Dance Partner No. 2

by Nancy Green

In tango etiquette class my teacher recommended that I let a potential partner know of my two-month beginner status.  Even before the first salida.  This gives him the opportunity to excuse himself before I step on his feet.  And he can save himself from looking inelegant as he suffers through yet another beginner.

Too late.

He said: “You followers don’t need to spend thousands on dance classes.  All you need is a good lead.  Like me.  I’ve been dancing the tango for ten years.  You don’t need to tell me that you’re a beginner.  I’ll know it from your first step.”  I’m seeing a common theme here.  I must have beginner written all over my feet.

To his credit, he hung in there with me.  Using my every misstep as a teaching opportunity.  “Stop shifting your weight, I know where your weight is.  Do not anticipate my next move.  If I tell you to stand on your left foot for ten years then you stand on that foot until I indicate that you move to your right foot.”  Charming.

Truth be told, I could barely follow his lead.  Where was the elegant invitation to dance?  The firm but gentle hand on the small of my back, indicating that I move this way or that?  His movements were sudden and choppy and dizzying.   So, I checked  that my t-straps were secured and held on as he shoved me around the dance floor.

Copyright © 2012  Nancy Green