By Ken Haas, Lahaina
The old dancer sat before me in Cafe Tortoni in Buenos Aires. Quiet years in the sun had bleached his hair a yellow-gray and made a dry red river bed of the back of his neck. I had to imagine how he looked in 1950, a nocturnal youth, with a pencil thin mustache and raven hair shiny with Gomina. He was telling me about the tango.
"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are."
"Cuesta Abajo" por Carlos Gardel
He described the fights, the feuds, the spiked heels, who danced the best and how the great ballrooms looked. Finally he shared the secret of how to ask a woman to tango. It seems the men would line up on one side of the hall and the woman on the other, like gladiators. The man would fold his arms or push his hands in his pockets and scan the room, trying to look as unconcerned as possible. When he finally saw a woman he fancied, he signaled by the slightest raising of an eyebrow. If the woman was not interested, she would ignore it, it was gentle but unmistakable. If, on the other hand, she was receptive, she would respond with a lift of her eyebrow, flutter her eyelashes, or the sudden brightening of her eyes.
"El Dia Que Me Quieras" por Carlos Gardel.
"And then you went over to escort her to the floor?"
"Gracious, no," he replied, "Then you took a firm and careful look around. You see, this is a subtle art, and you didn't want to cross that floor only to find that she was calling the man beside you. The walk back, my friend, is the longest you will ever take." ***
“Social dancers don't cry because the club social is over, they smile because it happened.”