OPENING REMARKS FOR A BRAND SPANKIN'-NEW BLOG!
Hola, and welcome to my blog, fellow milonguera!
A few months ago, I was talking to an American girlfriend of mine about starting some kind of website or blog to inform women about the milongas and all the funkiness that goes along with being part of this scene. Voila! A few months later, out pops this blog. I'm hoping that it will serve women from all over the world who want an insider's look at the tango scene, an atmosphere that is unlike anything most people have ever experienced.
A little about moi. I'm a former psychotherapist/counselor/struggling actor/successful figure model who grew up in L.A. and lived in Arlington, VA until April 2005. A friend of mine introduced me to Argentine tango in D.C. in the mid-90's (God, doesn't this sound like it was eons ago???), and I've been dancing on and off -- through boyfriends and hairstyles, divorce, and graduate degrees -- since then. At my most fanatic, when I was dancing almost every night, I decided to do my dissertation on the tango (as metaphor for soul...more on this later). Of course, one can't possibly do a dissertation without doing some kind of research, so I bought my ticket to Buenos Aires to experience what it was like to dance in the very birthplace of the tango.
I wish I had known then what I know now. It would have saved me a lot of frustration and embarrassment, and would have probably improved my learning curve in terms of my dancing. Because I didn't know the codes of the milonga and was way too eager to dance to take the time to learn about the idiosyncracies of the tango culture (and, indeed, it is a culture in itself... see how much my BA in international relations degree helped?), I danced with the worst dancers, which marked me as a tourist, an outsider, and "extranjera" only here to hit on another Argentine man. I learned by making a complete dork out of myself (which included slipping in front everyone at a milonga, being groped by a slimey guy as I danced, asking a guy to dance, etc. Oh, yes, and let's not forget not knowing the language well enough to defend myself!).
Now, after having lived and danced here for more than a year, I find that I am now dancing with some of the better old school milongueros, those who, had I not learned to say, "No" to some of the more unsavory characters, would have continued to ignore me, or alternatively, only shown interest in me to do the horizontal mambo, if you dig what I'm saying. Plus, the women are nicer to me, too! So, while I'm still an "extranjera," I am now an informed, educated extranjera who isn't going anywhere for a while. I like to think that I earned my seat in the "primer fila," a subject which will be discussed in a future blog.
But wait, there's more! What?! No, way! More bang for your buck? Yesiree. I'll be including a weekly restaurant review called the Milonguera's Chow Guide, a list of where to get decent clothing and tango shoes, teacher suggestions, what to do if you happen to fall in love with one of these milongueros, and a whole lot more! Ideas are just flying out of my head!
So, I welcome any advice, comments, suggestions, updates, or questions you may have. We, women, have got to stick together because it's a jungle out there!
Cheers, and happy tango-ing!