Some of you may remember my tentative introduction to Jantango, I was fearful of meeting another American lady; you see my experiences were not up until then good ones.
I keep reading about ladies stuck on the peripheries, they look out onto the dance floor and because of the conventions of tango, simply do not get to dance.
A few years ago via my old blog I came into contact with another American Lady, I found that I agreed with all the things that she said and wanted to exchange ideas. Imagine then my surprise when I wrote and was just rewarded with a torrent of abuse. I met this lady later and tried again to be friendly only to be given the cold shoulder. Every time I see her I get the same snub, I live in hope that one day she will see the error of her ways and we can be friends.
I see her in milongas regularly, looking sour faced and nobody dancing with her. She writes about all the people she dances with but this is not the case, whenever I see her she is looking miserable and I might say others report the same thing. She has the wrong attitude to attract men to dance with her.
A number of times recently it has appeared on the Blog scene about why men choose certain women to dance with and not others. I have seen a few good answers here http://sallycatway.com/?p=2537 and here http://jantango.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/a-matter-of-attitude/. But for me the total answer is about attitude.
Another woman who appeared on the scene was old enough to be my mother, yet I loved dancing with her, she was light on her feet, I enjoyed dancing with her, but more important to me (yes I know I am shallow) she let me know she enjoyed dancing with me. Yet she believed that no one wanted to dance with her because she was too old.
On the scene near me is perhaps one of the most beautiful women I know, she is by all accounts a very good dancer and young to boot. She looks down her nose at anyone who she thinks is not up to her high level. I can honestly say, I have never asked her to dance.
One of the problems that the more mature lady has is a belief that we men are only looking for the young and beautiful. Maybe in some cases this is true, but far from always, so they sit there with a long face and wonder why someone maybe not as good or not as old is getting more dances.
I have simple advice for the ladies, and yes it is true that as a man my needs are shallow. Smile look as if you want to dance and tell the man he is wonderful, you will be surprised at the out come. I believe that as a leader my job is to make the woman happy make her look beautiful and keep her safe. If at the end of the dance she tells me I have done a good job, I am lifted, and believe me there is nothing comes back as fast as a compliment. So suddenly you feel good as well, it will show on your face and soon the men will be queuing up to dance with you.
There are men out there who take joy in picking holes in your tango, smile at them and just let it ride (no I can’t do it either but try) because when they are queuing up to dance with you, then you can choose to leave him out next time. And remember it is difficult to criticise a woman that every man in the room wants to dance with.
I take other blogs often as my inspiration, and there is a running thread here http://londontango.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/how-did-tango-bring-out-the-bitch-in-me/ all about why women are left on the sidelines and we men choose certain women. The biggest thing that comes out to me is a comment about so called intermediate women who “know the steps” I have come across one or two of these in my time, truth is you cannot know the steps, not with me anyway, because I don’t know what I am going to do next. That depends on a number of things; the music, the dance floor, other dancers, and whether what I led last was followed. You see, if something I led was not followed, I do not stop and lecture the woman, it could be her fault it could just as easily be mine. The point is at that point I must adapt, alter what I am doing and make the woman believe that everything I led she had followed. Basically despite what I have just said, any failure to follow is down to me. This though cannot happen when I have a follower who knows the steps and that is why very often I will choose to dance with beginners, they accept what I am doing and believe that I really know it.
I know Who is faultless? Not me I have thousands of faults, but you are not going to put them right, here and now on the dance floor, neither am I going to correct yours so we just enjoy the dance and in this way we will all improve.