I haven’t found a better place on the website to ask the question, so here goes: I have been dancing tango for a couple years, and have found myself at a disadvantage because I look young! While I’ve had some wonderful partners in the milongas, I also have had a fair share of rather unpleasant experiences with men who, having decided that I must be *very young*, proceeded to lecture me on my mistakes etc (this happened in a couple places). I have no problem with constructive criticism, nor am I a terrible dancer (at least I hope not), but it is the tone that has bothered me. It can put a dampener on an otherwise nice evening. Has anyone encountered a similar issue, and is there an etiquette about a partner commenting on the lady’s performance?
I have addressed this topic here and here. It seems as if it might need repeating. There is no real etiquette about this sort of thing that people follow, otherwise they would only use the cabeceo, etc., just some common sense about how to deal with people.
There are some people on the planet that feel the need to tell others what to do in order to big themselves up. It comes from a lack of self-esteem. It has nothing to do with how young you may look. It can happen to anyone at any age. Sorry if that doesn’t make you feel special, but that is how it goes. I don’t look my age, but that hasn’t stopped some men from trying to tell me how I should be following. If that happens, I just end the dance and leave them on the dance floor these days. I am tired of playing nice and wasting whatever time I have left on the planet.
So, I will repeat: A Milonga is a place to relax and dance. A class or a practica is a place to learn, where constructive criticism is acceptable. End of.
No one likes being patronised when they are out trying to have a good time. So, Diana, it is up to you to work out how you want to spend your evening. It is NOT acceptable to be criticised on a fun night out. Especially as most of the men out there don’t know what the heck they are talking about. This type of behaviour can really put people off. It doesn’t only happen in Tango either.
The nice thing to say is what the gent said in the post about being lectured by a teacher: “I come to Milonga’s to dance, visit with friends, and have a good time. If I wanted a lesson I would go to a studio and take one. Now you can either let me lead and enjoy the rest of the tanda or I will say thank you and go sit down.”
Or as a woman to a man: “I come to Milonga’s to dance, visit with friends, and have a good time. If I wanted a lesson I would go to a studio and take one. Now you can either lead me (or let me follow) and enjoy the rest of the tanda or I will say thank you and go sit down.”
As I don’t dance much Tango these days, I tend to dance mainly with people I know that won’t do that sort of thing. Try and be more selective with who you dance with and it will all work out ok.