“Nobody dances with me… I am too old! All the leaders prefer to dance with the younger, sexier dancers even though they are not good dancers” Many followers, who feel their age is their biggest burden
I have heard this phrase so many times and it always made me feel sad and even guilty.
During every attempt though I made to help would get a you-are-too-young type of response
And so for years I avoided writing about the matter until today…
The follower’s view on the age- issue
Most followers have a sad story to share, where they have felt left out, ignored and unwanted.
And there are not stories only from the milongas but also from practicas and even classes…
Follower’s will tell you things like:
“Leaders avoid me. They won’t even look at me” OR
“Dancers that I have known for years, even friends of mine… dance only with the young, sexy dancers who can’t even dance properly, and completely ignore me” OR
“I have been taking classes for years only to go to milongas and get to dance 2 tandas maximum during which I would be dancing with the worst dancers, who don’t even smell good..!”
They go on to blame their age, their not so-revealing outfits and… of course… Mother Nature…
Followers believe it is in your nature to go after the first young, sexy thing you see in the room
But is this the truth..?
A leader’s view on the age- issue
I am not a man and therefore I can’t say if this is true or not…
Most men though will tell you that this is not the case at all… at least not in Tango.
** DISCLAIMER: Here we are talking about decent men who are not using Tango as the last resort to get close to a woman..! **
(Not a joke… though)
What they do say though is things like:
“The attractivity of a dancer is made up of several ingredients. First and foremost the dance skills. But what makes here a pleasure to dance with is more than that. Sympathy is important, that young sparkle in her eyes, an empathic connection aside from tango. A tasteful dress and a personal attitude that matches her age doesn’t do harm, either. These are the same things that make a women attractive in general. I am not talking about romantic thoughts, I mean character and identity. It’s the very same for men, by the way, although they admittedly have the minority advantage in tango.” ( a thoughtful comment found under this article: In search of Tango: The age prejudice in Tango)
Or from the same article:
“Men get avoided and turned down for dances because of their age, grey hair, appearance, height, skill, clique membership, position in the hierarchy, etc. We don’t know why we’re refused; it’s uncomfortable for everybody if we ask why, so we don’t ask. Sometimes our invitations to dance are turned down, and then we see our invitee on the dance floor with somebody else thirty seconds later. This is very unpleasant. We too endure tandas with followers that are not very enjoyable.” Or
“Its not so much age as the lack of beauty and isn’t this just the story of life? We all seek beauty in various forms and tango is no exception.”
I am not too old… I don’t get asked by the best dancers… And I DON’T care!
As I said I am not attracted to women and therefore I can’t tell you if the guys are using the above and more as excuses for not dancing with you… But I truly don’t think that this is the case….
Personally, and I hope you will believe me, I am not one of those followers who won’t stop dancing all night, and not because I am picky…
I will dance with everyone except from people who rude and/ or hurtful.
This is my standard and I won’t take one step back from it simply because dancing with someone hurtful or rude makes me feel worse than sitting, enjoying the music and chatting with a friend.
Having standards is important as it will save you from physical and psychological pain PLUS it shows good dancers and most importantly good people that they are in your niche instead of some rude bum looking do all the crazy moves he has picked from the web…
How do you ensure you choose correctly..?
This is what I do…
When I am not dancing, I am looking at the people… how they approach their partners, how they reach in the embrace, what they do between the dances, how the finish the tanda and get off the dance floor…. Overall, how they treat their partners…
MEN..! Be nice!
It goes a long way…
And because I know you are probably thinking…” I AM nice!”
Here are a few extra tips…
- Practice on things that matter on the dance floor
For example, posture, proper clear leading, good listening, embrace and musicality over fancy moves
- Be respectful but not too serious
For example, allowing people to chat and excusing yourself when you interrupt them is not old school, it is good manners.
Properly asking someone for a dance and not creeping up on a follower, again good manners
- Be presentable.
It always wins over being young… That is why women still like George Clooney. He has style and he doesn’t pretend he is still 20
So if you are 50 dress like a 50 year old living in 2018..!
- A fresh scent
Now I am not saying you smell bad, but that doesn’t mean you smell good..! Sooo, try to smell good without overdoing it
Now back to you followers…
Practicing will give your better technique and therefore confidence… but you don’t only need confidence you also need to stick to your standards even if it means that for a little while you will be dancing less…
But you know what because I know you are probably already thinking things like:
“You are still young and good looking” or
“Everyone wants to dance with you, you are a teacher…” or
some combo of the two comments above…
So since I can’t win, and I don’t want to make you feel sadder and myself guiltier I will let a man do the work for me… haha
Now, don’t start with, “I am looking to get more dances not more dates”
Of course Tango is Tango and life is life… but hear Matthew Hussey out first..!
Can you… or better said… can WE become:
- Practice on things that matter on the dance floor
Meaning technique, listening, posture, embrace, musicality
- Be more social
A smile, between dances goes a long way. And a friendly chat or even a joke goes even longer.
But even when you are sitting out, chat with the people next to you, relax back in your chair and enjoy the music, look at the dance floor being genuinely interested
- Be presentable
Your outfit must say that you care about that night.
That you put some effort to find something nice to wear. And not for others but also for you, choose things that make YOU feel good and then you can project that outward
- A fresh scent
Something light, soft and elegant such work. It doesn’t even have to be perfume, it can be body lotion..! 😉
So can we become, as Matthew saying that video, playful, sexy, nurturing and independent..?
I think so and if you think so too just hit subscribe.
We can do together..!