Music and Choosing a Partner

“That’s why I always look for her when D’Agostino comes on!”

I was just watching the beautiful video that Sally posted of her and Carlos dancing together. (Sally, it is so lovely! Congratulations!) I noticed that the first dance is to D’Agostino, which reminded me of the quotation above.

A friend of mine said that while talking with another leader. I can’t remember what was said before or after that, but it stuck in my head. I don’t always know what orchestra is playing, even though I know the music, and I hadn’t even noticed that this friend always grabs me when D’Agostino comes on. But it’s true! And we have tons of fun with it.

(At the first festival I went to, this friend and I were laughing and joking and having a ball. Someone even asked if we were related. But no, we just “get” each other. The little toe taps and torso wiggles that express the music just so.)

And that is why I like to wait until the music has started—to get a dance because all the elements have fallen into place. It is why I don’t like to be the leader’s second choice, the fall-back follower who will do, I suppose. I want a leader to hear the music and know that, for these three or four songs, the two of us together will make the best tanda ever.

(Also, Sally, thank you for that vals, as well. I have been feeling lately like vals just doesn’t grab me like it used to. And then I watched your vals. Thank you for the reminder of how nice it can be!)


6 thoughts on “Music and Choosing a Partner

  1. It’s so funny that you posted this great entry! I only recently really started “get it” – the waiting for the music to choose a partner. I was always so anxious to dance with anyone to anything that I didn’t really think about how each experience was in relationship to music.

    Now that I understand it a little bit better, I not only don’t get frustrated when a leader passes me over, but I’m especially pleased when I see a leader listen to the music – and then ask me to dance.

  2. The problem is that in our town, if a leader waits till the music starts, then the follower will most likely already be taken.

    That is one of the very big downsides to having a community that is short on followers.

  3. Mari, I love it when I see that happen! So nice.

    RM, it is why I have taken to looking at my feet until the music starts–I don’t want to invite people to ask me before I know what’s coming up! And you are definitely one of those leaders where I can hear the music and know that we are both looking for each other. Yay! I should be at SN tonight, hope to see you there.

    TR, yes, it’s tougher for leaders to do that here, if they really want to get dances. But at least I can do my part to force leaders to wait before inviting me…

  4. Hey dear Modern Tanguera, how gorgeous that you liked our video… and especially the vals. We both LOVE vals 🙂 With the right partner (and of course especially with C. who loved vals long before I did) it makes me unbelievably happy to dance it… it is absolutely the music that resonates most with my soul.
    In the milonga I seek partners for it that I can trust… actually I confess it breaks my heart a little if a man dances to vals exactly the same way that he dances to tango… it’s kind of one of the signs to me that he just isn’t feeling the music at all and that makes me so sad.
    Here in BsAs I love how people wait to choose their partners until they’ve heard the music. With some music it matters less to me but with vals and a few of my favourite orchestras it matters sooooo much. And yes, isn’t it lovely when you just know someone sought you out for their favourite orchestras too. A complete privilege I reckon.

    I confess I’ve been a bit out of touch with blogging (including my own!) while I’ve been in the UK. Now I’m back in BsAs I’m looking forward to catching up. So, now to read your back posts!
    Warm hug from Argentina, SC

  5. This is also the reason that I like to let the lead choose what music that we dance to. I find it way more important that he connects to the music. If he connects, I will be fine. But if he doesn’t connect… eeeew. And I know that this can even vary with their moods, energy levels. So even if I know I like to dance to Biagi with someone in particular, I generally let them choose whether they can handle ME at that moment in time 😉

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