be a problem. But in an open
social situation, it appears that the 3-dance rule is a guarantee that a
couple that stays together for a while will be an exclusive partnership for
the entire event.

Maybe Susan's suggestion that the woman ask a man to dance is one way to
break the cycle. Any better ideas? How about a 10-dance rule for married
folks..........  ;-)   Who does the counting, anyway?


Walter

* Youngsters unfamiliar with this term can substutitute "significant
other."


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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 16:20:07 -0700
From:    Bruss Bowman
Subject: The Three-Dance Rule: Observations

Some observations on a dance number rule:

In the Bay area there is a well known dancer, Carlos, who takes it on
himself to attempt to dance with every women at any Milonga he attends.
It's been my observation that he will only dance twice with his
partners, no more, no less.  He is an excellent dancer and more
importantly very much a gentleman at the Milongas, always well dressed
and polite.

In Phoenix we were recently visited by Valorie and Alberto from San
Jose.  Alberto, ever the gentleman, danced with every woman in the room
much to their delight.

Finally, Michael Walker, arguably the finest North American Male Tango
dancer, will always dance with numerous woman through the course of an
evening, usually limiting the number of dances to two. At Columbus week
1997, he was one of the few instructors that made a point of dancing
with most of the students.

It would seem that these gentleman have a goal of creating an atmosphere
in which everyone ( followers)are welcome and cared for.  In North
America where most of our communites are in their infancy the behavior
of the aforementioned individuals is one of the best ways to enhance the
quality and size of our respective groups.  If we spend all of our time
just dancing with our favorite partners the growth ( not to mention the
friendliness )of our communites will be inhibited.

Best Regards,
Bruss


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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 16:20:12 MST
From:    La Vampiresa
Subject: Re: The Three-Dance Rule

Alexis wrote:

>>on a tango gig. Everyone in the local tango scene has always seen us
>>together (5-6 years now). I must say that it's become *very* hard for
>>her to appear at a milonga and get many others to dance with her while
>>I'm there. That started even when she *was* one of the better followers
>>around.
>>Sadly, that has dampened the appeal of the dance to her to such a degree
>>that she rarely dances (well, she's pregnant, and of course, that
>>doesn't help either). And the fact that her appearances become more rare
>>doesn't really induce many leaders to ask her too much either...

JC replied:

>IMHO as a follower who has been in this situation (I was married to a
>dancer for several years), I say it is incumbent on such a woman to be
>assertive and ASK other men to dance until it is firmly established in the
>collective minds of the community that she wishes to dance with many
>partners and not just her spouse/lover/regular partner.  Ditto for the
>men/leaders.  When you (man or woman) appear as "one of a couple", it is
>then incumbent on *you* to indicate your willingness to dance with others.

In my experience, nothing is handed to anybody in tango.  Great things that
I found that tango has to offer, like ones own development, discovering the
heart and soul of other people, and general feeling of power over ones own
destiny, must be claimed.  Tango must be claimed as ones own dance,
otherwise it just will not happen.

The men and women must claim their right to ask people to dance.  There is a
great joy in giving and receiving that kind of a compliment.  BUT... I am
often reminded by the situation, that we are dealing with at least two
genders, each biochmically different with different timing of response,
degree of politness and expectaion, and vary different needs for romance,
attention, and general woeing (did I spell this one correctly?  I love this
word as it was used in a biography to describe Rudolf Valentinos general
approach to women).

Men and women hold cards for a different scoring systems when it comes to
creating a three or five (or more or less) dance tandas.  In this, they
often have different needs.  Sometimes, a woman really needs attention of a
man she is dancing with expressed in quantity of dances.  If dances are also
of quality, the desire for quantity becomes even better understood.  But,
sometimes, a quantity will suffice with that special partner, even when
things are not  glueing.  At times, it is the man who would like more dances
when the woman is ready to say "lets dance again but later".  It is always
different, and always depends on the situation and people involved.  What I
am getting at is that it is useful to listen well, that is if you like your
partner, and give them what they need or want if you like them well enough,
without making a fuss and pursuing ones own agenda.  Sure, sometimes  I
would like to dance with someone else, but if I sense that the partner I am
dancing with is not ready for me to move on, I'll stay and be happy to do so.

