A word that should be in the lexicon of English. Touchaphobia is a condition that blights the majority of the peoples of these isles. I have no idea why this should be but it is an indisputable fact.
When I attend dances there is a real reluctance to just get close. I see old married couples dancing as if they are frightened of catching some disease. Most of them have grandchildren, how they ever conceived is a mystery.
When I try to teach tango, I often find the women struggling to escape. To have someone so much in their space is an athema to them. They do this with their partners so to be this close to others is just too much.
To give an idea of what is expected I will often dance with the men. This gets a whole new reaction. A man being this close to another man, urgh!
As a child I barely touched my parents, we never kissed, we never embraced.
But you know it can be overcome, there is a cure. Tango eventually brings us all around.
Now I can hold a woman in my arms without any self consciousness. I can kiss strangers; I have even been known to kiss men when in Argentina.
The passion that comes with Tango, the love that comes from the Argentine people, will get to even the most touchaphobic in the end.
But to reach this nirvana we must dance close, pure milonguero style tango. It is no use pacing around the room with enough room to drive a bus between you. No good saying “I do Nuevo” and leading with your arms, and it will not do to step away to give your lady space to do an ocho. Once we dance in close hold, this is where we stay. You will get comfortable with it, we did, and if I can overcome touchaphobia anyone can.