Tango Argentino > Draft essay on tango

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Tango-ne, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    I'm not sure anyone read this Tango-ne - its very fine, there is nothing like the lead that will do the 'dance of the tangled garden'. Though, of course, I prefer tangled roses and briars to rusting washing machines and broken pots ;)

    Wish you had posted this in the General dance thread since we could all benefit.
  2. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    WRONGLY ascribed its tango-ne's concoction; and I have read it
    (very good it is too)
  3. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    There, fixed it. Now your post makes no sense BTM :D
  4. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    no-0ne will notice, do they ever make sense?
  5. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    ....good point! Well, now at least you are consistent :)
  6. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    I have a quick moment to follow up on my morning tea conversation with Auntie M, this past Sunday, on the weekend of the night milonga night with Uncle H. Well, a small confession here, the reason the planned brunch turned into a "tea" was that, er, I was rather "tired" from the milonga and slept in rather late...it's getting to be winter and the morning sun doesn't shine in until after 8am, but that's no excuse! (I didn't get up until well after that!) I really needed to be better for Auntie M, and I let her down. I missed her brunch, and only managed to rush in for a tea. I feel guilty, and with my memory of her sitting there alone waiting for me... I feel even worse. Lower than a snake's belly sort of worse. Especially because I got so much out of our talk during that visit! And totally related to Tango too!

    Just as a little background, they tell me that Auntie M and Uncle H were together for most of my childhood. All I can remember is playing in that clunky old house that Uncle H lives in, and yes, back then, probably with Auntie M's attention, the place was very neat and tidy. Sometime thereafter, something happened between them and now, nearly two decades later, my memories of those times of seeing them in the same room are like dusty staged black and white photos from a forgotten era; familiar, yet not from my time. I can't even remember a time when Auntie M had sight. Yes, she's blind, and I was late! Sigh. Call me a heel!

    So I ran up the path to Auntie M's care house. She lives in a wonderful arrangement of small cottages designed around a central activity room. There are staff members there who are the caretakers of the home, and every Sunday they put on a brunch...don't be late though, because they put everything away by noon. Ah, so you see, it was sometime thereafter that I arrived under the humiliating glare of the staff. Auntie M was as calm as ever though. I know she heard my big diesel truck pull up, because she was outside in the garden with a spare chair ready and tea on. A quick hello on her cheek, and she reached for my hand. I pulled the empty chair over to sit beside her, so that she could keep holding my hand. She liked that.

    She didn't say anything yet. She liked to sit close like this for a while. Eventually she took off her dark glasses and, can I say, "stared" out into the garden with those white eyes. She remained quite still but I could feel that she was lightly twitching her foot. I guessed that she wanted to get up and stretch her legs around the garden. I squeezed her hand and stood up. She got up with me.

    "The roses are all but gone, but their scent stays with me as a memory that I can enjoy." she said.

    I led her over to the pruned off rose bushes, feeling guilty again that I must have been so busy that I missed visiting Auntie when they were in bloom. She inhaled deeply and tilted her head back. I could almost imagine them there in full perfume, and could share in Auntie's memory. "And there were little petunias all along the edge..." I walked her along the grass through the garden, carefully guiding her around the gardeners who looked at me in disdain as they prepared the garden for the winter; yes, yes, I am here now, the negletful nephew! I took Auntie's arm and we went from garden patch to garden patch and each time we stopped, she would rock gently from foot to foot and tell me the memory of what blossomed there this past summer. It was wonderful and I lost track of time.

    "Oh!" She said, "the tea has gotten cold now! I'll call for more." It had been more than an hour since we stood up from our chairs. The garden covers quite a bit of the grounds and we had walked all the way to the lake's shore.
    "That's okay Auntie, let's head this way..." I said, both not wanting to seem like being in a rush, but wanting to start making our way back to the main facility.

