Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"A six headed man eating monster on one side, and a whirling vortex of doom on the other"


A.K.A. Scylla vs. Charybdis.  Take your pick.

In case anyone wants an update:  I'm STILL working at leading.  The latest Man Yung imposed torture training method: Leading with torso only. 

As in "Irene, stop shoving me with your bird arms, they are puny and useless anyway, try to lead more accurately by pointing your body in the right direction.  And use telepathy more.  Stop rolling your eyes.  It'll work if you love me enough."

Amusing as this is, this is not the point of this post.  I want to talk about how I tried to navigate to a win-win resolution on a milonga dance floor that is clearly, for me, a lose-lose situation.

I really want to follow the line of dance.  On the outer edge of the dance floor.  You know, like the milongueros do, because they are cool and they know what they are doing. But you can't do much if you want to keep that track.  You gotta behave yourself.  Walk a bit, turn a tiny bit, ocho cortado.   That's it.

"Why aren't you doing your back sacadas?" Man Yung says impatiently.  "You look great doing your back sacadas!  And the triple enganche gancho combos I taught you!  How about those?" 

Hmmmmmmmm......  Can't really do those fancy moves unless I want to send all the little old people dancing calmly and quietly on the outside track all flying.

That means I'll have to hazard into the inside track.  Or WORSE, spin like the dreaded whirling dervish in the dead centre of the floor.  Along with all the other loonies who are either 1) doing the same kind of movements as I am and really need the space, or 2) can't navigate worth a damn or 3) both. 

I go to the middle of the dance floor and do a couple of back sacadas.  I narrowly miss a couple of people.  Some guy tailgates me continuously, and another spins and kicks so hard with his partner they are exactly like that jagged saw teeth image I read on Tangocommuter's blog.  But that's ok, people who dance in the middle are used to bumping.  I use Man Yung as a human shield and it's all normal because that's what they do to followers in the middle.  Not an eyebrow is raised, much less an evil eye.

But I have a shining hope: there must be more to a follower leading than bad navigation skills.  I secretly try to steer us straight on the outside track.  But for some odd reason I can't even go straight.  This Irene leading Man Yung combo is definitely listing to the left no matter what the f*** I'm trying to do. 

On the bright side,  I am doing some killer left turns!  If I'm going to have a signature move, that's it.  Turning endlessly left.  I know about fifteen different ways to do it, WITHOUT PLOWING INTO ANYBODY AND WHILE FOLLOWING THE LINE OF DANCE.  I can see where I'm going, and Man Yung is kind of on autopilot because he is heavily dragging us to the left anyway.  Yay!

"Goddamn it Irene," said Man Yung.  "The milonga is half over and all you have been doing is turning left.  Where are all the movements I've taught you?  They're all going down the drain!"

Back to the middle I sulkily go.  Tailgater on the left, saw teeth on the right, and me spinning endlessly left in the centre with some random back sacadas thrown in.  Hey, Toronto leaders, don't laugh.  If I'm anywhere in your vicinity, that means you aren't doing too well either!




Alberto Dassieu

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