Monday, June 23, 2008

Life After Salsa

Hanging with my Salsa friendsAfter Salsa class last night at Club Mambo, several of us went to a nearby restaurant to hang out, have a beer—or in the case of most of us, a Coke—and get a little grub. On the right in back is Henry, the Salsa instructor (one of several I have), and in between him and me is his dance partner, Soledad. On the left is Adrian, one of the first people I met at La Salsera, the other dance studio. Next to him is Carlito, or "little Carlos." I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but he's not that little. He's about my height (that would be 5' 7") but is flippin' buff. He lifts weights. He relayed a story of two crooks who held him up. One of them stuck a gun to his head. He proceeded to knock the guys arm away—it's all about the muzzle—and pummel him in the face. His accomplice ran. I shook his hand and congratulated him. The world would be a better place if more people kicked the asses of crooks. Behind Carlito is Santiago.

Soledad, being surrounded by guys, posed a question: what is the quality in a woman that you most want? The answers were (in no particular order): has to be beautiful (of course), honest, sincere, and have a positive attitude. Doesn't matter where you are; relationships and desirable qualities don't change.

For some reason, stimulated by the topic at hand, perhaps, I mentioned loathing when a dance partner tells me how to dance the pattern or the move, or tries to lead. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, the way dancing works—at least the kind I'm doing—is that the guy (the lead) decides what moves to dance. He directs the woman (the follower), and she responds by moving in the way he communicates. So, when the woman tells the guy he's doing something wrong or when she, herself, tries to lead, something is out of whack. The others agreed, and added that this kind of behavior is probably an indication of the way that woman is in all areas of her life. Soledad added that when you come across that kind of woman, you should run. We all chuckled in agreement.

These kinds of times will be the jewels I remember most fondly about my trip. Just hanging out with the locals, talking about normal stuff. I'm almost beginning to feel like a Porteño.


Anonymous said...

The Next In A Continuing Series of Comments Regarding the Continued Presence of the Dread Spirit of the Late Eva Duarte-Peron:


Looks like the spirit (at least the stage-and-silver-screen version) of Eva is still alive and well and experiencing a certain resurgence in good ol' BA.

At least, a woman who dares to make pointed remarks about a man's ability to dance correctly sounds a bit like Madonna (not dressed in leather for once in her life, lo those many years ago when the film was made) showing up in a seedy bar in the company of Senor Magaldi (the long-suffering Jimmy Nail), dancing with every man in the place while keeping perfect rythym and pitch in the singing of "What's New, Buenes Aires?"

It would seem that (perhaps) after the death of Eva, every man in Argentina seized the moment amd re-asserted himself as the master of the dance floor (including, according to the silver-screen version, an enormous butcher shop), while all women backed out of politics and resigned themselves to the Kaiser's ideas of a woman's role in life:
- Kinder
- Kirche
- Kuche
All else was vanity for a woman and men were truly men.

But now it looks like the women of BA have been reading nortamericano publications once again and drawing parallels between Eva and Hillary (well, Hillary just went down in defeat, she didn't die dramatically and on cue [which one could make a great deal of hay regarding which while the sun shines, but let's not be too politically incorrect]) and deciding that their moment has come to grab the bull by the horns and bring in a new age for women's lib, in true BA style.

So we can either chose to embrace the new sensibility (and comply [at least in theory] with the politically-correct attitude-of-the-moment), OR

we can do what men are always expected to do: Oppress, Repress, Degress, Digress, Degauss and clean your stylus before putting on your favourite Mark Knopfler album. After all, (as we all know) LP's sound better than CD's [sigh].

Ah well, at least they haven't yet forced us at gupoint to swear off regular Coke instead of Diet (although my doctor says...).

So keep dancing, and at least don't let those uppity women step on your toes! Or make them apologize if they do...

Buena Suerte,


Jay said...

1) Yes. The stereo is a Sansui.
2) People are the same everywhere. There are those women who try to lead, no matter what country you're dancing in—and those who are great partners.
3) Vinyl? Bah! Digital rules! Film is dead and vinyl is dead! (didn't know you were an audiophile—loved Stereo Review mag when I was a kid!)
4) The current president of Argentina is a woman.

Anonymous said...

RE: #3,

Yeah, got quite a shock recently on a trip to Seattle. I wandered into Silver Platters near Seattle Center and found (much to my fear and amazement) VINYL in the store.

The shock-and-dread aspect of this is that back in the late eighties the chain had exactly ONE LP in each store, with a figurative stake ceremoniously driven through the spindle-hole and mounted on the wall with a plaque underneath, proclaiming "the only vinyl you'll find in THIS store."

I suspect some kind of druidic influence at work in the resurgence of vinyl; after all, why bother with the elaborate process of a wet- (or dry-, or semi-dry-, or partially-melt-it-between-two-plates-of-glass-in-the-oven-to-make-sure-it's-perfectly-flat...) cleaning ceremony, followed by placing said disk on the blessed turntable (belt-drive, of course), and cringing while gently lowering the stylus into the groove and waiting for an overly-loud THUMP before enjoying a mere 23 minutes of bliss before repeating the process yet again...
therefore I credit the return of vinyl with hooded capes, torches, extremely sharp foot-long daggers, and some very bad movies starring Christopher Lee.

So, yeah, in spite of Sound & Vision (lineal descendant of Stereo Review) documenting the apparent second coming of vinyl (and swearing up and down that it's innately superior in sound quality to anything except SACD [which is apparently headed for the dustbin as well]), I'll stick with my CD collection.

After all, the only people who have ears good enough to hear the difference between CD's and LP's are under twenty-five (which is about a quarter-century in the past for me [sigh]) - and besides, anybody in this day and age who is young enough to have good enough ears to hear the difference between CD's and LP's...

1- Doesn't have the money to get the hardware that would allow them to hear the difference between one and the other, and

2- Has probably ruined their hearing by having iPod earbuds surgically implanted in their inner-ear. It seems like there's nobody left out jogging that doesn't have that form of internalized oblivion enabled, cutting them off from noticing traffic lights, bicyclists, other joggers, etc...

Well, carry on and have fun!


martina salsera said...

Estuve preguntandome como es mi comportamiento en la salsa y en la vida....y no pude llegar a una conclusion. En la vida creo que soy independiente y resolutiva, desinibida y energica. En la salsa, creo que he logrado dejarme llevar por el partener...y me atrevo a decir que me adapto con facilidad....
sin embargo me pregunto ¿que es lo que hace que tenga la sensacion de que los hombres a pesar de todo "salen corriendo" cuando me conocen?
Confieso que en otros aspectos de mi vida no soy tan docil...En la vida tambien hay que hacer todo lo que Uds. quieren??? si es asi, creo que se me complica conocer una pareja....

Anonymous said...

2) People are the same everywhere.

True, a lot like the Coke, the language and the bottle may be different but its still Coke!

"Enjoy Coca Cola"