Thursday, April 24, 2008

STOP IT. I mean NOW. Seriously.

Is it just me, but am I the only one who gets the heebie-jeebies whenever I see this kind of expression on the dance floor?

A famous scene with Meg Ryan from "When Harry Met Sally"

The gaping mouth might be a little more closed (with the lips only slightly, moistly parted), the eyes might be slightly more open (with a sparkly glistening moistness), maybe there's no screaming and panting but I'm sure heavy breathing is optional - no matter what the slight variations may be I think we all recognize what this expression is all about! (See my post about "The Forbidden Dance" if you want a point of reference)

Can I say "Eeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww"?

Luckily, Toronto isn't a big town for this specific kind of "Face-dancing"* for followers (Congratulations! Less than 1% of the community! That's because we are too busy doing complicated "steps" from Cosmotango and getting stepped on or kicked in the shins by our partners and by other followers to feign ecstasy**), but we sure saw a lot of it in Buenos Aires.

In Buenos Aires, "Face-dancing" seems to be used as some kind of "advanced" adornment by "advanced" followers to attract "advanced leaders", preferably milongueros, in the milongas. After surveying all the milongas where "Face-dancing" is a prevailing trend - "classy" places like Nino Bien, El Beso and Maipu 444 all have their fair share, but it is surprisingly absent from places like Confiteria Ideal or Dandi (because they have dancers who are probably having too many problems navigating and staying on their feet) - I am ashamed to admit (or should I feel some sort of patriotic pride??? Eeewwwwww again), that my fellow countrywomen and other asian ladies appear to "the top performers" in this field. Quite a few non-asian gringa followers of a certain "advanced" level do it too, but it seems that the Chinese (whether from HK, Singapore, China, Taiwan etc.), Koreans and Japanese are the real experts. At Maipu 444, we saw one fairly famous chica china (who is also a dj and a well-known instructor in her home country(s)) exhibit an expression that was so restrainedly, yearningly pre-orgasmic while she was dancing with Cacho Dante I am sure she must have practiced it for HOURS in front of the mirror.

I guess in the cut-throat Buenos Aires milonga scene, you've just got to do all you have to do to get your dances. If it means means dressing really, really "arrest me now" sexy (we've seen some chica wearing transparent yellow cotton daisy dukes with apparently no underwear get a dance with Tete), a little "Face-dancing", or putting your $3,000.00 LV bag on the table in full sight of the room next to your big bottle of chilled Dom Perignon, go ahead, it's your perogative. And who knows, perhaps all these faces that all these "advanced followers" are making are genuine - perhaps there's nothing like a little tango to bring that kind of thing out?

Excuse me while I (politely) retch into this bucket.

* What is "Face-dancing"?: Just in case you were wondering, have you watched "Dancing with the Stars" on tv? Each type of dance is supposed to have a different expression, i.e. Swing is "Happy"! Waltz is "Romantic!" and Ballroom Tango is "Hatred"! Well, for really advanced Argentine Tango it is apparently "Polite Orgasm". In case you are curious, for beginners Argentine Tango it is sometimes "TEETH GRINDINGLY SEXY AND PASSIONATE".

**We have only a couple of followers who do this in Toronto, and strangely enough they all seem to like dancing with the same old guy who is doing a little "Face-dancing" of his own - the "I'm feeling so much ecstasy in tango and I'm such an expert dancer I'm going to dance with my eyes closed" guy. Who is REALLY dancing with his eyes closed. We know because he bumps into us ALL the time.

1 comment:

Irene and Man Yung said...

Came across a lively debate on dear fellow blogger Elizabeth's blog about this post at:

And this is the comment I put on her blog:

Dear Elizabeth,

I'm pretty sure you are talking about my blog ;) because I did a post ranting about "face-dancing" - I guess I should clarify and qualify what I posted.
I'm not for making rules about how one feels when one dances, or inhibiting what NATURAL expression one should have when one is feeling certain emotions. I am concerned, however, about people "faking it" (as TangoCherie has pointed out in your comments) to get attention, or to get dances.
I can understand ecstasy when you are dancing an intense and beautiful tanda of Di Sarli with Robert Florio, or Pugliese Instrumental, or a nostalgic tanda of Fresedo with Roberto Ray (for example), or other music that is equally dramatic and profound, with the one you love, or someone you feel a strong connection with. But to look ecstatic tanda after tanda after tanda with all sorts of different men to no matter if it's a peppy Biagi, or a fun D'Arienzo, or a joyful milonga, or playful canyengue - that's something I saw in Buenos Aires and something that didn't seem to me quite right.
For heaven's sake I wouldn't condone having a "Neutral" expression all the time! We are not robots you know!
(By the way I had seen the video you posted before and I had exactly the same reaction as you!)

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