Sean and I are taking dance lessons – tango lessons to be exact. And while we’re no Fred and Ginger, we are two of the better dancers in the class. We pick up the steps pretty easily and have the style down well. The only problem is that our Argentinean dance instructor is a little cranky sometimes. While he welcomes questions, he only welcomes them from the men. Because apparently according to Tango’s history the women never do any leading…THEY ALWAYS FOLLOW. And he makes this point about a gazillion times during each lesson.
“Ladies, stop thinking. Let go of preconceptions…just follow the man. You are not to lead. You should not be thinking, just let him lead you everywhere.” And the other women in the class seem to have no problem with this. It’s like, they slip on their dance shoes and all of a sudden their IQ drops 70 points.
Wednesday night I had a question as to why Sean and I kept ending on different feet. He responds by saying, “Why are you asking this? The man should be the one leading and thinking, not you!”
Now, I totally realize that this is part of the culture and part of the dance, but I have a lot of trouble completely entrusting all of the steps to my partner. Because A) Asking the instructor a question and following my dance partner are two completely separate things and B) Sean is doing it wrong. So, I simply looked at him and said, “Well, if the men are the only ones leading, and the men are the only ones thinking and allowed to ask questions…then the men should pay for the women to be at this lesson. Either that or I would like a refund of my $55. Because I don’t know about everyone else, but I certainly don’t want a lesson on how to follow. I want a lesson on how to dance.”
The instructor cracked a smirk. “You are a spunky girl. I like that.”
At one point, Mussa…that’s the instructor’s name…came over to Sean and me again. “Are you on your left foot too?” He asked me. I nodded. His eyes lowered at me and I scowled back at him in return. With his right hand, he pushed my shoulder. I swayed a little, but just continued looking at him confused. “If you’re on your left foot, then why didn’t you take a step when I pushed you?”
12 years of ballet definitely has helped my balance throughout the years but I was pretty sure that would just give him another excuse to bash women. “Because,” I said not taking my eyes off of his, “You’re not the one leading me. He is.”
He clapped his hands together, throwing his head back laughing. “Ohh, my goodness! I think you’ve finally gotten it!” Then he looked at Sean. “You have your hands full with that one.”
And I swear to God, Sean had to restrain me from attacking the man.
This is Mussa dancing with one of the other students. They all think he’s some sort of dreamboat. Perhaps he is, but he definitely makes me seasick.