Maybe you’ve recently danced tango with a grey-haired gentleman called Patrick? Happens he’s the Secretary of State for Transport on a mission to study milonga ‘driving’ etiquette and see what could be applied on the road.
We’ve just got our hand on some of the latest milonga-inspired Driving Test questions. Have a look; it’s quite surprising.
Driving test set-up
You’re driving on the M25, thinking about the weekend. The driver ahead of you drives a red Vauxhall slightly below the speed limit. The driver in the blue Ford in the next lane stays slightly behind you at constant speed.
The driver in the red Vauxhall MAKES A SUDDEN U-TURN and faces you – hood against hood. You somehow manage to brake and stop about 2 yards from him. You’re sweating and swearing. In your heart, you are happy you have wasted your youth on a racing video game (but will never ever tell your son): you still have damn good reflexes.
You are about to start insulting him when you realise there’s no time for that. HE IS STARTING TO DRIVE TOWARDS YOU!!!! As far as you can tell, he is looking at his feet and not at the road ahead. Maybe he lost his contact lenses and can’t tell he is going in the wrong direction?
What do you do?
I think I would have failed the new driving test…
I sure am glad I have already passed my driving test (although I am a paper driver) because I am not sure how I would have answered these new milonga-inspired questions…. Tango dancers walking against the line of dance… or charging on the dancefloor and then stopping abruptly… High flying boleos, wraps and ganchos… Scary thought!
To make sure this doesn’t happen to them, the porteños are smart… The most famous Buenos Aires milongas have some of the best tango floorcraft in the world, as tango dancers follow simple rules:
|• They commit to one lane on the dancefloor.
• They allow enough space so that the leader ahead of them can take at least one step backwards.
• They keep the same distance with the couple ahead of them – if they move, they move too. If they stop, they stop too. Tango bliss!
• They do not overtake.
• They dance in a straight line and mark corners with a 90-degree turn.
Oh, and ladies have a role to play as well. In a busy milonga, followers can help everyone have a good time by dancing tango al piso, as the Argentines say: feet on the floor. Low boleos do look good too (much more than a bruise caused by a flying heel).
Apparently, the Ministry had had some time on their hand, so they drew the impressively beautiful diagrams below after attending some tango evenings – but using their usual car driving terminology of course:
See you soon on the dancefloor!
Abrazo, Nati y Bruno
PS: Of course the Secretary of State for Transport didn’t come to study tango dance patterns in a milonga, we just thought it was a fun analogy.