We all have a different story that brought us to tango in the first place – whether it is the nagging wife or girlfriend, 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 was once asked to describe the perfect tango moment… So here it is, a mix of very dear memories of milongas here and there…
Before the dance, I am sitting at my table. I feel quiet, confident, tranquil and peaceful. I am simply soaking in the experience and the atmosphere of the milonga. The atmosphere is polite, very gentleman-like; it feels like the 19th century and I like it, it feels like home. The light is soft and warm. The temperature is warm, comfortably warm. I feel ready to dance, in a very simple way – I don’t have any desire, any expectations towards what my next dance, my next partner should be like, and nothing from my past tandas weighs me down either. I simply am ready to dance.
After the cortina, the DJ plays a piece of music I love, it might be Poema from Francisco Canaro, Llorar por una mujer or Dejame ser así from Enrique Rodriguez, Tristezas de la calle Corrientes from Anibal Troilo, or Di Sarli’s Organito de la tarde. When I hear the song, I feel like it’s the last time I’ll ever hear it, and I just want to get up and dance. My gaze crosses his and the cabeceo is simple and sincere. I feel no emotion, I am in the moment. I just want to enjoy the present time, the here and now. I only feel like being two on one piece of music.
I stand up. We meet on the dancefloor. His left hand is warm and soft. His abrazo is firm and soft. I feel protected. He exudes calm confidence. Our dancing starts with simple steps and the connection is gradually established. We start by “taming” one another. I close my eyes and everything goes white in my mind. I don’t see anything and don’t feel the need to see. I can feel the presence of other dancers, make note of them but don’t think anything of it. I gain confidence in myself and in him. The music plays and I immerse myself in the lyrics, the words I understand. I feel the music in the same way as he does; it’s a moment of perfect harmony. I take note of my technique, my posture, my interpretation of the music, but don’t think anything of it. I don’t think, my ‘brain’ is switched off. I don’t have any emotions either. My ‘heart’ is switched off too. Only remains the sensations from my body. He might suggest that we breathe in together or I might suggest it and he’ll respond to the invitation to do so. The abrazo is like a protected space where I am taken care of. I am taken care of and at the same I am given the ability to express myself freely and completely. I am protected and free. If he sings into my ear, I will have the feeling that the rest of the world has completely disappeared, that everything is complete and perfect at this particular second.
When the music stops, we stay without moving a couple of seconds before stepping away from one another. I open my eyes, I feel disorientated, I am not too sure of where I am, I have forgotten where the different elements of the room are located one in relation to the other, I have forgotten where my table is. He walks me back to my table and I sit down. I feel fulfilled and content. During the dance, we shared a dream and I am now slowly emerging from that shared dream.
This concludes our series about “What is tango to you?”. See you soon on the dancefloor.
Have a read if your want to have a look at our Argentine tango classes.