Invisible Tanguera

At the milonga last night, I felt invisible. Apart from a few dances with two men I regularly dance with, I sat most of the evening and watched. Although I enjoyed watching the others enjoying themselves, I couldn’t help getting frustrated and unhappy. Another woman came up and asked if I didn’t want to dance at all. Well, I guess after a while it must have looked that way, but in reality I was longing to dance. And once the frustration sets it, it’s then difficult to overcome it and I just feel I want to flee.  I suppose that must show somehow, although I tried hard not to let it. I’m starting to think I should switch to another tango community and stop going out with my regular partner. I just want to dance.

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4 Comments on “Invisible Tanguera”

  1. tangobob Says:

    Jantango did a good article on this, I think it was called “basta la plancha” or at least that was somewhere in the text.
    I know it can be difficult for women, the problem is that when you feel left out, it starts to show in your face and body language, this then makes the men want to dance with you less and it becomes a vicious circle. My best advice (yes I know it is easy for me to say) is to try an be cheerful, enjoy the music and keep smiling.
    I feel a duty to dance with as many women as possible and this sometimes makes my wife feel left out. I tell her there is no point feeling resntful, it will show and nobody wants to dance with a misery. You should tell your regular partner you are not getting enough dancing, he will understand if you give him the chance.
    We men are not deliberatly hurtful,stupid and thoughtless, maybe. So you must tell us where we are going wrong. We may not always understand, just give us a chance and occasionally we will get it right.

  2. jantango Says:

    Tangobob has offered good advise. Smile, by all means. That will make the difference in being invisible or present. You will feel the difference within yourself. You have legs and can dance. Be grateful for that. You have ears and hear the music.

    I have been watching a woman going through the same thing this week in BsAs. She talks to no one. She sits still like she is waiting for a man to rescue her. She does not dance more than once and then leaves early. She IS invisible because she is not sharing her energy with anyone. It is so sad to see, but she has to figure it out for herself. I helped her last year during her first trip. She came for one reason — to dance. She does not know the language and always goes alone to the milongas. Men will invite anyone to dance as long as the woman shows interest. Her attitude needs adjusting.

    It is not about dancing all night long. Get ego out of the way and enjoy each moment.

  3. Wise words from you both, as always. I’m not resentful of my partner dancing with other women, quite the opposite. But I want to avoid people thinking I only want to dance with him – to avoid it looking as if I (have to) wait for him to finish so I can dance again. I think Jan has put her finger on it with the not sharing my energy with anyone while off the dance floor. I do smile and chat briefly, but I do tend to sit alone a lot of the time. By nature I’m a watcher not a chatter. I guess the key is in finding the balance between socialising but not being so immersed that you give the impression you don’t want to be interrupted by someone asking you to dance 🙂 This brings me to another question, when sitting out and watching, it often happens that I inadvertently make eye contact with someone who is dancing. I never really know if it’s right to take it further and acknowledge it with a smile or a nod. It sometimes feels like I’m intruding in their moment, but they are often people I’d really like to dance with.

    • jantango Says:

      I, too, would rather watch the dancing while listening to the music. The woman at my table is there to dance, so our conversation is very brief. We might talk for only minutes during the hours we are seated together. What I was referring to by sharing your energy is giving it to others with your smile rather than a frown. One is positive energy that attracts, the other is negative that repels. I do not advocate being a social butterfly if you want to dance. I consider a milonga a place to dance and leave my private life at the door. It is that way in BsAs.

      While sitting out, it is your opportunity to observe how men dance, especially those with whom you want to dance. Making eye contact with a smile while they are dancing or standing between dances can be a useful time for letting them know you are waiting for a tanda. They should get the hint and see if you are looking their way when the next tanda begins. Many are so engrossed in the moment that they may not see you are watching. I have used this opportunity many times to let a man know I am interested in dancing with him–they get the message. A man notices where I am seated and invites me later with the nod from his table.

      I assure you that men are watching women while they dance. How many women consider it an intrusion? Probably none. It is only another way of communicating to reach a mutual agreement to share ten minutes or less.

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