Le Carrément Tango
(Le Petit Patio 65, allées Léon Gambetta 13001 Marseille)
I know we all have a bad day at the office, but on this particular evening unfortunately, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong . For starters, although I’d sent messages to the organizers of the milonga before hand, as I usually do, just as a matter of courtesy to see whether they wish to be involved in the fundraiser, on the day in question when the event information on FB suddenly included an extra section called ‘Operation Parrainage’ I made the very silly assumption that this referred to my ‘Parrainage’. You see I was under the impression that this was a word which meant fund raiser and very optimistically presumed they wished to participate but just hadn’t been able to get hold of me to confirm this for some unknown reason, but boy was I wrong. I definitely added an extra s to the existing ‘As’ in my name. Unfortunately, on my arrival the lovely hostesses Valerie and Celine looked pretty blank and didn’t appear to know anything at all about ‘Tangoing to Argentina in 80 days’ or Parkinson’s UK, which wasn’t the greatest of beginnings, however, they seemed friendly enough and I just shrugged off my embarrassment and calmly laced up my dance shoes, as you do, as I was simply there to Tango. Alas my dear friends that wasn’t the worst part, as there was more to come.
The venue itself was really sweet. As I walked down some stairs and through the red curtains I discovered a lovely little wooden ballroom floor, with one length lined with tables and dimly lit lamp shades and full length mirrors, just in case you wish to check out your hair/make up as you glided past, and the other with dark oak doors.
There was a little bar area at the back where cakes and other yummy goodies were supplied and people mingled between dances. There also seemed to be a little room in the back with lots of Tango shoes, which I assumed were for sale. Most people were really warm and friendly and there was a pretty equal ratio of men and women, so all in all it all seemed great, except for one slight little glitch.
I don’t consider myself as a good dancer, maybe average, or even bleow average, but to say my dancing was under par even by those standards would be an understatement of the year, and I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. I had trouble communicating even the most basic steps, such as a ‘change in weight’ for example, both in open or close embrace. Just to give you an idea of how bad it actually was, one lady actually said ‘Thank you’ after just 1 dance while another actually stopped mid-way and politely explained that she was too tired to dance to a milonga track (which has a faster beat) but I suspect she was probably just being kind. In Tango terms that is as bad as it gets, unless you actually trip someone up and they end up with a horrible injury requiring hospitalisation by ambulance. Normally, it is customary to dance a ‘Tanda’ consisting of 3 songs, so to stop after 1 dance is usually seen as an insult, but to stop mid-way was terrible. I hate to use the analogy relating to sex as a comparison but it would be almost as bad as if you had to stop midway because it was soooo awful.
However, on the plus side I did enjoy 2 lovely dances with a certain ‘lady in black’, a teacher by profession with 3 children and a poorly husband, who manages to escape by Tangoing; and a ‘lady in Pink’ who thought it was hilarious when I told her it was the 1st time I danced with someone while finding a connection in close embrace just by touching heads, and I meant literally !
At midnight , me and poor my beaten up old Tango shoes and my battered ego scrapped ourselves off the dance floor and out of the Milonga so I could catch my night bus home . Time to reflect and practice lots more me thinks !
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