    "How is H these days?" she asked out of the blue.
    "Huh?" She caught me off guard.
    "He's still putting on that coconut tanning lotion, eh? I can smell it on you. You must have seen him in the last couple of days, ne? The sentimental old fool," she smiled. "Every summer I would bring out that lotion, and every summer he would complain of its sweet scent..." Call me romantic, but I felt a small lump in my throat. I never knew that the "women who wear coconut sunscreen" that Uncle H refered to was actually his memories of Auntie M.
    "I...he..." I stammered, "we went to a tango dance the other night."
    Auntie M didn't answer. We were busy crossing a narrowing in the path where flat stones had been placed in a dry creek. Auntie must have the path memorized in her mind, because she didn't falter once, even as I led her from stone to stone. I continued on with relating my adventures in tango. Gulp, I have been taking lessons for a year, and that was the first time I mentioned it to Auntie...meaning, the last time I visited was...yikes! Guilty, guilty, guilty!

    I told her about my lessons, and my funny instructors, and the world of dance and the characters that inhabit that place called the "Ball Room". I related how I had been struggling with memorizing steps, and getting into the mood of tango, and the character of tango, and the attitude of tango. By then we were nearing the cottages again. I wanted to tell her about how Uncle H had helped me loosen up, but I didn't know how to put it delicately so she wouldn't be offended. But she came to the rescue by changing the subject a bit.

    "What did your lovely woman have to say about that "loosening up"?" she asked, standing again at the place of the roses, now...er, "looking" at me. It's kind of creepy when she does that, like she has moments of clear vision or something.

    "My Sweetie?" I pondered, "Er, she had fun...and I had fun. Yeah, after Uncle H's reminder of my lessons from his garden and porch, I had fun, I loosened up, let go a little. I remembered his comments about variety and danger and daring and having fun. So yes, I had fun."
    "She had fun though...?" Auntie M repeated. I thought back for a moment. At least I thought my Sweetie had fun...didn't she? Hmmmm, well, she didn't say anything negative. We were stepping wildly and dangerously. I kept bumping into people, but that was half the fun...no? Weren't we laughing together? It was together, yes? At least I was laughing...Yikes again...
    "By your silence I think I have my answer...my boy, I have a gift for you that may help..." She pulled me a little closer and I leaned over so that she could whisper in my ear. Oh, the wisdom of the ages, from her lips to my ears...I felt a great connection with her, which is why I was more than a little surprised when she said, "I dropped it off for you by the lake...go find it."
    Wha-??! Auntie!

    <I have to run to a meeting again, but when I have a moment later, I'll tell you what I found there on the beach. It helped IMMEASURABLY toward understanding my philosophy of leading! On the plus side, my computer is behaving and I have not lost much text since starting this little chapter! Cheers!>
  7. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Hah dont leave us in suspense! Been enjoying these later episodes ..

    Reminds me of the following ..

    Footfalls echo in the memory
    Down the passage which we did not take
    Towards the door we never opened
    Into the rose-garden. My words echo
    Thus, in your mind.
             But to what purpose
    Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
    I do not know.
             Other echoes
    Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
    Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
    Round the corner. Through the first gate,
    Into our first world, shall we follow
    The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
    There they were, dignified, invisible,
    Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
    In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
    And the bird called, in response to
    The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
    And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
    Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
    There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.

    (TS Eliot "Burnt Norton")
  8. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    thanks for that CJ - nothing like a bit of TSE with a cup of silent tea that just stares at me....
  9. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    We aim to please :cool:

    Me? I shall now roll my trousers up and eat a peach..
  10. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    The Gift from Auntie M

    "Auntie?" I asked, wondering if I heard her correctly. But she just nodded, and said she would wait for me. I led her back to a chair and made sure she was comfy before I headed back down towards to the lake.

    So she dropped something for me? How did she know where she dropped it? Oh yes, I thought, the beach is sandy, she probably knew by the feel of the ground, or by the sound of the waves. I made my way down to the beach, but as I walked, I thought about her question to me...about whether my Sweetie enjoyed tango-ing with me. I was sure that we were having a fun time, but in retrospect, a nagging doubt started creeping into my memory of the evening. I remember she was laughing, but was it because she was having fun? Or because I was loosening up and goofing around? Come to think of it, I was doing a lot of nonsense moves, like spinning her around and throwing in a few jive steps sometimes. Well at least she was a good sport, but I concluded that it was probably not the type of dancing that she was looking forward to! I cringed inwardly. Oh Uncle! I thought I had cracked the secret of the tango...that I had loosened up! On the other hand, he DID say that I had to have an understanding of the basic moves that I wanted to do...a component that in my zeal I had neglected, I'm afraid. So...what was this "gift" that Auntie had dropped for me?