I like breaking the rules when rules make no sense.  When I like my partner
(and I usually do), I would be happy to dance a three tango tanda, and then
two tangos from the next set if the music is good, and then ignore the third
one.

Just because the music is played in sets, which works extremely well for
many reasons, does not mean we should obey the set rules if they don't suit us.

Best Regards,

Nina


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Date:    Fri, 9 Jan 1998 18:56:11 +0100
From:    Garrit Fleischmann
Subject: Re: The Three-Dance Rule

Hello fellow 'Tango-lovers',

I have followed the discussion on the 'three-dance rule' with
much interest, also because it's one of the rare moments where
I can get an idea of how communication works in other tango
comunities around the world.
Here in Germany, I can't remember to have been on a milonga
where the tangos were in fact played in really separated sets.
Of cause, mostly valses and milongas are played 2 or 3 in a row,
but not really separated by a pause.

I would like to know how it is in other communities: do you have
well separated sets (by the DJ) and if yes, are there any advantages
or drawbacks connected with this kind of social behaviour?
(I know from friends that in most milongas in Buenos Aires, sets
are clearyl separated - so is this just because it was a social
convention in former times, or are there other reasons which
are still valid today?)

I for my part am very happy with a continuous flow of music, so
I and my dance partner can create our sets for ourselves.
Usualy, when I am dancing with a woman for three dances and I would
really like to have a view more dances with her, I ask her if she
would like to continue, so if she really doesn't want to, she
can easyly and politely refuse without being forced to take
the initiative.
This way, we can continue danceing together happyly and both know
that we go on because we both love to continue, and not only because
we don't dare to ask for a break.


Jean-won Chao wrote:
---- Quote----
For me, three dances are barely enough for me to spend with any of my favorite
dance partners.  It takes one or two to get truly comfortable with each other's
balance and styles.  I need time to relax.  The third dance is usually the
dance where I'm dancing the most instinctively and moving in sync with my
partner and music.  Is it my fault if I would like to prolong the state as long
as possible with maybe a 4th or 5th dance?
---- Quote ends----

I must agree with Jean. Often it takes one or two dances for both partners
to adjust to the style and the mood of the other, and you just start to
dance most comfortable on the third.
Dancing 5 or 6 tangos in a row gives you also the possibility to start
'experimenting' a little - and I found out that I and my partner can
best do this when we are both 'in tune'...

So long

Garrit

PS. I have compiled the the other posting about this topic on a web
page:
./danceask.html



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Date:    Fri, 9 Jan 1998 15:13:51 GMT
From:    Laurie Moseley
Subject: Re: Three Dance Rule

>I think a lot of men are flattered to be asked by a woman to dance.
>
>Jacques G.

I agree with Jacques on this. If you do not ask, the potential partner does
not even have the opportunity to say "No". If you do ask, most of us will
be delighted.

Laurie (Laurence)

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Date:    Thu, 8 Jan 1998 14:53:05 -0800
From:    Stephen Zisk
Subject: Re: Three Dance Rule

Valerie wrote:

>I have read that in Regency England, to dance with the same partner three
>times in an evening was to announce your intention to marry.  If the
>gentleman did not show up to ask her father's permission the very next
>day, he was labelled a cad.

I'm sorry to disappoint, but this simply was not so. If you read
literature, diaries, or letters of the period it becomes clear that people
had the same kinds of foibles and mismatched expectations then as we have
today. Dancing too much together might cause a bit of rumor then (as now),
but nothing more.

Take, for example, the dancing scenes from Pride and Prejudice (Jane
Austen's best depiction of dancing, in my opinion), it is clear that
bubbleheaded mama may have thought dancing several dances together was
tantamount to a proposal, but this was wishful thinking, and reasonable
people did not give it any credence.

Much later in the century, numerous dance manuals advised against dancing
too many dances together, as this might be considered promiscuous, but
then, Dodworth and others also claimed it was impolite and lascivious to
dance with one's wife in public, because it might be construed as too
similar to the "carnal knowledge" couples shared in private!

