"If you come to a milonga, you will see a huge number of women, nicely made-up, in the most stunning outfits, wearing the highest and latest Comme-il-fauts. I've never seen so many gorgeous women as in tango and lots of them are quite decent dancers as well!Not my words but definitely my opinion. The writer is tango teacher Melina Sedo, who blogs here.
Unfortunately, I've never seen so few gorgeous men as in tango. Men are in a minority, often dress very carelessly and the average level of attractivity isn't breathtaking. Also the dance level is much lower amongst men than amongst women. And this is why every semi-decent male dancer can feel like a kid in a candy-shop and choose freely amongst the female population according to the check-list:
- Level of attractivity- make-over and shoes
- Dance qualities"
On Friday evening, after class, two or three of we women were having just such a conversation about the low standard of male appearance and the need for them to up their game. The trouble is - why should they want to? As Melina says, they're kids in a sweetshop and get all the dances they want without changing their jeans or, in some cases, even applying a lick of deodorant.
My friend I wrote the other day from England that he'd been "dragging my mother through M&S in search of suits for tango". When I pointed out that he didn't normally wear a suit to milongas, he agreed but added, "Everything that I wear is chosen consciously though - if I'm wearing jeans, it's a deliberate choice.
"But you're right that I should lift my game, and this is part of an effort to move it up a notch. Yesterday's acquisition was an understated black wool and cashmere suit which feels lovely. Not sure when I'll be able to find the right occasion for the pink linen jacket I bought earlier ..."
Which is great but he wasn't one of the men we'd been talking about. He's a noticeably careful dresser, and has a great line in smashing shirts. Quite how you get through to the others his subtle point that jeans should be a deliberate choice rather than the default is beyond me.
And no, I'm not advocating this as a look - or demeanor - not in Wellington anyway.