08 May 2009

With my sincerest apologies...

Knowing what I know now in tango, I would like to address a few things to a few ladies. I hope that after this, someone will still want to tango with me...

To the lady whom I stepped on, kicked, and knocked knees with,
I apologize. When I was starting out, I didn't and couldn't lead with the right posture, nor with the right walk. I've since corrected those errors and I hope to dance with you again sometime.

To the lady whom I nearly squeezed to death,
I apologize. At the time, I didn't know the difference between a tango embrace—The abrazo, and a Jiujitsu submission hold. I know better now, and when we dance again, I promise to envelop you in a warm loving embrace, and not a bear hug.

To the lady whom I left breathless in less than a tanda,
I apologize. As a beginner, I was impatient, and thought everyone was slow. I was wrong. The next time we dance, I'll dance to the speed of the crowd in harmonious syncopation with you. I promise to not bulldoze right through you.

To the lady whom I led with my flailing arms,
I apologize. I didn't know how to lead yet, so I used your right arm like a boat rudder. I know how to lead now, so when we dance again, I'll present my hand for you to rest yours on. I promise not to wrench it out from its socket.

To the lady whom I bounced around the floor with,
I apologize. It was a remnant of my ballroom days. Rise and fall was the norm. I'm learning to be smooth and walk like I'm on rollers. Next time we dance, I'll try to make it as smooth as possible, and not make you sea-sick from all that bobbing up and down.

To the lady whom I led with a very tentative lead,
I apologize. Starting out, I really didn't know what to do. I assumed that if I give a signal, you'd do a boleo, or a gancho, or a giro, or a molinete... I didn't know that I was supposed to move you—lead you. I think I've it figured out now, so next time, you don't need to guess what I'm trying to do, because you'll be able to feel my lead.

To the lady I tried to teach on the dance floor,
I apologize. I was new. I tried to hide my incompetence by looking smart and teaching you a step that I myself could not lead. It must have been embarrassing or humiliating. In any case, it's not good. I know better now, and when we meet again on the dance floor, things will just happen.

To the lady I heaved around like a sack of potatoes,
I apologize. I confused finesse with brute force. I've since learned to transmit my motion through you very subtly and clearly. As we meet again, we will flow like water.

To the lady I danced with out of tune,
I apologize. At the time interpreting music was not my forté... Ok, I had no clue. I thought that as long as I could do the steps, I'd be fine. I have since learned to read the music, syncopate, dance on time and with rhythm. When we meet, I may not be fancy, but I'll be in tune.

To any one else I have forgotten... I'm sure I have perpetrated a lot more tango malfeasance than what I even remember and/or know... I say to you, "I apologize."

To make amends, I shall do my all to make our next tango experience, a beautiful one.

P.S. I don't stink. So, I won't be apologizing for that. ;-)


Unknown said...

Every good leader knows the taste of crow!

Simba said...

Beautiful -- thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Ta for that. You have just described most of the men I have danced with at one time or another and probably still to come, but not often.
I hope you have been good on the personal hygiene and don't need to apologise for that!

Anonymous said...

You are just too adorable. What a treat to observe someone learning - and sharing - their growth lessons.

Anonymous said...

First rule of tango. Don't apologize.

AmpsterTango said...

Ampster's Replies:

tango junkie: I agree. A little humility never hurt anyone

Simba: Thank you

londontango: Hygiene was never ever been a problem with me ;-)

Johanna: One of the best teachers are your personal mistakes... If your willing to learn by them

Anonymous: If that's the case, then I'm a renegade tango rule breaker!

Anonymous said...

@ Anon
It is the ladies that never need to apologise. And we like Ampster even more for doing it. I think we know who will be doing a lot of dancing. Hmmm...

Liz said...

To Ampster:

Thank you for being one of the first men who invited me to dance when I returned to Seattle and spent many tandas on the bench (and on a night when you were wearing your kilt -- nothing pleases a Scottish lassie more), thank you for the way that I feel you helping me into a groove when it takes us a song or two to get together and thank you for the bliss of the tandas when we are suddenly, magically perfect from the very first step. And thank you for showing us all how you got there.


Elizabeth Brinton said...

Is this like confession? Ampster, you are one of the few truly gentlemanly tangueros. Now some of us ladies could stand to be as modest and as accepting of the partners as you are. And many of the guys could do with a little penance as well.

ad said...

Wonderful post!

As a newbie, I am perpetrating far worse I imagine. You've inspired me for a future post :)

AmpsterTango said...

@ londontango: IMHO, it is the lead's job to make it happen for the lady... Oh, and thank you ;-)

@ Liz: The pleasure of dancing with you was all mine

@ Elizabeth: I had a mentor once who told me, "Making a mistake once is being human. Making the same mistake again and again is being stupid." I took this as a lesson in life that I try to apply to everything. I'd much rather be called "Human."

@ ad: Thank you for taking the time for a read :) I appreciate that, and I'm glad I could provide something of value

Frances R said...

Thanks so much for posting this.
I wish some men out there who had done things you are apologizing for to me eventually understood why I have (politely) declined their invitations afterward. I wish they stopped thinking that the real reason was my being an arrogant tango b**ch :)
I do not even need them to apologize.

Anonymous said...

Being back at
is what life is about

Yet do not fear
or apologize

because those who can see
will not need the apology

but are ready for
the present.

AmpsterTango said...

@ Frances R: You are most welcome. IMHO the lady doesn't need to apologize, nor justify not dancing with everyone who asks. Its your prerogative to do so. It's a tango thing.

@ onesteptango: I agree with your sentiments. Thank you for the poetry