Ironing out the problem of sitting out

I have discovered a new term (to me). La planchadora - the woman who sits out all night at a milonga and isn't asked to dance - literally the ironing woman. (Out of curiosity I need someone to tell me if there is a male equivalent). In English this is the wall flower.
Confessions of a Tango Addict wrote in April about la planchadora. Sitting out at a milonga is something every woman has to get used to you she wrote  - for reasons from bad music to not enough men... but she also has a list of things the woman can do avoid becoming an ironing woman! Worth a read by every tanguera - especially those who think they might give up going to milongas even though they love tango.
I have found over the years that sitting out at milongas goes in waves - but one thing I like at Aussie milongas is to sit with friends - both male and female. Generally I will be asked to dance by each of the men (as well as others on a good night) and when I am not dancing I have someone whose company I enjoy to talk to (a favourite occupation). 


Anonymous said…
When women would comment on how they didn't want to "planchar" at the milonga, I decided to look up the word. They weren't referring to "ironing" but "sitting out a dance." This is one of several definition of the verb planchar, especially in Latin America.

Just as "cabeceod" is how English speakers have taken a Spanish verb and added the "d" to make it a past tense verb, I think this is the same for planchadora.
The word doesn't exist in my Spanish dictionary.

Women outnumber men in world population. It's no different at dances.
Anonymous said…
"Women outnumber men in world population. It's no different at dances." Not in China/India ... Guess those are good places to go to a milonga if you are a woman!!

As a leader there are some reasons why I don't ask a woman:

1. She is sitting somewhere that is difficult for me (or most men) to get to (I'm in the US and we don't really cabaceo).

2. She's sitting talking with friends. I don't like approaching people and interrupting them. Also I find it difficult to approach someone in a group. Much easier to ask someone who is alone.

3. She doesn't look happy.

4. I don't often ask women I don't know; due to years of rejection I now habitually play it safe. I however do dance with new women that I meet at classes (pre-milonga and non pre-milonga). Do these women go to the pre-milonga classes and meet people before the women.

5. Their attitude. I don't expect women to be perfect but those that only focus on steps without developing technique or trying to get better just make me not want to dance with them.
Annie said…
I'm wondering if men do actually notice when women haven't danced? Some seem to pick woman who have just come off the dance floor, while others are waiting a turn. We do try to look happy, and do sit alone but a with a group we can at least have nice conversation. It can be quite hurtful and we try to dwell on the positives but ....
There are those sweethearts who always try to dance with new women or women who are sitting waiting so we do thank those wonderful men.

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