It all starts innocently enough…we attend a lesson to see what “Argentine Tango” is and find it mildly interesting, very interesting or “I can’t wait to do this again” interesting.
Our heightened curiosity motivates us to take classes and attend practicas and milongas. After deciding this dance is for us, we invest in our first pair of “real” tango shoes and begin dressing in “the” look. We listen to music non-stop and watch clips on You Tube till our eyes glaze over.
We dance with anyone patient enough to tolerate us. Partners are mostly more experienced than our naïve self, and some offer tips that may or may not be helpful. (We won’t know which are and which aren’t till we’ve accumulated a lot more floor miles, at least that’s what our teachers tell us.)
Each time we’re on the floor, we experience a moment or two of powerful connection that enhances our desire to seek more such moments.
We find our self getting lost in thought about the challenges and pleasures of our new-found passion. We become increasingly absorbed in planning where and when to spend more time learning, practicing, listening, watching, discussing. We attend every workshop within driving distance and make plans to attend the next major festival whatever time zone it may be in.
We’ve begun selecting clothing purchases based on whether they would be appropriate for the milonga floor. Our iPod, laptop, etc. are becoming filled with tango music. We’re following blogs and researching where to stay in Buenos Aires should we get carried away with fulfilling our fantasy.
The majority of our free time is involved in some form of tango pursuit. We rearrange our furniture and roll up the rug. We set up a mirror to watch our countless attempts at looking elegant. We search for a practice partner, if single, or set aside specific times to practice with our life partner.
We connect more intensely each time we are on the floor, and smile inside and out when we feel ourself making progress. We glow when a partner pays us a compliment or the teacher nods in approval.
We’re keenly aware that our status as “beginner” will hold for a couple of years, and we’re discovering that tango is the most challenging and rewarding than anything we’ve ever done. We look forward with increased anticipation to the next opportunity and it won’t arrive a moment too soon.
We attempt to describe our new-found passion to friends and family, but fail miserably. We cannot convey how it feels, how to do it, or why it touches us in ways nothing else has. We try convincing them to attend a lesson and find out what we’re talking about, but they’re all “too busy” or “not that athletic.” Telling them it’s about walking and connection doesn’t persuade anyone, so we abandon the effort and figure they wouldn’t understand what we’re talking about anyway. They’ll never know what they’re missing, but before we started this journey, neither did we.