I danced with a man the other night at a milonga and apparently we each entered a separate twilight zone because at the end, while I was relieved it was over, HE ended it gushing and saying that I was the best partner he had had that night! Perhaps the others had done the sensible thing and walked out in the middle of their tanda? This dancer (I’ll call him R) was incredibly hot and sweaty and even though we started the dance in the open embrace, he managed to grab me close while doing a couple of lightning fast turns – eeuah! He must have easily pushed 6'5" and this combined with his brute force meant that I felt very much like a small sail boat in the middle of a hurricane. At last though, my tanda was over and after a tight, disbelieving smile I left the dance floor, relieved to have survived in one piece.
Cue three hours later (and really I should have left about an hour ago as I’m now on night bus territory) I find myself cornered by the above said man in the cloakroom again. I fob him off with some excuse about leaving and go to grab my coat when a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen for ages appears and asks me to waltz. Now dancing a waltz with this man is dreamy, so I can’t resist but as I finish my tanda, R approaches me, hand out with the words ‘So you are dancing after all’.
In a pang of guilt, I agree to dance with him again and somehow it has now become 10 times worse! He is hotter, his shirt is now damp and somehow he has convinced himself that I no longer needs marks from him but can somehow read his brain regarding steps. We bungle along through the first two tangos and as if suspecting my displeasure, he does that annoying thing of NOT letting go of my hand between the music and even continues to weight transfer as if hearing some invisible beat. The final piece is a milonga and before I can even blink, he is cannoning us along the dance floor, his feet going 19 to the dozen and halfway through I just lose it. I stop even attempting to follow and just hang their like a rag doll, my feet dragging along the floor and conveying my utter displeasure at this Neanderthal dance style. The music ends. There is a pause and I extract myself and look up at him, hoping he is going to have realised something is amiss. ‘Wonderful’ he says leaning down to kiss my cheek. ‘My best partner of the night’. I cannot hide my disbelief, nor do I trust myself to say anything. I am speechless so turn away and sit in the corner seething and grinding my teeth.
The next day, I told another leader about this experience and although he sympathised, he also scolded me for not being honest, ‘Now some other poor girl is going to suffer through the same thing next week’, he said and its true and now I feel bad.