Tango lessons! That’s what we would do to prepare for our upcoming trip to Argentina. We’re both good dancers; somewhat cockily we planned on only a few lessons.
I signed our names as we checked into the dim former garage/current dance studio South of Market. The female instructor, Natasha, pointed to a corner. “Feel free to hang your coat (I wasn’t wearing one) and change your shoes over there.” Change my shoes? What was she talking about? I was wearing dancing shoes. I thought. I soon realized what she was talking about. The other participants arrived, placed their belongings in a safe place, and donned dance shoes. The kind you see in musicals. The kind dancers wear in Broadway productions. The kind they sell in Danskin stores.
I turned to the male instructor. “This is the beginning tango class, right?” He assured me it was.
I kept forgetting to cross, or maybe he kept forgetting to nudge. Toes were stepped on, balance was lost. Hilarious laughter ensued, but only between the two of us. The rest of the class looked on with disdain. Natasha appeared behind my partner. “Do you salsa?” He nodded, trying to embrace the elusive eight count we couldn’t quite master. “This is not salsa. No hips in tango!”
What a useful phrase.
“No hips in tango!” when someone steals your parking space.
“No hips in tango!” when the customer service rep asks if there is anything else she can do for you.
“No hips in tango!” when greeted by an old friend.
“No hips in tango!” when trying to endure an impossible dance class.
“NO HIPS IN TANGO!” It’s almost as good as OLE!