Stephen Zisk


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Date:    Fri, 9 Jan 1998 16:57:35 GMT
From:    Laurie Moseley
Subject: Re: The Three-Dance Rule [Regular Partner thread]

Walter asks about married folk and other regular partners. The general
principle which I adopt is that I will dance with other women (for a
variety of reasons), unless it would cause my regular partner distress or
embarrassment.

So, if a lady asks me to dance (a rare event) I will glance across at my
regular partner, Jan, raise my eyebrows in the "Any objections ?" signal,
and she will nod or give a slight shake of the head. To date it's
invariably been a nod.

When I want to invite a lady to dance, I might say to Jan "So-and-so hasn't
had a dance recently .. would you mind ?" or "So-and-so has been to a
workshop. I wonder what she learned there.... would you mind ?"  or
"So-and-so seems to be having trouble with movement x ... would you mind ?"
and again there is almost always acquiescence.

What one should never do is to say "So-and-so  is stunningly
beautiful/slimmer than you are/more elegant than you are/unbelievably
erotic ... would you mind ?".  I'm fortunate in that this is  never the
case, so the question does not arise. The other thing which IMHO you should
not do is to walk off without a word and invite the new lady. Some
communication with your partner is desirable, as a matter of politeness,
even when you are confident that you know the answer in advance. It is  a
sign of respect, like the Tango itself.

However, our club is so new, and most of the dancers so inexperienced, that
having the confidence to invite other people to dance is still an unusual
occurrence.

Laurie (Laurence)


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Date:    Fri, 9 Jan 1998 13:28:22 -0500
From:    Jacques Gauthier
Subject: Re: The Three-Dance Rule

>I have followed the discussion on the 'three-dance rule' with
>much interest, also because it's one of the rare moments where
>I can get an idea of how communication works in other tango
>comunities around the world.
>Here in Germany, I can't remember to have been on a milonga
>where the tangos were in fact played in really separated sets.
>Of cause, mostly valses and milongas are played 2 or 3 in a row,
>but not really separated by a pause.

>I would like to know how it is in other communities: do you have
>well separated sets (by the DJ) and if yes, are there any advantages
>or drawbacks connected with this kind of social behaviour?

At the Tangueria here in Montreal (Canada) they play 4-5 songs
of the same dance (for example 5 milongas, 5 tangos, 5 vals).
When the dance change for example when the milongas are done
and they play Tango they put a "tap music" for about 15 seconds
to separate the sets.   On occasion they will play an occasionnal
Rock and Roll, Merengue or Salsa but rarely more than one in
a row.

This seems to be liked by the people there.  (Some even start
tapping).  They will also put the "tap music" to seperate music
of the same dance but of very different style.  Example to
separate Gardel from Piazzolla.  For example 5 Gardel Tango
(tap music) 5 Piazzolla.

I personnally like this system.

Jacques G.



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Date:    Fri, 9 Jan 1998 12:58:26 -0400
From:    Nancy Ingle
Subject: Dance rules

   It is interesting to me to see the geographical distribution of the
various customs.  In South Florida, one usually dances one dance per
partner.  There are exceptions:  if the piece is unusually short, the
gentleman might ask for another.  If the gentleman is recently arrived from
B.A., he usually expects two dances.   Some fellows only ask another lady
if their date/mate is already dancing with someone else. If a gentleman
dances only to certain music or eras, he might ask one to dance all those
pieces.  If a gentleman knows a lady particularly likes certain music, he
might make a point of seeking her out for that music.
   There are men who dance with all the ladies every night.  There are men
who dance only with certain ladies.  There are men who dance with others in
spite of / because they have a date.  There are couples who NEVER dance
with anyone other than their mates.  The important thing, as a follower, is
to know which customs each man follows.  That way, one is not offended nor
compromised by the man's customs.  How does one know?  By careful
observation, by being open to new ways of doing things, by being
appreciative of ANY dance with Any man who who honors the lady by
asking......except of course for Mr. Tango Mangler.
   As with all  situations, it is best to observe and understand the
customs before one presumes to adopt them.

Please come visit and I'll be happy to apprise you of our eccentricities,

Nancy Ingle

"Dance as if no one is watching; love as if you can't be hurt.  Sing tho'
no one is listening; live as if it's heaven on earth."
                                                 Author Unknown


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