    I stood at the edge of the clearing where the woods opened up to the beach. The sand was packed down and moist, so it was easy to retrace our steps. I scanned over the area where we had been walking, our footsteps went all over the place! What were we talking about then...hmm? Oh yes, Auntie was listening to the seagulls in the air. She kept turning around and around. So where did she drop the thing? I looked around, but didn't see anything immediate. I sighed and stepped down onto the beach. The waves lapped gently onto the sand, but there was a good expanse of it beyond the waves. Let's see...I retraced the steps we had made. It was a little confusing for sure. I was all over the place! It's a wonder that I didn't trip up Auntie! What was I thinking, leading around a blind old woman so carelessly!

    Ok, around and around we walked, then a straight stretch was out there...hmmm, still no gift to be found...then we walked back towards the woods, made a few turns, headed back to the water?! and then back up the beach. Oh boy, I didn't realize what a convoluted path we had walked! No wonder Auntie was tired! Then I was at the end of the trail and off the beach, no closer to finding what Auntie had dropped. I looked over across the beach again. Nope, nothing but our footprints in the sand. I was wondering if I was looking for something smaller? I didn't notice Auntie drop anything, but I looked closely again. Wait a second! I was taken aback. I couldn't believe what I saw. It couldn't be!

    I looked back on the path I had traced, me with open mouth now in disbelief. Our steps showed up better than before, now that I had walked over the same path again. That can't be! I thought again as I ran back onto the sand to the start of the footprints. I followed them again...and suddenly I found what Auntie had left for me. I still can't believe it, but there it was!

    Auntie had left behind the footsteps of a tango dance in the sand! There was no doubt! I retraced the footprints. We stood at the beginning for a minute, Auntie was shifting her weight back and forth, then I had stepped sideways and she followed and I stepped forward and she had moved back, then I had turned and she had turned with me. This was impossible! I didn't even remember doing those steps! We were talking about seagulls and listening to them calling to each other. Yet the footprints were undeniable. It was physically right there! I traced over them again! Oh yes! It was real alright. I ran back up to the cottages to find Auntie.

    She was sitting there patiently for me. I slowed down to catch my breath and considered the implications of what I had discovered. She turned her face towards me and smiled. I smiled back.

    "Auntie- " I started. "I don't know what to make of it."
    "My dear boy," she said, "it's quite obvious. From the minute we stood up, I could tell that you have the makings of a great dancer. You could tell that I wanted to get up out of the chair, you gave a slight squeeze of my hand and communicated very clearly that we were going to stand...you led me nonverbally through the garden and around all the gardeners here. You lead beautifully, by the way. Just a subtle movement and a weight change and I could tell where you are going to head."
    "But we were just talking..." I protested.
    "Indeed," she continued. "Your body knows what to do, you led me around obstacles while your mind was occupied, you stopped me from tripping over, you knew when to shift my weight around so that I could find those flagstones crossing the creek, you led me down some very tricky trails to the beach..."
    "But Auntie, you know the tango?"
    "Oh, I know a lot of things. But more importantly, YOU know some important things too, you just don't realize it. Most importantly for now, you know how to lead naturally. I wanted to dance, and you gave me a dance. You let me dance. You led, I danced. Get it?"
    Get it? Do I? The evidence was right there in the sand, I guess. Auntie did dance, I just didn't know it. And I kept her from tripping. I was leading. Oh! So much to consider!
    "I'm tired now," Auntie said at last. "It's been ages since I've danced around so much. Thank you so much. I feel satisfied. I want you to remember that. Okay? Let your woman dance, lead her so that she can, and she will be satisfied. Really. Now, I must get inside..." Her aide magically appeared and she let herself be led away.
    "I'll see you again soon, okay," I called after her. She waved without turning around. "And thank you, Auntie!" I don't think she heard me as she disappeared inside. Thank you indeed Auntie!

