It never really felt ‘normal’, to go to a tango night, but in the near future it is going to be weird. You know, things like touching a person and being within 1,5 centimeters of each other. Dancers, older than sixty, will be frowned upon. People may start to compare tango dancers to those guys that climb up on high mountain walls with their bare hands, without securing themselves with ropes. Don’t they have loved ones to care for? Argentine tango is considered by many to be an eccentric activity for a small, exclusive group. In the future, even tango dancers will consider certain formerly ‘normal’ behaviors suspect, uncomfortable, or just dumb. I’m really looking forward to it.
It will be quite interesting to see how the tango community deals with post-pandemic complications. Remember, we were used to going to tango events enjoying relative anonymity. But soon, public Facebook events will be a thing of the past and milongas will have their own intelligence unit, armed with thermometers. I will make sure we shall use those modern ones, that you can put in someone’s ear. I’ll administer it myself, on welcoming you in the milonga, and throw in a little Wuhan handshake to finish it off. Between tandas dancers will be checking your immunity certificate and follow you on their app. Under-Forty events will not be considered a despicable act of age discrimination, but morally the right thing to do: saving lives, you know.
It used to be normal to go to Russia, Turkey or Greece for a weekend of dancing, but we may have to give that up, like Chinese tourists will have to give up real tulips for a couple of years, suffice with getting pictures online instead. Also, going to Italy for a marathon will not be the same for quite a while. Given the odds it may look like Russian roulette, which is known to give an adrenaline boost, but as a hobby, most people give it up after a while. Don’t kill the messenger: Italians won’t be coming to our parties for a while either. Group lessons will come back slowly, held in big rooms, and without partner switching. Mystery evoking, artistic looking mouthcaps will become quite the trend.
But then again, what is ‘normal’ exactly? ‘Your tango scene must be hit very badly by all of this’, a colleague of mine surmised. I answered yes and explained the impact of it all. ‘Really’, he said, ‘so let me get this straight, no more long flights to dance with a handful of unknown dancers, who may have been sleeping with Ebola’s little sister for all you know?’. ‘Nope’. ‘People mostly staying in one place, to dance with local dancers that they know well and care for?’. ‘Yep’. ‘Arriving on foot, by bike or train?’. ‘Probably’. ‘People dancing with their boyfriend or girlfriend only?” Me: ‘Yes…It all sounds terrible, I know’