Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pre-Embarassed Phase of Blissful Ignorance*

Men, try to get to the place where you know that you suck at tango.

I wish I could say that (a) I didn't have black and white shoes that I occasionally wear, and (b) I have gotten beyond the pre-embarrassed phase.

But in spite of conversations like the above video clip, I somehow have manage to maintain my bliss.  Some people never evolve into kindness, and so the best defense mechanism is to be blissfully ignorant.   For this reason, I have taken up residence in "the pre-embarrassed stage of blissful ignorance."   

I like it here.  It's warm and cozy, kind of like snuggling with a kind and tender-hearted tanguera.

*The real title of this blog is not about "blissful ignorance" but kindness and evolving.  It takes work for me and -- I would venture -- most people.  Some seem to have been born with the talent of kindness.  They dance all night and if they have balance and boundaries to their kindness, then they are dancing with other kind people (or at least good dancers?).


  1. Being kind does not mean that you dance all night or that you dance with marvelous partners. While it never hurts to be kind you do need to protect yourself from dancing tandas that you don't want to regardless of the reason. This is also protecting your potential partner from dancing with someone who is not able to throw their heart into the tanda.

  2. @SMW: So very true. I hope the last words of my blog conveyed what you said more clearly: "They dance all night and if they have balance and boundaries to their kindness, then they are dancing with other kind people (or at least good dancers?)."

  3. Sometimes kindness gets mistaken for a desire to dance multiple tandas. While this is sometimes the case, more often it's not, being oblivious to these signals makes it very difficult for people to avoid rudeness. You're either rude by being blunt and turning down a tanda, leaving the person asking wondering what they did wrong (there may be nothing they did wrong, but you're waiting for an opportunity to dance with another friend), or you're being rude by avoiding someone, or you're being rude by saying, "yes" when you really mean "no more please/no more tonight/no more ever/perhaps in a few months". Unfortunately, in many cases, short of saying "go away", kind people will chat with you, completely oblivious that they are making it difficult for you to connect with other partners and it is difficult to detach yourself from a conversation.
    This to me, makes sense, if you're not going to put your heart into a tanda, please sit it out.

  4. But here's the thing, sometimes being kind does not do anything for you and in fact can leave you sitting and not dancing all night, particularly if the gender or skill balance is heavily weighted. Kindness by many (particularly those who are newer to tango) is misinterpreted as a desire to dance multiple tandas or if you're not dancing, it must be fine to chat all night. If you're turned down (male or female) for any reason, please do not interfere with opportunities for cabeceo. Timing at milongas can be tricky. You want to hear what the music is at the beginning of a tanda and see if any of the partners that you definitely would like to dance with are available and if someone is busy chatting at you, you either are polite and kind and miss the chance to dance a tanda that you want to dance or you're rude in ignoring the person that you've been kind to. So, often being kind does not allow you to dance all night. I can do a tanda with someone who is beginning or does not seek to dance with balance and coordination or with whom I have little connection or who hears the music so differently that I don't dance well with them, but that's my limit. After that, I usually have used up my ability to throw my heart into the tanda. If I end up dancing multiple tandas where I get simply the satisfaction of being "kind", but I'm missing my opportunities to dance with those that I know I'll enjoy musically then I might as well not even go to the milonga. If I get a variety of dancing in with varying levels of satisfaction then I have a good to excellent night. Being kind is a good thing as long as there isn't an element of condescension in it and your kindness isn't abused either wittingly or unwittingly.
    I think that those who dance to be kind but hold back are really not being kind.

  5. "We are all failures- at least the best of us are."
    — J.M. Barrie


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