    <Even as I write this, I still can't believe it had happened! How could Auntie have done all that? How does she know the tango? Was I really leading without knowing? So many questions! I feel weird inside, as if things are not exactly how they appear. Instead of driving home just then, I pointed my big blue truck towards Uncle H's place. I had a few things to ask him...but now that you know a little bit about Uncle H, you can appreciate when I say that even today I'm still puzzling over his riddle-like answers from that visit. Let me explain...>
  11. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    Wherein Uncle H adds to the Confusion.

    I got to Uncle's house mid-afternoon and had to shake my head at the rambling old house. I can't believe that I actually climb up on the outside of that house...what must the neighbours think? Luckily I saw some movement in the backyard so I was spared the decision of whether to make the climb again. Instead of walking through the backyard though, I decided to drive around back to the lane. And I'm glad I did, because though I did not have the intention of spying on him, that's exactly what I ended up doing. Imagine that! Spying on people from inside what must be the noisest diesel truck for miles around. But there I was, and as I rattled up, I caught glimpses of Uncle in the backyard. One moment hidden behind some junk, the next darting between columns of appliances, then disappearing again behind the trunks of those huge trees in his backyard. It didn't help that I was moving in the truck as well...navigating the narrow lane (for the truck!) with one eye while keeping the other on Uncle's strange antics. I idled to a stop just at the edge of his yard.

    Yup, no doubt about it. Uncle was practicing dance steps from clearing to clearing. Not only that, but wonder of wonders...I could see those ubiquitous white earbud wires hanging from his head. Uncle was using an iPod! Even I don't have an iPod. I felt so old school! That explained why he didn't hear the truck. But what the heck was he doing? Time for some answers, I thought as I jumped out of the truck. Uncle finally saw me and excited motioned me to come sit with him at the gazebo. He had a white towel around his neck and was wiping off a lot of sweat. Man, he must have been at it for a while.

    "So Uncle," I smiled. He had brought his feet up and was sitting almost yoga style on the chair. Sheesh, he even had dance shoes on?! Oh, what a sight...image...old wiry man, crazy white hair, round eyeglasses, white towel around his neck, dirty white undershirt (sweaty), ditto for the boxer shorts, no socks and black dance shoes. Speaking of neighbours, it's a good thing the backyard was so full of junk that Uncle just blended right in.
    "You inspired me," he winked. I saw the soles of his shoes. They were worn right through! Hmmmmm. So many questions! Where to start?
    "I went to visit Auntie today," I ventured. I usually avoided talking about each other to them, but I really needed some explanations.
    "Oh?" Uncle said. I expected him to freeze up...or smile wistfully...or get up in anger (as in "how dare you mention her!")...but he did none of that. He just sat there waiting for me to continue. In my mind I could see his eyes widen a little, getting ready to be receptors for little nuggets of information from which he would summon forth some Greater Meaning and surprise the heck out of me by making a totally unrelated but totally relevant comment. I realized I was holding my breath, so I exhaled rather noisily and continued.
    "She...I," hmmm it was harder than I thought, "well, you see we were walking along and it was actually a dance and she was asking about my tango and all the while she was dancing and I know that she's blind and I was just helping her along but the evidence was there in the sand and I couldn't believe it and she had me go back and told me that she left a gift behind and she was dancing and I was leading without knowing I was leading...and...and..." I ran out of breath.
    "...out of the ashes, eh?" he whispered.

    Oh that was too much. I almost expected him to go inside to get a dusty old album full of sepia colored prints of him and Auntie at one dance competition or another...talking about memories and happy times, that we would then sit down and he would excitedly point out one photo after another, telling me long tales of how it came to be that he and Auntie were at the Worlds or dancing at the Rainbow Room or whatever...but no.
    All he said was, "I never knew her to dance..." What?! I was taken aback. He smiled again and said, "Interesting..." He sat back and regarded me.

