Dear Tango Tia: I’ve been dancing tango about three years but am considering calling it quits unless you can give me a good reason not to. I recently returned from spending six weeks in Buenos Aires and being humiliated by not being able to get dances except with women in my group. I’m 54, average height and weight, well groomed but not very good looking. And I think this is the problem. If I were better looking I’d have more women wanting to dance with me, so it doesn’t matter how many lessons I take or how good I get, if they won’t look back at me, I’ll never get to dance much. Do you have any suggestions or should I just find something else to do?–Bummed in BsAs
Dear Bummed: Here’s a secret…women are not as concerned about how attractive their partner is as men are concerned about dancing with attractive women. Women are more interested in dancing with someone who holds them comfortably and leads a few nice moves with clarity, interesting rhythms and musicality. So forget about your looks and focus on your dance. A lot of great dancers, including those in BsAs, are not “attractive” but women love to dance with them because they know how to make a woman happy on the dance floor. Chalk your experience in BsAs up to that, experience, and start looking forward to your next trip. In the meantime, learn Spanish, if you do not speak it, and spend as much time as possible conquering the basics. Find a teacher who will spend time on the details that make the difference between being a dancer and being a great dancer. Three years often marks a turning point between “learning” and “understanding.” Give it another year and let me know how you’re doing.