Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Victims of my snobbery, part II

What, you thought because I made two non-snobbery related posts after Part I that my snobbery had softened? Yeah, right!
I remember I was at a workshop with a visiting couple when a guy arrived about 20 minutes late. He politely asked me if I could fill him in as to what had been taught so far. I told him that so far we had been doing warm up exercises on balance, flexibility, and walking. What he replied stuck in my head because it almost made me slap him. He said something along the lines of "Good. I came at just the right time to learn the moves." Here is the epitome of this edition's victim:

The move collector
The move collector is most prevalent in outcome oriented societies, where what has been done counts for more than how it has been done. Indeed, watching the move collector dance is like somebody at a job interview reciting his curriculum vitae, desperately establishing his credentials. It's almost endearing, but not really. It just looks pathetic how he's trying to prove himself worthy to the follower by demonstrating how much time he's spent looking at videos and making half-assed imitations of their idols. He goes through all the list of things he can do, with no regard to the music, and more often than not with no regard to space available. He is very easily identified in milongas because he's mostly in the middle of the dance floor where he has more space, and can be seen doing weird crap like huge volcadas during a fast D'Arienzo milonga. More importantly, his technique is god-awful. He has spent so much time learning volcadas, saltos, barridas, boleos, contra-boleos, re-contra-boleos, and every imaginable combination that he has completely neglected the most important things: caminata y abrazo.
It hurts to watch them dance because in some cases you see potential. You can see that their dancing would become so much better if they fixed their walking, if they paid much more attention to the embrace, if they realized that a good, solid, comfortable embrace, and a porteno walk with determination is all it takes to give a woman a good tanda, so they could just stop going over their whole repertoire with every partner. Then maybe they could start listening to the music, and then start feeling it in their heart.
Please don't be a move collector.


  1. More than half the blame should be on the teachers who teach this junk without regard to considerate dancing, and milonga organisers who continue to allow jerks to make life a misery for the rest of their paying customers.

  2. Hear! Hear!
    What make me even more sad is: when the move collector can be, actually, a decent dancer when he stops doing it and when it's became clear that it was just a lapse in judgment from his part and not an epiphany.

  3. You are both completely right, stay tuned for upcoming editions, where bad teachers and organizers will be featured without a shadow of doubt