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March 15, 2005

The Correct Dancing Position


(Click to enlarge)

Perhaps this poster from our wise elders best answers the many questions raised in a recent cu-tango discussion thread, which was prompted by the Ask Maleva Advice Column entitled "Help! Men Try to Kiss Me When We Dance" (reprinted on next page).

Text of Poster

Conventions are the fences society has built to protect you and the race. Familiarities arouse dangerous desires. They waste your power for the finest human companionship and love. Physical attraction alone will never wholly satisfy. Complete and lasting love is of the mind as well as of the body.
Next Page:

.... 4. New ASK MALEVA Advice Column - .... & "Help! Men Try To Kiss Me When We Dance" .... ....

Dear M,

I am a tanguera who loves the close embrace. I also have no problem with
letting myself go in a man's arm during a dance. Thus far, I have found that
most men have been respectful of that and that only a few might insinuate
things after the dance. But I have had two occassions, one very early on in
my tango experience, and one most recently, in which the men attempted to
kiss me full on during the dance. Needless to say, I wasn't very happy
about it and my first reaction was to slap the men. I didn't. I love the
dance too much to have any situation ruin my experience. Anyway, my
question to you is, how do I go about making my intentions clear? That the
outpouring of emotion and passion i have in a dance is strictly for the love
of the dance and not for the dancer. Do you think it would be appropriate
to just say something along those lines before I begin dancing with someone?
Your advice would be much appreciated : )

Thanks,
L

* * *
Dear L,

Ew, how awful! Well, I don't think it would be appropriate or even necessary
to mention that you don't want any 'extra attention' before you begin
dancing because in most cases the 'tango relationship' starts off with rules
and parameters. One of the wonderful things about the tango experience is
that one can feel 'open' during the dance to experience many feelings
without crossing boundaries. There is nothing wrong with flirting or trying
to hook up with a woman at a milonga, but it should happen off the floor,
out to public view, and with the woman's consent. Taking the embrace is not
the same as giving consent to romantic intentions. I think you will find
most of the good dancers are there just to dance and will demonstrate any
romantic feelings through their dance in a respectful way.

Unfortunately, as in the case of the incidents you described, people
can sometimes get swept away by these feelings and there will always be
those few men who will try to take advantage of you during the dance,
whether you 'let go' or not. Some guys think that just because you let them
take you in your arms that you want something more, regardless of the
signals you are sending him. Personally, I think you should have slapped
these guys when they tried to smooch you, or at least pushed them away and
said something to put them in their place. At least, I hope you made it
very clear that what they did was totally inappropriate, and I hope that you
haven't danced with them since. I know you don't want to the reputation of
being a b*tch, but you don't want to be known as easy either. In tango,
sometimes it's better to be the b*tch. Don't be afraid to be strong about
it; if you come off as strong there is less a chance of guys thinking they
can take advantage in the future.

[To be fair, my friend who is a guy, wants to say: "May I ask, do you do
anything a little 'out of the ordinary' to demonstrate your passion for the
dance? Moaning, perhaps? (Some women do this!) Caressing the man's neck? Or
even the dreaded um, 'flip up'? Sometimes the woman has to restrain herself
too!"]

-Maleva

Posted by joegrohens at March 15, 2005 12:23 AM

Comments

Settle for a kiss on the cheek. I like to kiss everyone, like the foreigners do, but I don't always let it mean terribly much. Each embrace has its own context and meaning. Each act of passion/friendliness also can have their own meaning. But nothing is ever the same(or will ever be the same?, yet our elders are wise on this one.So frantic passion can be for those tango dates, mostly avoiding the
dance floor...

Posted by: Indigo Frank [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 28, 2005 02:24 PM

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