Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Led by the Nose

Chinese New Year is just around the corner!  This year will be the Year of the Snake.  Man Yung remembers that in his youth, every family would buy a copy of the New Year's Feng Shui Almanac to determine their fortunes for the coming year - and also to predict the auspicious days for getting married, starting a business, moving house or harvesting crops, etc.

"In the front pages of the almanac, they'll usually have this picture of an ox in a field with its master," said Man Yung.  "The readers can tell by the position of the ox and the farmer, the appearance of the vegetation, and the clothing worn by the farmer how the weather would be like for the year!"

OK, so I went on Google and downloaded a sample of these almanac pictures:

"Hey Man Yung - in all the pictures, the sun's shining, there's grassy fields, there's an ox, there's some guy....The pictures don't look that much different to me!" I said.

"Ah, they are VERY SUBTLE differences - it takes an expert (like me) to interpret them!" said Man Yung.

I might not be interpret all those, ahem, "VERY SUBTLE" symbols - but there's one thing I see that's a constant.  No matter what's happening in the pictures (or really, not happening), there's a disgruntled ox, being led by the nose!

And indeed, every year, aren't people always trying to lead other people by the nose?

"How about taking a stand this year? No more nose-leading - from people or otherwise!" I asked Man Yung. "Let's try this:

Not listening and nodding politely to bullshit by people who want other people to think they are experts at Tango just because they speak Spanish/come from Argentina/have been to Argentina/have been dancing for longer than you have (even if all that bullshit advice is free!);

Not trying to dance in a certain way just because it is trendy or because emulating the style of dancing will get you more points if you enter into a competition;

Not saying yes and agreeing to dance with leaders who dispense with the cabeceo and bully followers into dancing with them by going right up and asking/emotionally blackmailing them;

-  Not going to milongas when you are sure that the music will be disagreeable and/or the people will have no respect for floorcraft - just because lots of other people are going to be there/or because you have nothing else to do that night;

-  Not taking classes with visiting Tango Professionals just because they are exotically from abroad and/or they have "impressive" resumés and/or even if they are "famous" if they way they dance makes us want to gag/die of boredom;

- Not tolerating any zoo-like noise disturbances in the milonga - if we hear so much as a snort from the usual culprits, we will react with a whole lot of noise ourselves!;

- Not going to milongas when we know the already short dance time will be cut even shorter by long lectures/endless (and we really mean ENDLESS) birthday dances/ugly performances by mediocre visiting or "just plain bad" local "Tango VIPs"  and overenthusiastic requests by organizers for encores of same (Just say NO to Surprises!);

- Not going to milongas where the floor is so rough that pivoting on it gives you an 80% chance of dislocating both knees (even if the music, the dancers and everything else are A-OK!  We are old now and can't take any more injury!);

- Not dancing like it was 2006 (we swear, we have moved on since then!);

 "Wait a minute Irene.... We're already doing all of the above!" said Man Yung.

That's right!  It's going to be an excellent (Tango) year!


Christine--RHP said...

I kind of agree with this. A LOT.

BF POV Blog said...

Great post!

Irene, I'm coming to toronto on the 31st. I'll be there about a week. Where should I go for practica/milonga?


Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Christine,

Thanks for your comment! Wishing you a completely nose-leading free year and lots of enjoyable tango,

Irene and Man Yung

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Bruce,

All the up to date milonga/practica listings can be found at


There's something for everyone here in Toronto!

We prefer milongas with traditional music and Paradiso (Friday), Palermo (Saturday) and La Cachila (Sunday) are some of our top choices.

Hope you have a fabulous time in Toronto!

Irene and Man Yung

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