Friday, March 28, 2008

Are You Ever Too Old To Learn Tango?

I was taking the tango class at aMuse gallery recently before the milonga started when I noticed a lively group join us. I didn't know what their occasion was, but these folks had clearly brought the party with them. It was time to change partners and a lovely woman in her sixties rotated to me. She said it was her first time taking a tango class, so I asked her why she'd chosen tonight. She replied that she was there with her husband because it was his 80th birthday. He'd wanted to try tango for years and finally he decided it was time. So, a month earlier he told his wife he only wanted one present for his birthday--to take her tango dancing.

And so he did.

And when their daughter heard they were going, she and her husband drove a couple of hours from down south to share this great occasion with her parents. From the moment this party floated into the milonga until they left hours later they were like a bottle of great champagne wafting around the gallery--you couldn't help but notice the joy bubbling from them.

I had a blast watching the birthday boy and his beautiful wife tango. They weren't concerned about steps or moves or looking good for anyone else (there should be a tango blog about how to achieve this!). Actually, I'm not sure they even noticed anyone else around them--all they seemed to care about was having a great time together.

That, and holding each other in a close embrace...tango after tango.


tangobaby said...

That's a beautiful story, Mark. Thank you for painting a wonderful picture for us. I hope they keep dancing.

Elizabeth said...

No, you are never too old to start tango.

Mark Andersen said...

Thanks, TangoBaby. I don't know if they are still tangoing, but I hope so. I can't remember the last time I saw a couple so focused on each other (and this was a couple married to each other for a long time).

Mark Andersen said...

I completely agree, Elizabeth! I was at a milonga Friday night & our whole group agreed one of the best tangueros there was a man who, coincidentally, was also the most senior. He's probably about 70. I don't know how long he's been dancing, but it was inspirational to see the most senior also the most milonguero.

Elizabeth said...

One of my very favorite partners is a handsome man, maybe 70+. His wife is a stunning, slender, talented Argentine woman around that same age. My husband always tries to get a tanda with her, but she is very much in demand. Of course, they learned a long time ago.

Mark Andersen said...

And, Elizabeth, your wonderful description of the great tango couple in their 70's is another reason why I love tango. To see some of the best tango couples also be the most senior, gives me something to aspire to. Tango can be danced for decades.