R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I'm confused. I don't see how you were talking trash in your previous post. You weren't insulting anyone, either in general or in particular....You were angry and responding to perceived insults to your own dance preference....an understandable reaction, even if the only good it does it get it off your chest.

bastet

Mari said...

I was a little confused too. This gentleman meant the tone of my post seemed antagonistic - like I was trying to stir the pot or something. I think it's a bit of a stretch to see it that way but I thought I would try to clarify the point I was trying to make. *sigh* And I thought my bra post got a lot of email lol

Anonymous said...

how could your rant be any more antagonistic than people repeatedly saying the things they do about close embrace dancers. Because every single one of those comments gets made repeatedly on forums.

And some people out there just keep spreading the bull that open embrace makes you a better dancer and exposes your flaws and people keep lapping it up.

I agree with Alex, it's equally easy to expose your flaws either way...it just depends on what flaw gets magnified with each embrace.

bastet

londontango said...

It's your blog and you can say what you want! And the day I give a squat about what a man says....But then, I'm from NJ ;)

Debbi said...

I find it interesting that someone feels comfortable telling you that you are "lazy" because you dance close embrace and yet gets their panties in a twist because you took umbrage at that dig.

I did not see that you were talking trash, but that you were talked trash to and reacted.

My question to you is, have you said these things to these leaders when they make these dumb remarks? It took me quite a while to become comfortable in responding to bad manners in an appropriate fashion, but I think it is important to do so. And do you enjoy dancing with these men? If yes, then cool, you should tell them to shut up and dance (my favorite retort to stupid comments). :-)

Mari said...

londontango - right on!

Debbi - "have you said these things to these leaders when they make these dumb remarks?"

Usually, I try to be very polite and point them in the direction of respected teachers who would be happy to explain the misconceptions. However, a couple of nights ago I'd finally had enough of trying to be nice responding to these kinds of comments and I lost it *all over* the next leader to start down that path. (Thankfully we weren't at the milonga or anything.) So he got quite the earful.

Next: "And do you enjoy dancing with these men?" - By and large, yes, at least I have in the past. But I have to admit that when I'm to the point where I just don't want to hear it anymore (like I am these days) I find myself looking for those leaders who are more like-minded. I don't want to feel like I have something to prove in my dance. I want to relax and have fun. Feeling picked on - definitely not fun. There are such marvelous leaders in my community (both open and close embrace) who are open-minded, generous and accomodating, that I don't feel the need to put up with surly attitude anymore.

happyseaurchin said...

heheheaaha
it's a strange world for sure :)
miscommunication occurs on the floor
and off :)