Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It Takes Two To Tango

I heart Tango. It’s a dance that emits passion and a sense of drama. What could be better than that?

It’s been a long time since I’ve dabbled in the realm of ballroom dancing but last night, the inspiration found me once again.

Looking for something different to do, a friend and I went to Tango Tuesday at a local piano bar. It started with an hour-long Tango lesson followed by dancing until the pads of my feet were swollen and numb.

Here’s a list of life lessons from Tango class:

  • The man invites the woman to dance. It’s called a "Cabaceo". He beckons her with a look of the eyes and then with his movements he invites her.
  • The woman moves only when the man leads her to do so. He leads her with movements from his upper body.
  • The woman must wait as long as is necessary for the man to lead her into the next movement. Each move is executed with intention.
  • If he makes a move and she hesitates until she is certain of the move he is making, that is better than her moving ahead of his lead.
  • The woman must trust herself. There’s no need for the woman to rush or second-guess herself. If she does make a mistake, she should commit to the movement and he will correct it in the next step.
  • The man and woman must stay connected for the dance to be successful. To break physical connection, throws the dance off.
  • A man’s job is to make a woman look good on the dance floor. However, if she tries to take the lead, he can’t successfully do his job.
  • A woman will be properly balanced on her feet and able to make the most beautiful movements if she allows him to lead every movement. She will find herself off balance and awkward, if she attempts to lead.
  • The man must navigate around the dance floor in a counter-clockwise direction. The woman dances moving backwards; she cannot see what is approaching behind her. The man dances moving forward with a view of what she can’t see. He must create the dance moves so as not to run the woman into other couples on the dance floor.
  • A man may lead with pronounced starting and stopping of each move when he is dancing with a new partner and as they begin to understand each others’ way of dancing, the movements are more subtle and the dance is more graceful.

  • The man controls the pace of the dance. He may move slow, fast or somewhere in-between. He may take several fast steps followed by a prolonged time of short slow movements. The beauty of tango is the variety of moves.

I forgot how therapeutic dancing is, especially partner dancing. One gentleman that I danced with near the end of the night asked if I wanted to dance with my eyes closed. That dance was by far the most fun for me. Without the distractions of looking around or focusing on my own moves, I was able to pay attention to the subtle cues of his lead. I was more relaxed and didn’t make as many mistakes.

That’s my Tango tale… now I just need a full time partner.


Becky said...

I like this. There is a lot to learn in life from the dance of tango.

Aurelie said...

I love this post! I should get back into my salsa lessons in the near future.