Last night was a whirlwind.

Three hours, dancing almost the entire time.

Last night was one of the situations that brings out the love-hate relationship I have with my community. We are unbalanced, with more men than women. Last night felt like an extreme: The milonga had good energy, but fewer people came out than I have become used to at this milonga. Not only that, but there were plenty more men than women. Those of you in women-heavy communities may wonder why this could be bad, but in some ways it is.

The problem for me is that I have very little self-control. If there is a leader with whom I enjoy dancing, and he invites me for music that I enjoy dancing with him, I am unlikely to say no. I forget that I am tired and go for it. And I have a blast. This happens a lot, especially on nights like last night, where I am a few seconds off the floor and I catch the eye of another friend who has been hoping to dance more. But if I do this continually, for every tanda, I have no time for anything else. I have no time to talk with other women (who, in this environment, are rarely sitting even if I choose to do so). And I have no time to absorb the dances I just had.

I like to have that time to enjoy the afterglow of a good tanda. Time to sit and listen to the music and just feel it. But it is so hard for me to turn down a dance with someone I like, even in a weekend that promises several nights of dancing. This is what I need to change – I need to turn people down and just space out my dances. Because even if, in the moment, I think I want a spin on the floor with this leader … well, at the end of the night everything becomes a blur. Not that I can’t think back and remember the lovely moments, but I am not left with that feeling of fulfillment. It is like tango is wine and I am binging on it rather than sipping it slowly. Stupid analogy, I know.

I am not exactly complaining, though. I did say this was a love-hate relationship, and there is plenty of love in it. There were some gorgeous dances. I enjoyed it enough to stay beginning to end, which has not been happening lately.


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