Monday, 28 September 2009

Side note on getting dances

On a side note: I remember a very wierd transitional period of about three or four months. Before it, I regarded every dance I got as a bonus, accepting all offers with equal curiosity, while they slowly increased in quality and number. I organised my evening to maximise my chances of being asked, avoiding only people I had danced with at least once and verified as hopeless.

Afterwards, I never got five minutes to sit down, and I organised my evening in whatever way I could to get some kind of control over it. In between there was a strange period where I got fewer and sometimes worse dances than before and I wondered if there was any actual point in improving at all. The switch between getting no dances and getting more than I could handle was unbelievably sudden and I still don't know why exactly it happened when it did. Maybe I fixed something, I still don't know what; or maybe it was processing time, while people changed their minds about how I fitted in.

I've had other transitions since then, and now it all works completely differently. So that was an aside. But it was strange.

13 comments:

Mari said...

I haven't been dancing as long - but I think I know what you mean. I used to jump at *any* chance to dance with any dancer to any music. While it's rare that I'll turn someone down unless it hurts to dance with them - I have gotten picky about who I actively seek out (with a cabeceo). I'm more choosy about the music too.

It does seem to go in cycles for me too. Sometimes it seems like I don't sit out a single tanda for a couple of weeks - and then suddenly I'm back to warming my seat for an evening or three.

Johanna said...

I have learned that trying to find any sort of logical reason or meaning on anything that happens in tango is a fool's errand...

Claudita said...

I'm with Johanna on this one. Now it's just a matter of really believing and really accepting that there is no logical reason and meaning and living with it.

At the moment I think I've been around for too long, which makes me either - part of the furniture and therefore almost invisible - boring or - scary and intimidating.

So much for not looking for a reason...;-)

ghost said...

As a guy, just using the cabeceo at Negrachas I can dance 1/3 of the time and just have dances I enjoy. However I have no control over which third of the time it is.

*shrug* As an old girlfriend once told me "if men ever figure out the rules the women are using, the women are obliged to immediately change them!"

Johanna said...

LOL Claudita! Ditto over here!

Captain Jep said...

Im probably part of the woodwork gang too. The danger is that you get so laid back about dancing or not dancing that you *really* dont care. Sometimes my Zen like detachment is too Zen like for my own good ... :)

londontango said...

Well, I too am with Johanna and Claudita. Now that I am not going out as much, when I do go out, I am dancing more. But even when I was going out a lot, I danced a lot. And then I went out not so much, and then I wasn't dancing so much. I don't get it. It hurts my brain to put any reason to it.

Game Cat said...

Just an observation - from what Mari, Johanna and Claudita said - I get the impression that finding good dances is a fairly unpredictable exercise.

Do any women readers here who are experienced milonga-goers work out who they want to dance with and signal them at a milonga (verbally or otherwise)? Is this un-workable or just not working?

Johanna said...

Game Cat, for me it's a mixed bag. There are a couple of dancers who know that I'm their choice for waltz, or milonga, or Pugliese, so it happens almost automatically, with perhaps a confirmatory little nod. With others it's more of a cabeceo beforehand. And with unknowns, almost any approach is acceptable in L.A.

msHedgehog said...

I do now, yes, and it works, up to a point. I can control it to a reasonable degree. I have my preferences and I make sure they know that I'm there, and as far as possible understand that I want to dance with them. I keep an eye out to see when they're available and sometimes go and find them when we both are. I don't exactly ask, usually, so I try to pop up at the right time. All the same things work in reverse, too. It's basically a matter of being aware of who's there and where. All much easier with cortinas, good lighting, and sensible layout.

It's not all that unpredictable over time, it changes and there is a long-term logic to the way it changes. But for any given evening it depends on a lot of things. For example last Sunday I was getting an unusual amount of 'hassle' in the sense of people I didn't specially want to dance with chasing me around - all the way across the room and out onto the balcony in one case. It might have been the downside of taking the class or it might have been just random. There's quite a lot of random, and always has been.

Anonymous said...

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Game Cat said...

Thanks Johanna, Ms H. Interesting - over time, I'm feeling a stronger preference for the cabaceo and associated venue layout, to take out some of the unpredictability.

At least it's easier to set your expectations for the evening upfront and manage your fun, rather than be disappointed at the end of the evening!

msHedgehog said...

Cabeceo isn't exactly how I do it, most of the time, but good layout does help. I like to have a place where I can put myself clearly 'out of play' but people can still talk to me, and I like to be able to see people and to circulate when I do want to dance. So I suppose I control it mainly by moving around. The problems to solve have changed now.