Sweet Like Chocolate

5th May 2010

"My momma always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.'" ~ Forrest Gump


To me milongas often feel like a box of chocolates without the helpful piece of paper that tells you which one's the strawberry creme.

Let's face it, if you go to a milonga there's bound to be a few people there who will enjoy dancing with you and who you'll enjoy dancing with.

The problem is how do you find those people who are going to gel with you?

Books and Covers

"You can't judge a book by its cover" ~ conventional wisdom

Juniper Tolliver: You're psychic?
Patrick Jane: No, just paying attention.

To my surprise the women I most enjoy dancing with all have a similar way of dressing. Basically none of them look like they've gone shopping in Primark:

or Versace:

They look more M&S:

and more Jane Norman:

Although I'd loosely grouped them into three types of outfit, on discussing the matter with MsHedgehog, it turns out it's basically just variations on one outfit.

The Fantasy

Whenever I see a ball labeled as "tickets only" I'm always slightly tempted to buy all the tickets, rip up all the male tickets and hand out the female tickets to the women I most enjoy dancing with. (NB the plan also calls for a team of very skilled masseuses to keep the women I'm not dancing with at that moment content and possibly a fair amount of good wine).

Ask yourself who you'd invite? Now look carefully at the type of clothing they're wearing. Is it basically variations on one outfit?

Because if it is, you've just discovered what the wrapper for strawberry cremes looks like. I have no clue what the majority of the wrappers in chocolates mean, but I do recognize that the bright red wrapper is probably what I'm looking for.

Now your life is much easier. When you walk into any milonga, you're just looking for women wearing "That Outfit". If you want, you can filter it further; there's an ideal height relationship between a man and a woman in tango. So now you're looking for women of a certain height wearing That Outfit. You can further filter things by using the cabeceo, or the London Cabeceo if you wish.

Now you know exactly who you're going to want to ask and you've drastically improved your chances of success. And you've done it in under a minute! Before you really were asking "Do you want to dance with me?".

Now it's more "Do you want to dance?" (because she may be tired etc)

Added bonus

To my surprise the women I enjoy dancing with in Modern Jive also wear "that outfit", so if you're already proficient at another social dance, you may well be able to get the information there.

~ Christopher O' Shea, 5th May 2010

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