Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bowing To My Partners: Tangoing With Our Japanese Sisters

Nora's Tango Week isn't over yet, but one of my favorite memories so far has to do with something I'd never experienced before in tango: bowing to your partner before you take each other into the close embrace.

Why the bowing? Well, you see there's a wonderful group of tango dancers who came all the way over from Japan for tango week. Not all of the women, but most of them bow to their partners before they start dancing. Obviously, bowing is common in Japan--I'd just never experienced it before in tango. But I must say I really liked it because it brought to life something one of our maestros (Esteban Moreno) mentioned. Esteban said to dance tango is a privilege. I agree with Esteban and getting to bow with my partner was a great way to bring to life our respect for each other before taking a total stranger into a close embrace.

I'd heard how strong the tango community is in Japan and how much it's growing, but I'd never danced with any of our Japanese sisters. But having danced with five of our Japanese sisters I can tell you they were all excellent--very elegant and smooth.

One last note--I got to speak with the women that organized their trip. She said she came over to Tango Week for the first time last year with just one other friend. They had so much fun that she grew their group to nine this year. We were the better for it.

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