This is a story about a young beginner tango dancer. A student from another country enjoying his graduate studies and some tango and incidentally an excellent racquetball player. He had only been studying tango for about 2 months. So maybe he had taken 30 hours of tango by the time he excitedly made the decision to attend his first festival. Excited and nervous but eager to continue his learning of this fascinating dance he signed up and went. He spent several hours at his first milonga watching and dancing with several of his mates, who had also taken the brave endeavor of attending their first festival. Then he got the courage to ask another dancer, a stranger, a beautiful stranger, to dance. She immediately embraced him closely and within minutes, she left him on the dance floor.
I hear your gasps!
He knew from his teacher and from more experienced classmates about tango etiquette, and he knew that this was not a good thing, being “thank you’d” and left on the dance floor. He felt badly. A little time went by and cakes were served at this milonga. So he went to get a piece of cake and found this woman and brought it to her. He wanted to know what he had done wrong? She thanked him for the cake and he asked her directly what he could do to improve his dancing. She offered him a simple piece of advice, “stay in line of dance”.
His spirit was a little broken from the incident especially because he had been so enthusiastic about learning to tango. He knew about staying in the line of dance and he confesses that having a complete stranger in his arms was overwhelming at best.
BUT I thought the gesture of bringing the woman cake was an excellent and mature way to apologize and to show reverence to the dance and to the dancer.
How can we continue to be kind in this dance? What is your offering?