Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tango Dis-Etiquette

Sometimes people's behavior surprises me to the point of speechlessness. And I am always reminded of a very wise piece of advice given to me by one of my theatre professors, it was "Be sure you treat those whom you pass on the ladder to success well, because you will meet them again on your way down."

Not too long ago, at a milonga, I was sitting on the edge of a stage along with about 6 other women. The milonga was very follower heavy, and this space was certainly a good area to be seen, but it was also one of the few places with good air movement, and it was hot that night. So sitting there I struck up conversation with the women beside me, and we chatted of this that and whatever. Then a young Tango-HotShot-Wannabe came over and squeezed in beside me and the young lady I was chatting with. As he squeezed in, he started talking in a falsetto voice "Oh, none of us ladies are getting dances. Oh, won't someone come dance with us!" all the while flipping his hair and pushing his chest out. I was struck dumb by this flagrant taunting of women whom he apparently thought far below his swelling talent.

I have to admit, that I had seen this man climb over the past year or so in a nearby community to where he is, had been curious about dancing with him even though I thought him rather stuck on himself, but after this crude and rather cruel display, I no longer had any interest in dancing with him ever. I am sure he will never ask me, so I will never have the pleasure of saying No, Thank you. Who knows, perhaps he will go far now that he calls himself a teacher, but I know 7 women whose thoughts of him turned very dark one night, and I am guessing that none of us will ever take class with him, or give encouragement to others to take class with him. It just strikes me as a less than intelligent choice to mock those whom you feel are less than you, and are also your potential target group for teaching.


Johanna said...

Young + male = sometimes stupid.

But it's always sad when talent exceeds brains.

Alex said...

What a prick. I'm never an advocate of physical violence, but someone should have slapped the shit out of him. This was beyond stupidity. Even infantile doesn't seem to cover it.

It seems that gentlemanly behavior is so rare...what happened?

I also find it interesting that the putz, the dweeb, the dickweed, never thought to ask one of you to dance, or all of you.

Pantina said...

People's ignorance can sometimes leave me speechless!! So sad his talent doesn't include manners.

Debbi said...

I actually have found quite regularly gentleman like manners in tango, so I think that when things like this happen, it is all the more shocking. And yes, it is sad when talent does not come complete with manners or intellect.

And of course he would not think to ask us to dance! We are mere mortals and will not enhance his inflated ego! ;-) Either that or we have cooties, not sure which it was in his little mind.

Actually, it was pointed out to me that perhaps this was a terrible attempt at humour gone wrong, but you know, when 7 stony faces turn to you in complete silence, one would have thought that he might have gotten the hint that he was not funny and stopped or left, but he did not.

Ah well, I am a believer in karma, so it'll all come around. :-)

Elizabeth said...

Hmmm. I wondered for a moment if you weren't "blessed" by one of the young men from Seattle. His posse of girls (I don't think they are women yet) are also leaving a trail of bad karma. Maybe they will learn. amazing, clueless. someone should try Alex's approach, but I doubt that would even help.

Anonymous said...

That was horrible and the kid was acting like a little prick, however I really didn't like that of "having the pleasure to say no". You're way better than that, Debbi, please don't fall into that kind of resentment. I always do my best to say yes when I'm invited to dance, regardless of the dancing level of the person asking me to dance (I'm a dude -the ladies ask me often though ;D) and that is something that makes me and the people around me very happy. And that is a happiness that lasts much longer. =)

Debbi said...

I'm curious Elizabeth - what is Alex's approach? And no, it was not a Seattle-ite. Although I am hearing that most communities have this brand of tango teacher... I guess we can only say it takes all types...

Anon - you are right, that was a petty little moment I had an did not edit. I do try to take the high road and be a good person, but every once in awhile, my buttons get pushed and my Irish temper flares a little... :-)

Elizabeth said...

Alex: "someone should have slapped the shit out of him..."
Violent, but O.K. with me. Alex and I are from the Western States.

Alex said...

I think a well timed, well placed slap, with the proper amount of force, can be a beautiful thing when a man is being an asshole.

That's what women did in the old days when a man made inappropriate advances or comments, right? At least that's the way it's always portrayed in film. If another man was witness to it, especially if she was close to him (wife, daughter, etc.), it would fall upon him to defend her honor, no? A duel, swordplay, a gunfight, or a general ass-kicking.

Again, I'm not advocating violence - I'm not a violent man, have never been in a fist fight in my life, have never been slapped as I recall, but it's interesting to talk about this subject.

I did however, have my right ear lobe half bit off by one of my ex's. I was being an asshole. We made mad, passionate love after the bleeding stopped.