It’s not about how good you are

Monday and another early one at El Arranque. When we arrived there were about four women and dozens of men, it did not look good for me. Viv, of course was dancing straight away. I sat out the first tanda, mainly because if I miss the first track I would rather wait and get a whole tanda with someone. The next tanda however I was up and surprisingly I hardly sat down again. Of course more women came in and the numbers were rapidly increasing.

One lady I danced with just did not gel. We got up halfway through the first track and just stumbled. After the next track she said “mejor?” but even by the end we had not fully gelled. It was not about how good she was, I had seen her dancing with others and she looked fine, it could, I suppose have been about me, but then again I’m perfect. Ok maybe not but I did not have trouble with others, just something did not gel. Still at the end she did not look annoyed or upset and hopefully we can try again sometime. My point in all this is; there were no recriminations, we did not spend our time correcting each other, we just kept dancing even more important this did not mean she (or I for that matter) was rubbish either.

Often I have heard it said that the first track of a tanda is to get to know each other. Here I find that is really true, every woman I have danced with has been different, a different feel, posture or reaction to lead. Viv has commented similarly, for her it is even more marked. So, every new partner is a learning curve, every tanda an adventure. Not once has anyone said “that was rubbish that” here they just enjoy the dance.

Soon though the numbers got enough that dancing was more difficult, and for someone like me, who was getting to know the women, there was not enough space. It is hard enough getting to know them without my lead going to pot while I look for space to dance. Viv also decided that there was too much competition for the dancers, so we headed off for some coffee then back home via the subte.

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