    "Well, I am ready," he announced suddenly, and rather cryptically, "just let me know when!" And with that he jumped off his chair and bounded into the house, leaving me to ponder this strange case of relatives that I was afflicted with. I don't think I even realized that I had asked no questions and was no closer to any sense of clarity regarding Auntie, or Uncle, or my dancing, or whatever.

    However, a most wonderful memory was developing of walking around with Auntie from earlier that afternoon and IF that was any semblence of leading that I was doing, well then, it left me with a pleasant afterglow of unexpected effortlessness.

    Note: in the past week and a bit since that meeting with Uncle, I have not heard from him.
    Guilty Note: I had planned on visiting Auntie this past weekend, really, I had the best of intentions...but my carry through was rather lacking. I did call, but had to leave a message with the attendant. As I write my confession here, I am resolved to go see her this afternoon, really, as soon as I finish some more paperwork...
  12. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    Well, yesterday I did go to visit Auntie, and I never thought of calling ahead because she is usually at the home, but when I dropped in, she was out. Out? I asked. Yes, I was told. For the first time in about five years, Auntie was out...shopping, of all things! She had told an aide that she wanted to go shopping, and being such an unique request, from her, that they obliged and arranged for a car and an afternoon of...shopping. For what, I don't know, but I got to talking to some of the attendants at the home for a bit of insight (excuse the pun) on what Auntie has been up to.

    The nurse at the front desk was too new to be of much help. When I asked her about Auntie's dancing, she just gave me a "what, are you nuts?" type stare, so I just asked to see her usual attendant, who, luckily, was on duty yesterday afternoon. His name is Raymond and he leads her from her room to her activities and is generally in calling distance to most of the residents, though none others are blind like Auntie.

    "Hello Raymond," I offered. I felt ackward at first, but it was Raymond who had the questions for me.

    "I am very glad that you visited last weekend," he said. "Ms. M has not been so happy as since you visited. We have had several pleasant conversations about you, I bet your ears were burning. At any rate, thank you for elevating her mood. Whatever else you brought to her, at least she has a happy heart now."
    "I'm not sure what you mean Raymond," I puzzled, "How has Auntie been these days?"
    "These days? Or those days? These days she is floating on air with happiness. 'Those days' before your visit she was downright blue, yes? She is out shopping now you know? I don't know when was the last time she has been out."
    "I'm wondering Raymond, why the change in her? Has she mentioned anything in particular?"
    "No sir, nothing other than she is very happy now. I ask her about it every time I see her, but she won't tell. It's almost like there is a surprise she is keeping to herself..." Raymond smiled at me. I wondered if he really maybe knew more?
    "Raymond," I ventured, "how is it that Auntie learned to dance here?"
    "Dance, sir?" Raymond looked genuinely confused. "Ms. M does not dance here, sir."
    "How long have you known Auntie?" I asked.
    "Ever since she came here sir, it would be at least seven years come this Christmas." I winced. Has she been here that long? I remembered that Christmas when the blindness closed in.
    "And she's never taken, er, classes? In dancing? At all?" I struggled.
    "No sir," Raymond said. He stayed quiet for a while, then suggested, "If I may say, sir. There was a period of time, when she first came here to live with us, that she was very relucant to move around. It took almost a year of coaxing and practicing before she was comfortable in moving around."
    Poor Auntie! I thought. All those years of learning to be independent, trusting her helpers and caretakers. I felt another wave of guilt come over me. On the other hand...

    I had an idea.

    "Raymond," I asked, "do YOU dance?"
    "Ah, no sir," he replied.
    "Hmmm," I thought out loud, "but you are the one who, er, how do you say, 'trained' Auntie to move around again?"
    "It's called re-establishing, sir. She re-established her place in the world, you see. Being blind is no different, really, than being sighted, one just experiences the world differently in each case. For example, music is still music, ne?"
    I looked at him...ne? I think he was catching Auntie-isms.
    "In Ms M's case," he continued, "it was just a matter of trust. She needed to let go of her fears and trust completely in being lead. Within that lead though, she has complete freedom to be herself. She just learned to trust the eyes of someone else."

