Friendly - and not so friendly tango

''You watched them on the dance floor to find out if they could dance, and if they couldn't you kept away" this person talking about a milonga floor?  no it is a comment from an 84 year-old in Thursday's Sydney Morning Herald about dancing at Sydney's Trocadero, a popular ballroom in the heart of town, that was sadly demolished in 1970. "You depended on your partner to make you look good. You were up there to show off": She is talking about dancing lindy hop, jive and swing in this glorious venue which operated from 1936, but the same applies to tango dancers - once you are past the beginner stage and consider that you can dance tango, you begin to check out the men as they dance, just in case they should ask you.
At a recent milonga however I was shocked when a friend who is considered a very good dancer, was told by a woman who considers herself a very good dancer, that she was not sure she wanted to accept his invitation because she hadn't seen him dance! He was shocked too - and it must have been an uncomfortable dance. At the end he asked her if he had passed the 'audition'. He won't ask her to dance again!
I find this attitude to dancing foreign. If a man asks you to dance (which is generally the case in Sydney where the cabaceo is not frequently used) and you would rather check him out first surely you can make some other excuse. I am sure the dancers at the Troc would never have made such a retort.
Tango is a social occasion as well as an opportunity to indulge one's love of the music and the dance - certainly where I come from.


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