We were dancing merrily along one night at one of Toronto's popular milongas when I realized that instead of flowing with the music, Man Yung was screeching to a halt every 30 seconds. At first I thought it was some fancy new jerky Tango Nuevo movement he had stolen from Youtube (Ha! As if!) However, after about two tandas filled with unpleasant stops and starts, I realized it wasn't a step...it was traffic.
"Is someone getting into your way?" I asked Man Yung.
"Yes, it's the same guy - look out, he is stepping back this-a-way again!" We swerved to evade.
When we finally got off the dance floor, we got a chance to take a good look. The guy was dancing close embrace. In fact, he and his partner were clamped together for dear life. He wasn't even slinging his partner around dangerously in the slightest. And yet, everyone on the dance floor was mysteriously giving the guy a wide berth...
"Wow, the other dancers are giving this guy a good seven meter radius clearance! There's thirty of them all huddled up in one corner trying to complete the ronda while trying to avoid getting close to him. He must have some magical power or something, because I can't see him do any voleos, ganchos - not even half a giro. I'm also positive that it's nothing to do with strange smells - I can't smell anything and my nose isn't stuffed up. Could he have bribed the the other people to give him a circle of safety?" I offered helpfully.
Man Yung rolled his eyes because once again, Irene has failed to understand. "You don't have to stick out an appendage to be a threat on the dance floor. It is evident that he dances close embrace in the most boring way possible - but instead of getting in the way with a leg, a foot, an elbow or a knee, he uses his whole body to disrupt the dance floor. Look at him switch from inside to outside, outside to inside, left to right, right to left, forward to backwards, backwards to forwards - north, south, east, west and all points in between! It is well nigh impossible to predict which way he will be going, even with a sophisticated computer algorithm. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he doesn't know which way he will be bouncing into either...as he is clearly dancing with his eyes closed."*
* Oh, so that's how he does it! And I thought he was just being inconsiderate.
It's not only close embrace Tangueros with their eyes closed -
low-density housing in suburbia also takes up lots of space.