Grrl Power - the Good Stuff

Once again I'm inspired inspired by Stephanie over at J'ai mal aux pieds, and her article about The Myth of Women Competition ( I've heard similar rumors from other communities about women competing for dances, for prime tables and seating etc. etc. - an overall atmosphere that women must compete with one another for dances.

"Milongas are for dancing, not socializing."
"There's never enough men!"
"Men always want to dance with... dancers younger than me/older than me/beginners/advanced dancers . . ."

I can't tell you how grateful I am to have never encountered this attitude. I've never known so many beautifully talented, brilliant, gorgeous women as I have in tango. Women who have encouraged me to come out when I was feeling to blue, too tired, too sore - whatever. As much as I talk (well, write) about experiences dancing making my milonga - so many times, it's my experiences with my girl friends that have made my night. We learn from each other. Share secrets. Trade stories. Occasionally covet each other's shoes!

From the woman who's been dancing longer than any of us, to the one who started lessons last week, we gather during the milongas, scoot together at the tables, share wine and stories - occasionally practicing our cabeceo on each other. We laugh at the fact that we're so lucky that it's hard to finish a conversation since we're each getting up to dance so much. And we laugh when we get to catch up and actually finish a story. Maybe because it's still new for me to have so many friends outside of my work, that bonding with my girl friends is every bit as rewarding as the most blissful tanda. Every bit of it is "the good stuff" of the milonga.


Elizabeth Brinton said...

Thanks for that. My experience all over the place tells me that women have solidarity and friendship. There may be some other stuff going on, but do we care?

Tango Therapist said...

It's amazing how many grrl friends I have from tango. Tango is much more than a dance; it's a way of thinking that starts with a warm embrace from the heart.

Anonymous said...

Grrl power is good stuff, and you are right that most of the ladies in this area are quite welcoming. I'm glad you reminded me of it. :)


Mari said...

Elizabeth, Tango Theologian, and Bastet - thank you so much for your comments. I'm so blessed to be surrounded by such talented and generous people both locally and online.

Anonymous said...

The longer you are in Tango, the harder it will be to remember this. The human condition loves to complain. There will be a time when you will wonder why you are not getting as many dances as you used to. It is then that you will feel the pull of the negative. Instead, remember that the women around you are your friends, and focus on the positive of socializing with them instead of wondering "what you did wrong" to not be asked to dance.

Anonymous said...

I am happy to be part of this beautiful group of women all over the world!
A delicate subject i would like to have feed back on is how can I be gracious and not hurt anyones feelings when he is one of the better dancers however has body odor and sweat that gets all over me and i find myself gagging.This is his personal chemistry. I reapply my cologne to over power his lingering scent on my hair and clothes. I suppose we have to put with these issues sometimes when the tango community is very small. Perhaps I could give him a bottle of cologne as a gift and tell him I adore this fragrance and to try it. He did comment once and seemed proud of the fact that he did not wear cologne. Any suggestions on how to be diplomatic about this subject? This is a man I like and respect,not a casual encounter which I know changes things around.
Dear ladies,I know this subject is talked about all the time however ,any advice would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

There are usually more women than men at a milonga and it does make sense to try and get along with each other. I have known nothing other than friendliness with the women. There are those more willing to engage than others, but that is life.
@Anon - you might want to get a man to talk to your dancer with the BO if you can't do it yourself.