Tango: The Year In Review
by Nancy Green
My Birthday and New Year’s Eve are a day apart.
So in effect, I have the good fortune to say goodbye to the old and ring in the new, twice. And double the amount of reflection, resolution and celebration.
During the week leading up to these two auspicious events, I have been cleaning house, literally and metaphorically.
Dusting and a sweeping. Turning over the mattress, plumping up the pillow. Straightening out a relationship here and there. Ending one and tending to another. Deepening others.
And with my partner, the vacuum cleaner, practicing forward ochos with embellishments(!), to the soundtrack of the great tango orchestras.
It has taken me the full year of practice to begin to become the type of dancer I admired all those months ago. One who dances the simplest of steps with grace and confidence.
A few of the men who have kindly endured the phases of my stepping on, tripping over and the anticipating-their-every-move-incorrectly, have noticed that our dances have become easier. And dare I say…enjoyable.
All evidenced by compliments such as: “Well danced, Nancy.” And “Hey, everybody, would you get a look at this one!” And my all time favorite, “Fearless, just like you.” As told to me by actual leads: Daniel, Michael and Jack. (Insert happy face here)
Oh tanguera, beware the slippery slope of too many accolades resulting in the sin of pride.
To which I say: “Damn it all!”
Like many students, I have only wanted praise and recognition from my teachers for a job well done. A dance well danced. And as we know, the wanting really impedes the learning not to mention the enjoyment.
In our Walking & Embrace class I was picked for the purpose of demonstrating close embrace with our handsome, funny, sexy teacher.
Yes Dante, you.
And by close, I mean hearts beating close. Lest you think all this hugging sounds quaint, in Argentine tango, it bypasses friendly and moves straight to smoldering. No questions asked.
As Dante and I were demonstrating the really close embrace, he mused to the class that he wasn’t so sure that Nancy wanted to be that near him.
To which everyone laughed and said: “No…we‘re pretty sure that she’s okay with it.”
But how does one manage humility, learn the lesson and have a good time as the chosen one of the moment? In front of the entire class!
With grace, confidence. And blushing.
During my first year of learning this marvelous dance and clocking in some of the requisite 10,000 hours, I have come to relax and let the learning take care of itself. I am hardly embarrassed or frustrated by not knowing, or taking longer to know it. The tango and I are going steady.
And though the giddy newness of learning the dance has transitioned to familiarity, the enjoyment has only increased.
Upon reflection, learning the Argentine tango may be the best and most life affirming decision I have ever made. It has opened up the world to me and more importantly, me to the world.
Copyright © 2013 Nancy Green