Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What's The Big Deal With Comme il Faut Tango Shoes?

I'm a guy, ok, so caring about shoes just isn't in my DNA. Like my fellow brothers, I just don't have the shoe gene that most of my female friends have. In the past 10 years the only pair of shoes I've spent more than 1 minute thinking about before buying were my Adidas soccer cleats. I spoke to my Irish lads on my soccer team to find out what their favorites were, I got online to do side-by-side comparisons of numerous cleats and I read opinions from the soccer brotherhood around the world. But that was for cleats, for competing, for going head-to-head against another team, for selecting my instruments of victory that enable me to outrun, outscore and outdefend as I kick the other teams ass. (Note: I haven't scored a goal in years and that's a sore subject, so please don't bring that up. And, truth be told, I'm 43 and most of my opponents are in their 20's, so I don't outrun many of those jackrabbits and that's kind of a sore subject, too. Well, I should also admit I don't outdefend much either. So, if you want to quibble over semantics, technically speaking, I don't outrun, outscore or outdefend, but I still kick ass playing soccer!)

But I digress.

The point I was trying to make is this: I don't care what kind of tango shoes women wear. Shoes are shoes.

Or so I thought.

The more milongas I've gone to recently, the more emails my tango friends & I send, the more I realize that women like to talk about Comme il Faut tango shoes. A lot. But you could line up a pair of soccer cleats, work shoes, & Comme il Faut's next to each other & I'd only look at the soccer cleats. I'd never even notice the Comme il Faut's.

Or so I thought.

One of my tanguera friends just told me that Jennifer Bratt (an excellent tango teacher and dancer) sells Comme il Faut's. Why should that matter? Well, um, truth be told, when I heard this I remembered taking a workshop of Jennifers last year at Cafe Cocomo & I remember thinking how great she looked in her shoes & I'm sure now they were Comme il Faut's.

And on top of that, I was at a milonga recently and a friend of mine discreetly announced she was breaking out her new Comme il Faut's for her first tanda. I didn't understand this solemn occasion. I'd already danced two tandas with her in her non-Comme il Faut's and she looked and danced great, as always. But after she put on her Comme il Faut's, I, well, uh, I have to admit she stood out even more.

So, maybe there is something to these Comme il Faut shoes. But I still love lacing up my soccer cleats. And out on the soccer field I still kick ass...no, really, I do.


Your Loving Sister said...

Hello!?! Did I hear you right??? "But that was for cleats, for competing, for going head-to-head against another team, for selecting my instruments of victory..."

Do you mean to tell me that when women dance tango they don't compete, toe-to-toe...for victory? Do you think they are just plopped on the couch watching Oprah eating bon bons in their Comme Il Fauts?

I hereby officially challenge you to wear high heals during your next soccer match before you attempt to understand women and their relationship with dance shoes any further.

Mark Andersen said...

Dear Sister,
Being on a co-ed soccer team, I can tell you that the women on my team compete just as hard as any guy. Our women kick ass!

But that's soccer, which is something I understand. When it comes to women, tango & competing, though, I'm not going to pretend I understand that. So, I defer to your wisdom on this point.

And, no, I don't think tangueras wear their Comme il Fauts while watching Oprah. But when I was a boy I used to sleep with my baseball glove near my pillow, so I could dream of the perfect victory. And I'm assuming tangueras probably wear their Comme il Fauts to sleep as they dream of the perfect tango.