April 1st was a momentous day for me. Today I received my first pair of tango shoes, yes read that carefully, my FIRST ever pair! You may be feeling a bit confused, after all I have been learning for just shy under 6 months now but for some perverse reason I had been reluctant to buy any in my first few months. I had a pair of ballroom shoes that had seen better days and while they were never going to compete with their more beautiful sisters on the dance floor, they were sturdy and let me do what I needed to do.
Well finally, 2 months ago, I decided I was ready. That finally I felt confident enough in my own dance ability to say that my feet deserved to be beautified! And so like a fairy godmother, I decided to find what would be christened my ‘Six Month Pair’. I looked at websites, I visited stores, I quizzed people obsessively about what was best. Should I get a flared heel, a straight heel, slingbacks, open toe? – the choices were endless! Then I found my ultimate pair – an open toed silver creation with twinkly diamante ‘eyes’ that seductively winked at me from the straps that wound up my ankles and caressed the statuesque silver heels. I fell head over heels in love – nothing could compare, it was going to be me and Miss Silver Toes until the end of time. I bought them without even looking at the price and floated home, smiling dreamily at everyone on the Tube.
At home, I immediately started creating outfits, planning details right down to the best nail colour. At last ready, I reverently packed my bag and headed out to my regular milonga. I spent the practice class admiring my feet, watching them catch the light and sparkle. I felt like an official tanguera and at last I looked (if I might say so myself) the part!
I would love to leave it like that – say my night ended magically, I looked like a princess and danced even more beautifully but if the truth be told, I find the strain of having Miss Silver Toes with me a bit much. Quite a few people (including men!) admired my shoes but I started to feel that they set a bit of a precedent. I was led into a lot of fancy moves that night, moves that were maybe more suitable for my shoes than for me and by the end I was a bit low and tired. Tired of apologising when I knocked myself off balance in my skyscrapers, tired of tottering down the stairs to the refreshment area and also tired of the balls of my feet aching after what was only 3 hours!
Finally I decided to call it a night and happily removed Miss Silver Toes and replaced her with huggable, cosy Mrs Uggs. The next day, I was telling a friend about my shoes and she laughed and said she had done the exact same thing in her first year. ‘Practice with them slowly’ she said and then maybe treat them as your ‘One Year Pair’ – plus probably best to get yourself an in-between pair. So that’s what I have done and although my latest acquisition is not as flashy as my first pair, I feel much more comfortable with my new bronze buddies. They support my ankles, give me about 3 inches of height and are still sexy enough to hint at toe cleavage! In short, they are what I should have bought first time round and I’m happy with them. Although I must admit, last week I did have to take a peek at Miss Silver Toes, just to check to see how she was baring up at the back of the cupboard!