Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How is this possible?

At the couple of places we went to dance in Hong Kong, the men were mostly dancing "Tango Salon" style of the "Championship" kind.  At higher skill levels, this means lots of "walking" with big strides, and giros, giros, giros.

If you find a big striding walker with lots of giros here in Toronto, it's a recipe for disaster - you can just bet that he'd crash into someone.  Give me a room full of these - and you might as well venture onto the dance floor in fully padded body armor.

In Hong Kong, strangely enough - the dance floor was not a mess of collisions, even though the floor was more or less crowded (although not "El Beso on a busy night" kind of crowded), with a high concentration of  dancers doing relatively large movements.

We have to applaud the Tangueros in Hong Kong for getting it right - because here in Toronto, we have dancers dancing big, medium and small who aren't.  

For a quick recap, just look at these:

High Kickers

Close Embrace Cannon Ballers

Hyper Monkeys


Road Ragers

Hokey Pokey Mating Ostriches

Dancers with no sense of personal space


....Yes, it's true - in Toronto we have quite a party going on!

Chaos on the Toronto dance floor!

So why aren't there more collisions or dangerous floor conditions in Hong Kong?  Hong Kong dancers are not dancing "super small".  In addition, they are mostly in slightly open "Tango Salon" embrace. There are even quite a few intermediate/beginners on the dance floor who have to complete the figures they are in the midst of doing as they can't change into something else in an emergency.  With all these preexisting "adverse" conditions, how is it possible that Hong Kong tangueros can maintain an orderly dance floor?  What's the secret?

The secret (which is not really a secret) is this:  Hong Kong tangueros are more considerate of other Hong Kong tangueros.

This means no one is thinking: "I'm a superior dancer than the rest of these bozos here - everyone make way!"  Or: "I'm in a tango trance right now - I don't care about bumping into everybody else because my nirvana is the most important thing in the universe!" Or even: "I have all these figures I paid good money for - all those in the way shove off, I have to show off what I've learned!" 

If the worst offenders in Toronto would just stop for a minute, think, and realize that they are not the most important people on the dance floor* (or the the entire cosmos, because that's the size of some of the heads out there) and that they have to be considerate of other people - Toronto floorcraft might improve, and everyone will have a chance to enjoy the floor undisturbed by flying feet and flailing bodies.

We are looking forward with great anticipation to that day (but not crossing our fingers)!
* By the way, "Sorry" is not enough contrition if you are crashing into someone every thirty seconds.  The solution is "Not" to crash in the first place!


Elizabeth Brinton said...

Hey, I love the picture, and I think I was at that milonga!

Tangocommuter said...

I was there too!

Very interesting thought that collisions might be less the result of incompetence and more the result of lack of consideration. Hong Kong has the reputation of being a crowded city where people normally live close: maybe being more considerate comes with the territory, so to speak. Although it ought to be the norm everywhere!

Best wishes!

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