I feel like airing out the cobwebs (and my Drafts folder) so bear with me, for as we all know tango is not all rainbows and lollipops….
There is a buzz in the air lately, a tango buzz. It feels as though people are just catching on that there is something about tango. They can’t quite pin it down and depending on who they ask and where they go to learn it, they will get many different and varied responses and experiences.
I am perplexed. How do I, or anyone else, describe tango to someone who has only seen it on TV? Or someone who looked it up on You Tube only to get every stage version imaginable? How do you describe the feeling of the music, the energy of the dance floor, the connection with your partner? Or even the differences between styles? Well you can’t describe it and that is my dilemna.
I say, “Tango is like life.” or “It is a community, a family.” or “It is about connection.” “It is something you have to feel.” Sometimes people get it right away. They sense that there is something remarkable happening and sometimes it takes years for that spark to catch.
I see announcements for visiting teachers stating that so-and-so is teaching his or her ‘tango moves’. Tango moves? Well, I guess you have to start somewhere but this sets up a vicious cycle with many dancers as they ‘chase the steps’.
Tango is a mirror, not a mask. Tango is a community, not an individual activity. I feel you need to ask yourself why you are learning this dance, the Argentine Tango. Be brutally honest. How does it make you feel? What are you really here for?
I’ll go first… I am here because tango has filled my life full of sparkles. It makes everything better. Rather than a regular sunny day, which is nice, tango makes my days (and nights) sparkly bright, which is fantastic. I feel energized, engaged, and truly alive when I dance or even if I just hear the music. I have no assumptions or personal agendas attached to my dancing. I am in the moment. I dance for my partner. I feel the music.
How I feel is how I want others to feel when they dance. Teaching ‘tango moves’ or choreography is just a way to cash in on the tango buzz and get people thinking that they are dancing tango but in reality they are just dancing around it.