“When I first saw you in milongas I thought you were arrogant… a snob” she said after having met with me and having already got to know me a bit better. I get it… most of the time when I am not dancing, I am sitting in a corner all alone… not talking to anyone… enjoying the music… somehow lost in my world… but still… I never considered myself such a “good” dancer to snob others. After all, as my teacher used to say… “We are all newbies… but some of us are more newbies than others”
So… I still don’t think I am a very good dancer (whatever that means)… but I consider myself a work in progress. In this progress, better and more experienced dancers than me played obviously a crucial role. When I first danced with a lady I considered much more experienced than me, I got even more motivated to continue. I still remember some of those tandas. Whenever I dance with a more experienced dancer it’s a motivation and a sign that I am doing a good job and therefore a reason to continue.
I am trying to return the favor to “more newbies” than me as much as I can. If I am doing a bad job… let me know on my face. Honestly! Do it! Come and tell me in my face next time you see me… “You are a fucking snob asshole.” I don’t like being an asshole to others especially when I don’t know I am being an asshole!
However, I have noticed lately a behavior from some “elite groups” in local milongas of Thessaloniki that made me really sad. Small groups of very good dancers dance in local milongas only among themselves. Of course, I understand that you want to enjoy your dance… and we all have our favorite dancers with whom we enjoy dancing more than others… but… Tango is called a social dance for a reason… and the more good dancers there are in an area the better the local milongas get and the more opportunities you get as a good dancer. Sharing your talent and experience with less experienced dancers is a key factor in this. So, if you go to the milonga only to dance with your inner circle of very good dancers… then you are working against yourself!
After all, you don’t want someone telling you after they met you… “I had you for such a snob person”… believe me… it’s not nice…. even if it’s not true.
Snobism in Tango is not a new phenomenon and tonight’s Goodnight Tango proves it since it comes from an era when Tango started entering salons and snobing its origins.