This is not Prom

DancersOne of the places that I go dancing tends to be … difficult … sometimes.  People tend to dance only with people that they know, and I sometimes only know one or two people.  (Yes, I know that I should make friends, but the leads are out dancing most of the time.  I do make friends with follows.)

I had a couple of not very good dances initially.  One that from first few steps, I recognized as a student of one of the local schools – I have a hard time dancing with students from that school.  I’m not especially skilled in the far-away nuevo style, but can usually get by with a good lead.  These students and their teacher, however, do this style with little or no connection, and I end up feeling thrown around, as was the case here.  The next was with someone that I had danced with before, but had gotten considerably worse in the six months since I had last danced with him.  “I can’t tell what foot you’re on.”  Indeed.

I don’t think of myself as a tango snob, I usually dance with one or two beginners, and often enjoy such dances because they are having so much fun.  Beginners bring fresh energy to a room.

By the time I was asked again, I was eager enough to accept a dance with someone that had just come in, and hadn’t yet observed dancing with anyone.  This guy had clearly not had even one lesson.  He seemed to think he was at prom, just stood there and rocked back and forth.  He put his hand lower than he should have.  When he did make a movement that I thought was a step, his leg was in the way, and I clipped my toe with a heel.  I went and sat down after one song, and he followed me.  He sat down next to me, and put his hand on the back of my chair.  He proceeded to sit there through the rest of the tanda talking about foot massage and asking if I had a boyfriend.  He asked me to dance again at each following song, and I turned him down each time.  I tried to watch the other couples dancing, but had a hard time concentrating.  Finally, he appeared to get bored, got up abruptly, and walked off without a word.

So, good readers, what should I have done?  This is a combination of the baby-sitter and perv types.  I had already walked off the floor, but this was apparently not enough.

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~ by Liz on June 16, 2009.

2 Responses to “This is not Prom”

  1. I think you did the right thing by sitting down, but I would also have asked him to move his arm or gone to the ladies’ room. The guy was obviously an ass. It happens to the best of us. Better to sit and watch and enjoy the music before deciding on saying yes to a dance.

  2. I agree with Arlene that you did everything correctly, except changing your seating rather than waiting for him to walk away. He was there for another reason. You weren’t interested, so he moved on to prey on another unsuspecting woman.

    If the milongas codes were respected where you dance, he would have known that you never wanted to dance with him again–because he doesn’t know how and proved it in a matter of minutes. Saying “thank you” before the end of the tanda means go away forever. A man should never invite himself to a woman’s table.

    Learn to be more assertive. He didn’t read your body language that you weren’t interested in talking with him or dancing again with him. Sometimes these “lounge lizards” only understand directness. Speak up.

    I enjoyed your description of nuevo dancing. I’ve never done it myself for those reasons: there is no connection and I don’t want to be thrown around. I don’t see it as tango.

    Your description of the guy and prom night got a chuckle out of me! That’s what it was for him. Warn other women if he shows up again. Or better yet, tell the organizer not to admit him.

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