Sparkle Motion

4th May 2006

On our first night in Buenos Aires, our taxi driver took us to a tango salon in Palermo. After a few hours of watching impassioned couples slinking around the floor, we decided–in a bout of overconfidence–to learn how to tango. There was some red wine involved. OK, an entire bottle.

The next day, in the mildly irritating light of morning, we booked two hours of instruction for each day of our visit, and began our search for tango shoes.

If you’ve never seen women’s tango shoes, imagine the kind of monstrosity fuck-me pumps you’d ordinarily find in a fetish Manga comic book. Now coat them with red and silver glitter, and affix a large leather rosebud to the ankle strap. Voila!

Bryan found a pair of attractive suede-soled sneakers in the first store we visited. I scanned rows of weapons-grade, structurally unsound affronts in varying degrees of sparkle. Did I want the purple and green sequin ones? Or maybe the orange reflective velvet ones with floral silhouettes burnt into the fabric? I finally found some black practice shoes with heels wider than toothpicks, but taller than necessary.

After 16 hours of tango instruction, the balls of my feet are like tender cutlets of raw chicken. You could bread and deep-fry them, and I’d find it soothing. I bought some of those silicone toe pads to ease the throbbing, and they’re so heavenly that walking feels vaguely obscene, like I should reciprocate somehow. I want to tile our kitchen floor with toe pads; I want to stuff them in my mouth. I’m pretty sure they’d taste like whipping cream.

7,086 thoughts on “Sparkle Motion

  1. Vanessa

    What a dream – tango lessons every day! I’m envious (not about the very raw balls of feet though; then again, mine aren’t doing great either). I started learning in Ann Arbor and picked it up again in Singapore this year. Wonderful that you get to pick up shoes in Buenos Aires! I hear Comme Il Faut has the most stylish ones these days – every other tango shoe company is copying its designs.

  2. AnnieKNodes

    Someone suggested I get silicone toe pads for my wedding shoes. I ignored them, thinking I’d be too high on love to feel any pain. Oh, the naivete!

  3. wen

    Ah, Tango. How cool. I’ve taught Argentine Tango, and the Bay Area has a GREAT tango community.

    Check out the Milonga(s) and classes at the Metronome in SF. Christy Cote is a really good teacher–nice, approachable and knows her stuff.

    Enjoy!

  4. Jenne

    Well, whipping cream is the cream that you buy in order to whip. Then, once you’ve whipped it (whipped it good! before it sits out too long!) it’s called whipped cream.

  5. Anna

    i’m just so impressed you’ve got a guy who will go in for this kind of stuff! i’m imagining the look on my boyfriend’s face if i asked him to come to a dance class with me – it’s a mixture of surprise, horror, and disbelief at my optimism that i’d actually ask. aww.

  6. jozet

    Mmmmm…chicken cutlets and toe pads.

    I’m pregnant. Everything sounds good.

    In fact, keep your toes away from me. ;-)

  7. Mira

    Come on Maggie!! I want to see the shoes!

    Don’t hold out on a girl with a shoe addiction! Glitter? Heels?! Please?!

  8. Bevin

    Wow, two hours a day of dance lessons does sound heavenly…Hope you’re learning enough to make it worth the foot cutlets!

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