Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Question #1: "Why Do You Dance Tango?"


As I was barreling through the backroads one night on my way to a milonga with a dear friend of mine (Laila), she started to ask me some provacative tango questions. I had rapid responses for some and no answers for others.

And so, with Laila's permission, I'm posting today the first of her questions. I'm going to write my own response below and I'd love it if you'd add your own answers, too, as a comment. Here's today's question...

"Why Do You Dance Tango?"
Well, there are probably about 10 or 15 easy answers that come to mind, but I don't want to steal other people's thunder, so I'll focus on the most important one for me: tango allows me to meet and connect with great people.

I've made more friends through tango over the past two years than through anything else I've done...more than from work, soccer, skiing, tennis, salsa dancing, and travel combined. And I don't mean just acquaintances--I mean really awesome people.

It all starts with the close embrace, of course. I danced salsa for about 7 years before moving over to tango. I love salsa, but almost all of my friends I made were through the performance team I was on--not from folks I met in salsa clubs. That's mainly because it's harder to get to know someone in a salsa club--it's louder, the norm is to dance one song with a woman and then rotate, and when you're dancing it's usually in an open embrace.

But in tango I find it easier to meet people because it's not too loud, the norm is to dance 4 songs in a tanda, and I usually dance in a close embrace. And then between songs we get to talk some, which makes the whole tango scene very social.

I've met some great guys, too, in classes and milongas. I can't even guess how many guys have helped me with technique, which is so helpful--especially since I haven't even been dancing for two years yet.

So, it's for these reasons--getting to meet and connect with so many wonderful people that I dance tango.

8 comments:

Johanna said...

Because not to is unthinkable.

For me, it is The Source.

la_novia_del_mar said...

Because it reveals in me some parts that I've never thought I have.

ModernTanguera said...

You have really gotten me thinking. The short answer: Aside from the community aspect that you mention, I dance tango because it is the only dance I have done that can bring me to a meditative state while also connecting me with the people I dance with. It offers me a feeling of being centered and grounded while also connected. That aspect of the dance is a large part of what draws me to it.

Anonymous said...

Initially, the tango music drew me to the dance. It resonates a cord within me which moves me to a different world.

Now I am addicted to the undescribable feeling one gets from two bodies with matching biorhythms moving as one. It's an elusive feeling but when I get it, it's heaven on earth.

Anonymous said...

Because I'm a hopeless romantic that thinks he can love every woman in the world.

Well, I do in tango.

Mtnhighmama said...

I've had to really think about this, because underneath the initial immediate response, it is actually a profound question.

So, my first answer is the music. I dance because I hear the music and want to express it.

My second answer, which is complimentary to the first, is that I dance to share that music with another person. To hear how he hears it, to feel how the rhythm moves him, to blend how I hear and feel it with him and his connection.

And beyond that, I dance for the sheer joy of the connection. Connection to my partner, to the musicians, to the history, to the stories being told, to the passion and dedication that people have shared and expressed through their own dance and music.

Anonymous said...

I started taking tango lessons to improve my partner connection in other dances...then it snuck up on me and I fell in love with the dance, after being certain that it would never happen to me.
Now I dance because I absolutely love it, those moments of balance and unity with your partner and the music keep drawing me back.

Anonymous said...

It's for the music and expression of myself.