Thursday, March 01, 2007


Had a most delightful time last night! I danced until I could no longer stand on my toes, and with some of the best dancers too. I remember sitting down twice, but never for long, and several people actually remarked on never seeing me off the dance floor. Around one o´clock I decided it was getting late and I should go home; and as I was massaging my aching feet, a girl sitting next to me whom I had seen at the milonga and talked to once or twice, a beginner, said ´Ah, mais tu as vraiment beaucoup dansé!´ I acquiesced. She went on ´Mais tu as de la chance, toi, tu danses tout le temps. Moi, j'en ai marre de être toujours là, assise...´ Anyway, the gist of the conversation was that she was totally frustrated, and really cold on top of that (well, you can´t really wear a warm pullover to a milonga, it wouldn´t be elegant, but if you wear something that shows off your body and then spend the evening sitting down, you end up being really cold). The problem, of course, is that she is a beginner, and not very patient one. She said it was a vicious circle, ´the men won´t dance with you if you´re not a good dancer, but how the hell are you supposed to learn, if they won´t dance with you?´ I told her it was perfectly normal and that all dancers have been through that stage, that it was bound to get better with the time, but that didn´t seem to cheer her up. Maybe she didn´t believe me.
I used to be just as depressed about not dancing much when I was a beginner; but it was also a really good motivation for me to work on my dancing skills and learn all I could. I would always get a few dances (I think everybody does, if they are patient enough - so no need to despair) and besides, I quite enjoyed sitting down and watching the good dancers on the dance floor - it was far better than watching a film, better than Carlos Saura´s Tango. At my first milonga I only danced with three men; still, I stayed until half past four and left with the feeling that it had been an altogether marvellous night.
And as my dancing skills improved, the number of my dancing partners increased. How often you are invited to dance, and by whom, is actually a very useful indicator of your progress (although, of course, there will always be some good nights and some bad nights, that´s just the way it is). I felt the most profound satisfaction when a man with whom I first danced as a beginner while he was very advanced and on the whole a rather good dancer asked me to do an advanced workshop with him. Hooorrraaay!!! He had been a very good indicator throughout - he rather likes to mentor beginners, telling them what they are doing wrong and how to do things right, which I found quite helpful as a beginner, but a bit annoying later on (especially as the stuff he would point out to me were things I knew I still had to work on). His comments grew scarcer, however, and then at some point he stopped commenting on my dancing altogether. I still remember my feeling of triumph:)


I need new shoes. Not any shoes. I need a pair of ´Comme il faut´s. Urgently.
My increasing obsession with these beautiful and, they say, incredibly comfortable shoes - which I take it means mainly that they are very stable and well balanced, and that´s about as much as you can reasonably ask of such 3- or 4-inch-heeled beauties - anyway, my increasing obsession with them happens to coincide with the loosening of my golden sandals´ straps. I could have them fixed, I suppose. I think I will, actually, because I´m very fond of them (they - and my feet, as a consequence - looked awesome last night). But even so, it sort of reminded me that shoes are perishable, and it might not hurt to get another pair? Just to be on the safe side... And since I´ll be getting a new pair of dancing shoes, it seems to follow logically that I should get the best that there is. Not that the ones I have are bad. I´ve already mentioned the golden strap sandals, and then there is the baby-blue/black pair by the Argentinian designer Sylvie Geronimi, simply lovely and very original. But are two pairs sufficient? And the third time´s a charm.. There´s a hitch, however. The closest shop where they sell ´Comme il faut´s is in Paris. Now, shall I go to Paris for a weekend? Wouldn´t mind checking out my old favourite milongas.. but when? No time.. Or maybe just for a day? Take the train in the morning, buy the shoes - if I find any I like - and come back in the evening? It would be feasible.. But is it not terribly extravagant, going all the way to Paris just to buy a pair of shoes? - that seems to imply that buying two or three pairs would be more reasonable - or would it?
Well, I might have to do it - driven by sheer necessity, as it were.