Giving Feedback

I should never be left alone with access to both Amazon and my credit card. My dwindling checking account doesn’t appreciate it. On the other hand, I am now one step closer to reading Happy Tango! (I’m also one step closer to truly learning Farsi! I’m super excited; I haven’t been progressing as quickly as I’d like with the hodgepodge approach I’ve been using.)

I have also been thinking a lot about how to give feedback and advice to other people. In tango, we are simultaneously intimate with and distant from the people around us. We connect intensely, but we may not know someone off the dance floor. So how do we communicate with that person?

The thought was sparked by Debbi‘s encounter with a beginner at the milonga. I thought she handled the situation beautifully. I wish that everyone knew basic tango etiquette before entering their first milonga, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. Just last night, I brought a friend to her first intro tango class, and she stayed for 2.5 hours afterward to dance at the milonga. The teacher gave some great tips for those who wanted to stay for the milonga, but I still found myself filling my friend in on more details. There’s a lot to learn.

I also witnessed an accident on the dance floor, caused by a reckless leader. I don’t know him well enough to talk to him, but I feel like someone needs to. He disrupts the entire dance floor. Even when he isn’t being disruptive, he is endangering his followers. (Some of the followers even agree about this, but for some reason they haven’t talked to him about it.) What do you do in these situations? Followers can always choose to stop dancing with him, but isn’t there some other way to effectively communicate with a dancer in situations like this? (If you don’t have a chance to tell him in a practica setting, is it a matter of breaching milonga etiquette v. giving up on him?)

We are like a small town—it’s hard to break in, and once you’re in it’s just as hard to get a straight answer from anyone. (It’s all niceties to your face and criticism behind your back!) But it’s also hard to be up front with people without seeming rude. So I wonder … what feedback do people have for me that they feel like they can’t say directly to me?

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3 thoughts on “Giving Feedback

  1. Hello Modern Tanguera
    I am guessing from this post that you may have splashed out on Happy Tango as part of your Amazon shopping spree… if so, just wanted to say a big thanks for buying my book – I really hope you enjoy it and find it useful.
    It’s an exciting time for me and the book as it sets out on its journey into the hands of tango dancers, and it’s a lovely feeling every time I hear that someone has believed in me enough or was interested enough in the book to buy a copy.
    Thank you! Un abrazo, SC
    ps. Am loving your blog’s new look 🙂

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