Tango Argentino > Etiquette Question

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by spot1969, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. spot1969

    spot1969 New Member

    During a tango lesson a lady in the class refused to dance with me on the grounds that I was too short for her. I took the refusal as graciously as I could and without showing any discourtesy I simply don’t ask her to dance and try to avoid finding myself in her vicinity whenever there is a partner change during lessons.
    My policy has always been that if someone doesn’t want to dance with me then that’s their choice and trying to persuade them otherwise would simply put me further into their creepy category. If they subsequently ask me to dance then I assume I’ve been taken off their sh*t-list. Agonising over the why’s and wherefores proved an unhealthy exercise as was learnt from years of dancing salsa. Having recently taken up tango I didn’t see why the rules should be any different.
    Recently, the same woman is going out of her way to compliment my dancing; literally crossing the floor to tell me. Normally when a woman gushingly compliments me during a practica or other social dance opportunity I will ask them to dance. Deliberately not asking her (or asking someone else standing nearby) feels like I’m the one acting the cnut.
    Is she expecting me to ask her to dance or is she happy with the status quo of cordial distance?
    Do I need to refine my policy for tango or is “one size fits all” the only workable approach?
    [FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']Or am I over-thinking again?[/FONT]
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I would imagine...and it's only a guess...that she still doesn't want to dance with you but feels guilty about having been so frank and wants to make sure you aren't mad at her but you could probably find out by simply saying "so is all of this gushing over me some sign that you've re-thought your position on dancing with me or is it guilt?"
  3. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    I agree. And I love this response.

    Spot, you could say this teasingly with a smile the next time she gushes, and you'll have your answer.
  4. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    Forget all this "expectation" stuff. She avoided you in the lesson because she was wanting to practice with somebody more capable. It's a point of view, it's not that nice, but understandable when you're putting down money to learn and being artificially restricted by a perceived incompetent leader. Think no more of it, it's not personal.

    So should you ask her to dance? What do you stand to gain? If she's really tall relative to you, you will find her quite challenging to dance with. On the other hand I find tall women typically very graceful. Here is how I see it:

    You have an opportunity to prove yourself a better class of man. Don't be vengeful, try it once - ask her to dance. If she hates every minute of it, she'll be avoiding you in future, if she loves it, you've made a new dancing friend. If you hate it, you've no need to go there again, irrespective of how much she may follow you around like a lost sheep. If she refuses, you've got precedent that she is being nice but has stylistic differences. Case closed.

    In my personal experience, because I'm seen as stand-offish kind of person by many, the ONLY reason women talk to me unsolicited is because they want a dance. They loiter. As for them expecting me to ask them, they can sling their hook elsewhere. I'll not be obligated to ask someone to dance because they're talking to me. A metaphorical "Please ask me to dance" is long long way from "I deserve to be asked to dance".

    Many women in the tango scene will only ask for dances at gunpoint. This is more strongly the case in countries like Argentina where the prevailing wind is that men do all the asking, and is much more strongly observed than in Salsa. I'm not sure that guilt applies here, since you indicate that some time has elapsed since the original incident. Trust your instincts on what kind of person she is and act accordingly.
  5. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    "I deserve to be asked to dance"...huh...will be pondering that one a bit. Can't say I've encountered that paradigm. Not exactly sure I'd wanna dance with someone who thinks I "deserve" it...
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I 've never seen it and I don't see how it applies here either although it seems like it is part of some recently significant reality for said poster
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    IMO, you don't owe her a thing. If she has changed her mind, then she should clearly state that or ask you to dance. We can all speculate about what her motives are, but unless she figures out how to give a clear and consistent message, I'd stay away from her.
  8. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    Obviously Samina and Fascination have not moved in theatrical circles much. The prima donna mentality is that the world exists to serve these wonderful people. When the world does not provide them with what they think they are due, they lash out.

    I don't think it's that common in tango, but I have seen it at work in people who cannot come to terms with their own limitations as dancers. When ego > talent the egotistical transfer the blame from themselves to others.

    I posted a gripe many months ago about a woman demanding a dance of me. I took a bit of criticism from the folks who think "no" is a forbidden word in a dancing environment, and I took a lashing from the woman herself because I had little energy or wish to dance at that point in time. A quick summary for those who missed it:

    F: "Do you dance?"
    M: "I'd rather not."

    Her invitation was aggressive and without any persuasive content. She clearly had decided that I must dance with her. How could I possibly not?

    Some women are actually nasty pieces of work, and very very selfish. I suggest that Spot's enigma could be with just such a woman but cannot say without knowing her.
  9. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Isn't this one of those philosphical contradictions, would I dance with you if you didn't deserve it or if YOU THOUGHT you didn't desrve it or if I THOUGHT you didn't deserve it.

    Is this a case of "Judge not lest ye be judged"?

    or just Graciousness

    ( and I take it you don't use Estee Lauder products;) )
  10. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Ow! Smacky! :bkick: I love it.
  11. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i just don't think along the lines of someone "deserving" to be danced with. and i'm not interested in hanging out with those who do. just not my wavelength.

    i take it this refers to a commercial or something? right over my head, doll... right over my head.
  12. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    oh I think their catch phrase is " because you're worth it".

    Had a farily un PC thought which I stopped before it reached my mouth.
    I was dancing with a lady somewhat shorter than myself

    "You're a really nice dancer, for...." then the censorial baseball bat came out.
  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    lol... say no more... i understand.
  14. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    In a slighlty different situation I asked someone to dance at the weekend and was starting to regret it especially as I was beginning to remember that the last time we had danced had not been pleasant but i had clearly forgotten this. I wish I had just stopped and said "Look this isn't working. You're not responding to my leads in fact you're blocking them" as she seemed to be off with the fairies ie mind elsewhere.

    There are just some people who it won't ever happen with; that whatever the opposite of 'clicking ' is, is what happens. Maybe " crunch" would be an apposite term.

    "Me and this babe just crunched on the dance floor."
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    A)you may be correct B)but the OP seems to care, C)the woman isn't blowing him off she's gushing, so I find most of your conslusions premature and harsh though I can empathize with why you might have them
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no, you misunderstand...not as a smarta$$ remark but as a direct and honest inquiry, courage doesn't have to be mean-spirited aggression
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Typical Charlie Brown/ Lucy scenario. :bkick:

    Like there was there this heart-stoppingly gorgeous woman turned up on a bloke's arm at a dance and she's with him, dancing and making eyes at me. Needless to say I steered clear of temptation. I just think she must like the attention her looks elicit.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    you dudes have been hurt too much
  19. Indiana_Jay

    Indiana_Jay Active Member

    "Thanks so much for the compliment! It's too bad I'm not tall enough for us to dance."

    If she responds to such a comment, your answer will probably be in her response. If she seems to have forgotten what she said to you before, you have the choice of forgiving her and asking for a dance, not.
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I had a fellow misunderstand me on a group lesson, had his ego bruised and promptly loudly proclaimed that he'd never dance with me again (probably the few drinks he'd had didn't help)...and a few weeks later after people noted to him that his characterization really didn't fit my personality, he came up to me and asked me to dance...I think it would have been a shame if I had decided prematurely that he wasn't worth it or was just wishing to toy with me again...

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