Dubious stat 1 – 52% of ladies start tango to have an excuse to buy more shoes.
… and who can blame them!?Based on a statistically unrepresentative sample of 2 persons, ladies own in average 7 pairs of tango shoes, gentlemen, 1.
Another dubious stat: Ladies are likely to find it difficult to throw away their old pairs of shoes. I still have the first pair of Comme Il Faut Shoes I bought in Buenos Aires; they’re battered but I love them to bits and don’t think I’ll ever be able to throw them away. They’re white and black with polka dots…
Gentlemen usually opt for safety with black shoes: other colours seem to draw the eye like magnet, so coloured shoes tend to go with a high level of dancing (or confidence!)
Dubious stat 2 – Milonga dancing burns twice as many calories as tango dancing.
… Second serving of chocolate cake anyone?
Dubious stat 3 – In the UK, less than 5% of leaders learn to follow.
… but 100% of those who do say they absolutely love following. And say their leading technique improved after learning to follow.
Role exchange is much more common in Buenos Aires than it is here. You can learn so much by swapping roles, it’s fantastic. Also, seing things from “the other angle” brings a lot of fantastic insights about your own role. Try it, you’ll be hooked.
Dubious stat 4 – More than 60% of tango is just walking
… The other 40% pivotting. Think about it: most steps in tango are a succession of walking and pivoting. That’s why tango walking, the caminata, is so central to tango dancing.
Dubious stat 5 – The average speed of a boleo is 42 mph.
… Mind blowing. That’s why ladies regularly check their hair to see if it is not undone or messy.
Boleos can be used as a fan in an over-heated milonga. So if you see a boleo-addict, stand close to her, however stay out of reach of her foot.
82% of ladies ignore the velocity of the lead and simply do their favourite shape of boleo: 32% of ladies do high boleos, and 50% always favour boleos “al piso”, on the floor
Dubious stats 6 – In London, a dancer get hits or stepped on in average 3.4 times in a milonga. In Buenos Aires, 0.7.
High flying boleos, “expressive” adornments, “creative” line of dance management, going backwards a bit too enthusiastically… All of these build up to this dubious (but painful) stats. Ouch.
Dubious stats 7 – It takes 35% more effort to train your left leg than your right leg.
… If you are right handed, that is. Actually, when you are right-handed, you are right-bodied and anything you do with the left leg is going to be more difficult. So if your lapiz is a beautiful perfect circle on one side but looks like a random doodle on the other, take heart and spend more time training the leg that is not ‘behaving’. After all, you are the boss.
Stats 7: The ideal angle for the “cabeceo” nod is 15 degrees.
Simply because, not many can nod at 90 degrees while keeping eye contact. I tried a deeper nod with my cat, but he wasn’t impressed.
Dubious stat 9 – Wearing pointy, non-tango shoes increases the risk of being stepped on by 37.6%.
But then, if you are wearing cowboy boots, do you really care about being stepped on?
Other inappropriate dance shoes include:
– Moonboots – too big and clunky. Really not easy to pivot in them.
– Unsecured balerinas and flip flops. They will fly away.
– Slippers. Come on now, be reasonable!
Dubious stat 10 – 84% of gentlemen have been involved in a gancho accident
– Unled gancho. Ouch.
– Badly calibrated gancho – too much strength. Ouch.
– Badly directed gancho – wrong direction. Ouch.
After a gancho accident, gentlemen wait in average 2.4 months before leading another gancho.
Dubious stats 11: The oldest tango dancer in the world is 102.
I really am not sure about this one, but I sure wish to still be dancing tango at 102. I did dance with a milonguero in Buenos Aires once, who was already 92. I hope I will dance with him again this year when I visit the capital.
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