    Hmmm...I'm still mulling over this. It seems so parallel to dance, and it gave me an insight into what I needed to do in order to lead. I think. I'm thinking. Okay, here is my attempt to put it into words that will help me at tonight's practica: The woman trusts in the eyes (lead) of the man, but has the freedom to move within those leads. The man has the responsibility to be her eyes and give her the room to dance. Okay! I'm onto something. So what I was 'dancing' at the last milonga with Uncle in attendance was NOT a dance wherein I was acting responsibly. In fact, I was most irresponsible because I was only looking out for myself and letting my Sweetie fend for herself! Ah ha!

    Give me a minute, I'm still putting this all together. I think it's quite important in my development, er, understanding of what it means to lead. I need to have the responsiblity to lead, to take the follower's trust and give them the space to dance..."here you go, dance there, then there, now come over here, careful, I'll guide you, now you have the room to decorate, if you like, no? then how about over here...?"

    On the other hand, Auntie had been leading me, no? Oh yes she had! She was somehow leading me to lead her! Wow, what a concept. Of course, that's pretty much the kernel of truth for a lot of spouse jokes, right? As in, "all you have to do is make sure that your spouse thinks it was all their idea..." Hey, that's what they teach in management school too right? I think it's called "empowerment" or "letting your boss think it was all HIS idea" so that the buy-in is already built in. But I digress...oops

    <The phone just rang, it's Auntie, hang on...let me post this first>
  13. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    Darn, I missed Auntie's call. And when I tried to call her back...her line was busy...busy...busy...
    I lay down on the couch with the phone handset, pressing redial...busy...redial...busy...redial...sleepy...redial...zzzzzz

    I'm on a stage. This is fantasy tango. Only a single uniform light on us, from where? I dunno but it feels like an overcast day at the beach, where the color of the grey sand merges with the ocean which merges with the sky dome, so that there are no shadows, no horizon, just an even light everywhere. And just like on a silent foggy morning, or the street right after a big fluffy snowfall, all sounds are muffled.

    No, this is a dream tango. I am my Auntie, I realize that I cannot see, except for that endless grey, I look down, I cannot see my body, or my feet, or the ground. I feel like I'm suspended high in the sky, inside a cloud. A warm cloud of grey. A darker form moves around in the grey. I feel a partner holding me, an embrace, a frame. I relax into it. There is now just the feeling of a solid partner, I can only see grey everywhere, but now I feel connected with my partner, amorphous, asexual...just a body...leading. The body moves back, I fall forward then step. I feel a slight pressure while I'm stepping so I pivot, naturally. I step, but already I feel the direction of my leader's next move, I am ready, I move as well. I am following.

    Around and around we go. I understand following. "Following is not dancing." I hear Auntie's words in my head. I am Auntie. The leader moves again, so I step, but there is space for me to move, and now I feel a lead wherein the leader splits into two...into two. One movement leads the body around the floor, the other leads little phrases within each series of steps. What? Auntie's voice says, "listen carefully, with your connection." I relax and focus. The lead moves again. ...6-7-8. That's the lead around the floor. And within that lead I am allowed to pivot6-tap7-stretchout8. And so I hear it...on the 6 a subtle pressure on one side of my body with a small movement by the leader which gives me the opportunity to pivot...a slight hesitation on 7 in the leader's part gives me time to tap my free foot...a solid stop of the leader's body on 8 but a smooth lowering to the ground that lets me stretch out behind...it's all very continuous. Continuity. Musicality. Dancability. Being led to dance. "Next lesson," I hear Auntie say, "controlling the leader."

    Controlling the leader? Of course, just the way she did with me on the beach. I step, step, step, then I want to turn, so...I initiate a small movement to pivot, and the leader reciprocates with a larger movement for the pivot and gives me room! So which came first? I am sure that my slight movement initiated the leader to lead! I tried it again, and again. Each move the leader did was a continuation of the slight hint from me as an intention. Oh Auntie, I think I understand. The follower suggests a move, the leader follows up on it, the follower does the move...that feels very much in sync. The very thing that I was lacking with my Sweetie! And I am thinking that that sort of connection is the basis of this tango dance! Oh, so much to explore!

