WARNING: BLOCK OF TEXT AHEAD
I was curious if any of you here are seriously into tango, and or know anyone who is, and can explain the bizarre obsession it creates here in the United States.
I’ll start by saying I’m part Argentine, I now live down the street from my grandma, who is all Argentine, so we’ve had long talks about the obsessive nature of American Tenguiristas/os or whatever the fuck they call themselves. We both think it’s ridicules.
While in Argentina many people tango, it’s not an all consuming, snobby activity where the “dance” goes beyond the dance floor. It’s a way people dance when they go out… the same way if you find yourself listening to country and know how to two-step you might, or a swing/blues song comes on at the bar, you might dance with your date. But it’s not a life consuming obsession like it is here.
My mom is one of the obsessed: her friends, money, boyfriend, time, all revolve around maximizing tango time, and being seen at/with the appropriate tango people at the appropriate tango locations. I think it’s crazy. But they are not alone. The internets have allowed them to become part of this greater obsession, and now they all have hundreds of facebook/tango “event” friends all over the country who are just as obsessive.
…but if you think such a large community means that there’s room for you, think again. Don’t even think about showing up at a milonga if you are “confident” in your tango skills: these are not events at which to learn, or build confidence in the dance. These are events for your tango click to show up the other click, and for those who haven’t yet invested in thirty pairs of tango shoes, to respectfully sit to the side and admire these “artists” or dance.
Better learn the rules first too: http://www.close-embrace.com/invitingetiquette.html
look at this shit.
Now what I’ve recently found more disturbing is that it’s not just my Mom’s generation taking up the dance and this attitude, but I’m actually regularly running into hotties my age who are just as snobby and obsessive about it.
What gives? Seriously? Any of you dealing with friends/family and this obsession? The local free-rag actually did a story on how un-welcome the tangoistos were to him when he went to check out a local milonga, and since then it’s been non-stop letters to the editor, mostly from tango apologists. What is this? Is it simply Americans doing what Americans do, and finding something foreigny and engaging in it to the point of obsession in an attempt to seem “not-white” and eclectic: taking it to the extreme. What am I missing?