Saturday, March 26, 2016


Man Yung is still teaching me to lead with great enthusiasm and dedication.  This means a curriculum of High Level Youtube steps and a lot of throwing me into the deep end of the pool, i.e. making me lead him in the most crowded milonga in Toronto with the highest number of similarly High Level Youtube step leaders. You see, he figures what doesn't kill me will just make me stronger.

True to some extent.  But just to be safe, I made sure that IN ADDITION to fancy schmancy moves like triple enganche giro volcada gancho barridas, he taught me how to 1) Walk, 2) Turn left, 3) Turn right and 4) Stand still.  With this deadly arsenal handy set of directional movements at least I would be able to get us off the dance floor if it gets to be too rough and bumpy out there.

Or, if I can't get us out, at least I can stand still in the middle of the pista and cry.

"Don't worry Irene - go ahead, lead away," said one helpful leader when I confessed my worries about navigation.  "I always make sure that I'm not dancing at all when you take the lead."

Hardy har har.

The first couple of times was terrifying.   Couples were flying at me from all directions and it seemed like there was no way to avoid colliding with everyone in the universe.  I managed to avoid major collision in any case.  Seemed like people were NOT trying to purposefully bump into me.  Maybe most guys don't really want to kick a girl.  Thanks guys!

It got easier as I got more of a handle on the walk/turn left/turn right/stand still (hereinafter termed as "WTLTRSS") combo.  I am amazed that it's an almost foolproof way not to kill oneself and others on the dance floor.

I have some questions.

In order to navigate a crowded and crazy milonga floor, could it be possible that one doesn't have to possess ESP/Special Forces training/Heightened Mutant Reflexes?

Surely every leader dancing for more than one year knows WTLTRSS?

Don't tell me that a crappy beginner follower leader (in heels) can avoid collision better than some multi-year so-called veteran instructors?

Nonetheless, judging from the number of people getting kicked and body checked, maybe everyone has checked their WTLTRSS at the door.

This doesn't sound right.  I had to ask Man Yung.

"Am I doing ok navigationally? Should I be dancing smaller?  Am I tailgating people or dancing obnoxiously? Obviously I'm not experienced and not very good seems a miracle that I can lead you under crowded conditions, not crash into other people majorly, and still emerge in one piece."

Man Yung was exasperated.  "Irene, you should dance MORE AGGRESSIVELY and WITH BIGGER, MORE DANGEROUS MOVEMENTS.  The problem with you is that you CARE TO MUCH about not bumping into other people.  What you need to do is to use me as a human shield MORE and ram me into others so that they will stop hurtling into your direction. All you need to do is to generate a couple of nuclear implosion explosion collisions, then you will be a huge badass and everyone will fear you and give you space.  Otherwise, you are doing fine, honey!"


I smiled warily.  "Errrrrr.....nice advice.  I will write it in my notebook!"

And then do the exact opposite.  Thanks Man Yung!

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