We all have a different story that brought us to tango in the first place – whether it is the nagging wife/husband or girl/boyfriend, the cute guy who made us swoon, the tune that gave us goosebumps, the simple desire to do something creative and artistic, Strictly’s wild leg moves… Something made us start tango, and something made us continue dancing: once a week, then twice a week, then 3 times a week… You might know the story.
We’ve asked people around us what tango was to them and we’re publishing a series of blogs with their genuine answers! After all, talking about tango is the next best thing after actually dancing tango.
I decided I wanted to learn tango when I saw that famous scene of Al Pacino dancing in Scent of a Woman – it made me think “I have to learn this stuff.” Besides, I think there are many skills a man needs to succeed in modern life – his way around a modern full course dinner service, where to pass the port, the ability to dance well and what better way than Tango? It all has got to do with deportment, and… of course, being sexy!
I also picked up tango as I thought it would help strengthen the areas of my personality I was fond of and sand down some ‘weak’ areas. Your whole life, from birth to adult, you are taught to think, the power of rational thought is held out as the greatest good. However, good tango is all about feeling. Every single difficult lesson has been when I was doing too much thinking. Every single good lesson has been when I’ve been feeling instead. Nathalie has a saying: “She does the thinking, I do the feeling.” In that respect, I feel tango has helped me rebalance my ability to think and feel.
Since I began tango, I have found out that that I was born with two left feet and no body awareness at all. I must be the most uncoordinated man alive! Several months of tango lessons and I learn something new every single lesson.
What I really like about tango is the feeling of being able to dance however you feel that day: play a track that fits your mood and off you go! I also find that tango reduces stress and that it is uplifting: I always feel better and much chirpier after a tango class. What bothers me is that I thought I knew how to walk – I had only done it for 29 years of my life. However, learning to tango walk… this is one of the difficult things to learn ;-).
Through Nathalie’s focus and encouragement, I am getting better and I really enjoy the lessons – you find out you can do a lot more then you think. After one recent lesson, I factually listed down all the steps I was confident I could do well and I was surprised to realise I had picked up quite a bit! There are a couple of orchestras I have grown quite fond of, Miguel Calo, Enrique Rodriguez, and I especially like “Dejame ser asi”. I also listen to Carlos Gardel and Gotan Project.
I find that dancing tango is an intriguing experience. You can sense when your partner is stressed or worried or experiencing other feelings. It leaks out, comes across very clearly in dancing. Dancing with different partners is great as you get to develop your own style as a leader and also develop your emotional intelligence. My strongest joy is experiencing a 3-minute dance where there is real connection and the steps go well. It is a notable experience.
Come back in a few days for our next blog post! And do let us know if you’d like to be featured in this series!
Have a read if your want to have a look at our Argentine tango classes.