1. You swirl your feet for an obligatory 20 seconds at the beginning of any music in a creative, inventive, artistic - heck, even 'original' and 'individualistic' - manner. Sure, every couple doing your style of dancing is doing the same thing, but the way you do it is somehow a million times more special!
2. You then "walk" in "close embrace" for another obligatory 20 seconds. This shows that you are passionate about the two cornerstones of Tango, being "The Embrace" and "The Walk". Doesn't matter that you quickly abandon both of them because a) you can't do exciting figures if you don't separate and b) you don't want to bore the audience and the judges doing nothin' but walkin'!
3. Not only do you totally separate, you are hanging on to your partners by the tips of your fingernails for the rest of the Tango - you are so carried away with the thrill of the music (and by the thrill of executing big fast spins and enormous movements with all those jutting elbows and knees and kicking heels that would probably kill all the little old milongueros within five feet of you on a crowded Buenos Aires dance floor).
4. In fact, you are so thrilled by all those eye-popping movements you will do them irregardless of compas or music or both. Haven't you heard? It is sooooooooooo 2004 to fit your Tango to the music, and heck, isn't it more interesting when you don't?
5. You've got them all fooled into thinking you are improvising, and thousands will flock to take lessons from you on HOW TO DANCE TANGO SOCIALLY. Come on, do you really believe that all those intricate step sequences and giros can be spontaneously generated by lead and follow, and all those fancy beat-skipping logic-defying adornments can be done just because the leader is giving the follower enough time to do them? Here's the secret: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE... YER CHOREOGRAPHY.
6. You dance in a style with a long and ancient pedigree - nope, not "Fino" and not "Portalea", and not even "Villa Urquiza", because if you look closely and compare, none of the old style milongueros danced remotely like you. However, what you are dancing is something right out of a Miguel Zotto stage show, and that's several...years old already, right?
Actually, we think that this "Tango de Salon" by Miguel Zotto and Milena Plebs is a very good piece of dancing - but we are not going to forget that this was choreographed for the STAGE and this dancing is an adaptation of some of what Miguel Zotto had seen in the milongas for STAGE PERFORMANCE purposes. They call it "Tango de Salon" but really it is a FANTASY of "Tango de Salon" and not completely suitable for social dancing. Take note: Most of the competitors in the contemporary Tango de Salon or Tango de Pista competitions are dancing in a style almost identical to this these days (except the competitors unabashedly dance even more 'open' than Zotto and Plebs!), but just because they have named it something that sounds like you can do it in milonga, doesn't mean you can really execute this kind of dancing in a milonga and not make yourself into a total dance floor a-hole.
7. Hey look! Even what you wear is exactly something right out of a Miguel Zotto stage show - in that part where the dancers pretend they are in a real milonga. Of course, not really a real milonga, because you can't fit more than six couples dancing like that in a real milonga before everyone will start getting into everyone else's way.
8. Didn't you hear? They now call what you are dancing "Tango de Pista" so that all those tango skeptics out there would stop questioning whether the stuff you are dancing is truly suitable for a real-life dance floor situation (it is not).
9. This is true - you will encounter people who admire your straight-backed, bloodless, emotionless, cool as a cucumber, technical, by-the-rule-book dancing so much they will be moved to tears and couldn't stop gushing about your "embrace" and your "elegance" and your "musicality" and your "passion" etc. This makes us roll our eyes and contemplate that you can slap a label onto anything and there's always someone out there who will believe it.
10. Look, they hand out trophies for the way you dance! A sure-fire sign that you are dancing the Best Tango in the Universe!
Martha's Apartment in Buenos Aires
A Non-exhaustive set of Tango links in Toronto
- La Cachila - weekly milonga
- Paradiso -- weekly milonga
- Practica El Beso
- WE Tango
- Tango Sur - classes, shows
- Rhythm and Motion - classes, milonga, practica, annual Toronto Tango Festival
- Tango Obsession - classes, weekly Practica La Coqueta
- Tango Lirico - classes, practica, weekly milonga
- Tango de Oro - classes, shows
- Tango Soul Productions - classes, weekly milonga, shows, El Congreso annual Tango Festival
- Vivatango - classes
- Tango Argentino - classes
- Club Milonga - classes, special events
- Alternatango - classes, weekly milonga
- University of Toronto Tango Club - classes, practica
- El Abrazo - classes
- Tangoloft - twice monthly milonga