    Dancing from Auntie's perspective. She is such a big help. I think I am edging closer to improving my dancing!

    I wake up. Inspired. I want to practice this. I can't wait to get to the practica!

    <In my excitement, I forgot to call Auntie back altogether. I'll do that sometime today...> Cheers!
  14. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    I'm a guy, it's hard for me to admit that I can't listen. I take charge and give solutions. It's in my head that I am to lead. It's hard for me to listen. I'm not good at it.

    My lesson is to listen.

    With my ears to the music,
    With my body to the motion,
    With my heart to the e-motion.

    I have to learn to listen. I think that's what everyone is telling me. I wander the forest and hear the trees whisper to me...listen listen listen. I walk on the beach and I hear the sand telling me...listen. C'mon, I think no thoughts so that I can hear.

    Oh man, this is hard to do. But I think it's necessary for this stage in my tango! Cheers!
  15. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    I am listening to Rap music but am letting my body dance to a different beat. The noise in my ears helps me keep a tune in my head. The contrast is amazing. I turn up the volume and the floor is shaking, the windows are rattling, the words are abrasive, but inside myself I am calm at last and I trace smooth lines on the living room floor. I need the noise to drown out the chatter in my mind, it's freeing up my body to move better to tango. It's an odd Friday for sure! Cheers!
  16. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    The lines I am tracing on the floor are the very curves and points that I am tattooing onto my Sweetie! The parallels are amazing. I never realized it until now, but I am putting the template of tango into my tattoo ink! The implications are astounding. Tango pervades all that I am doing now. It is spreading out to everything I touch! I'm too freaked out for a cheerful "cheers".
  17. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    So at the Equator are they going both ways, or just standing still?
  18. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    "It's all in the hips, Jim." I am listening to my fellow tango friend at the practica. He continues, "see, how Miss T is led around, watch her hips..." He nudges me and does a Monty Python wink wink nudge nudge...sigh. Not only that, but he's talking as the instructor is teaching. We call it a practica, but there is a senior tangoista willing to give helpful hints. Unfortunately my friend has a very loud whisper. You know the type.

    But I see what he means. If I watch not the feet, but the hips, I can see the pattern that is being traced through the dance. Again I think "the leader's chest is leading her hips." The instructor keeps everything above his hips very still. No wild movements of his frame, just very relaxed but still. Like they say about ducks...calm above the surface but paddling like heck underwater. But it's very effective. His steps are mesmerizing, but it is as if the feet are just the afterthought and that his chest is leading...her hips.

    "Look, Jim," my friend starts again, "he turns her hips, he knows where which leg is by the twist in her hips and the direction of the lead. See, there, and there." I am not so much annoyed by his talking, because his thinking is parallel to mine, but that I'm encouraging him to talk during the lesson, just by being a listening bystander, makes me uncomfortable for the other serious students. Serious? I think of Uncle H. And I look around the room. We are all standing very intensely and watching the instructor as if we are interns watching delicate open heart surgery. Is tango so intense, are we so serious? The instructor finishes his moves and tells us to switch partners and practice.

    "I'm a doctor, Jim, not a dancer!" And with that my friend sweeps up my Sweetie and off they go. I don't think he even knows my real name.

    I look around and gulp. The only free woman is the instructor's wife. I am totally intimidated!
  19. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    And so ...

  20. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    Whoa! I can't believe I wrote all this.

    Wow, it's been a while since I've visited Tangoland. I feel like I'm in a Disney movie, the one where Peter Pan grew up and then revisits Neverland...only to realize that what was most important to him is what he left behind.

    Has it really been so long since I've written...and OMG, the stuff that I was writing. I suppose it's good to take a break, just to recalibrate and let the enthusiasm calm down so that I can see past the hootin' and hollerin'! I feel like I'm in Act II...I'm back but a little wiser and a little quieter.

    The snow has finally melted and summer is here in the North. I don't even know where my dance shoes are, but I feel a certain gentle desire to dance again!

    Thanks to all here...it's quite a boost to know that there's an active communicating community here! Cheers!

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