A handful of couples stood chatting on the cold stone floor, waiting for the music to start again. An occasional glance from the people clustered at the tables on both sides of the room or lined against the walls would travel over them with disinterest. Dim blue and pinkish lights made it difficult to see who was looking where, but I could see my friends sitting under the air conditioner, twitching as the occasional droplet fell on their skin.
"What a beautiful dancer!", my partner exclaimed, leaning in towards me as he craned his neck. I stood, awkwardly waiting for the music to start blaring notes laden with the slightly echoey quality that plagues it in this milonga.
"Thank you, you too," I answered in my slightly broken Spanish, preparing myself for last song of the tanda.
"How well you dance...", he said again during the dance. "What a woman!"
Not knowing what to answer (which part of my dancing is particularly feminine?), I beat a hasty retreat to my seat as soon as the tanda was over.
"How was it?" My friends questioned after I had sat down.
You should know girls talk about their dances - a lot. I am completely unrepentant as I believe men are guilty of this as well. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
I proceeded to tell my friends that while he was a good dancer, I was not sure I would feel up to the unsettling compliments anytime soon. "You too?" My friends asked, starting to laugh.
Yep, he had said the same thing almost word for word to all of us. It may seem funny, but it was not enjoyable. How could we believe he was genuine after delivering the same lines to all of us? And I'm not mentioning how uncomfortable he made all three of us feel, as we all know we are not exactly competition for the excellent followers living in Buenos Aires (as of yet, we are working on it).
I felt like telling him, what about something more poetic and unique such as: "Should I compare thee to a summer day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate".
Of course, I understand why one would try to flirt in tango, and I don't blame them - it's normal to try your luck with someone you find attractive. But would a little bit of delicacy be too much to ask for? And if people could learn to read body language, that would be great.
Tip #1: If I'm trying to edge away, it's generally a bad sign.