♫ To all the men I've dissed before ♫
The emails keep coming, along with comments, and so far, one phone call. My ranty post, "Insert Rude Gesture" has generated rather a lot more feedback than I anticipated it would. I have also heard from a few of the tangueros who made the comments that inspired the post. The responses have ranged from. "I didn't mean it like that" - to "I never said that" (actually I still have your email right here, boy-o.) It doesn't really matter who said what, when. Those exact comments are all over dance forums and mailing lists.
The email that gave me the most pause was the one that said, "you promised no trash-talking on your blog." That's true. And my last post rode that line. I still reserve the right to rant and rave occasionally because it's still my blog and my soapbox. I didn't think I was getting personal but it was taken that way. I am sorry for that. However, I am not sorry for my opinions. My post may have seemed harsh - and it was certainly more caustic than my usual entries - but that doesn't change the meaning of what I wrote. However, it's almost impossible to learn when you're being defensive. And I was being very defensive.
So here is all I was trying to say: don't judge.
I don't judge another dancer's skill, commitment level, sensitivity, artistry, musicality, ability to hold their axis - based on what style of tango they prefer. I don't associate their preferences with some sort of character flaw. And just as I'm tired of hearing that estilo milonguero dancers are boring or can't maintain their own axis, nuevo dancers are tired of hearing that they're only it for the show/can't manage the space on the floor. Those are generalizations and ultimately do a disservice to our community. We're human and it's our nature to sort - in this case to divide people into "dances like we do" and "doesn't dance like we do".
Tango is personal - in your face, body-to-body, heart-to-heart personal. It's hard not to get defensive when someone else's taste in the dance/style/embrace seems so alien to us and vice versa. But if we're all respectful of each other, the floor and the music - there's room for all of us on the pista.