On a Journey to Wellness

Come with me on my journey to losing weight, getting healthy and going out to meet the world head-on!

Monday, September 5, 2011

My First Tango Lesson

I've been home for almost a week and my mom asks me:
"There's an Introductory Tango class for visitors on Sunday. Wanna go with me?"

My instant answer was "Hell yes I do!"

Back track a bit: I love dancing. No let me rephrase, I. LOVE.DANCING. But I've never taken any classes and until late high school/college I pretended I didn't like it for whatever dumb reason I had at the time. One of my life goals is to take dance lessons in ballroom or in anything really. Moving around a lot (and lack of funds) has pretty much prevented that. So being able to get a taste of a Tango class seemed like an amazing opportunity.

We called the studio to get more information and it was pretty much a sample class for visitors to get a taste of the course and current students to help and show their stuff. It seemed perfect.

So Sunday arrives and after getting lost a little we find the studio. We walk in and sure enough it's a nice sized room full of mirrors and bars and very few people. I get nervous. It was smaller and less busy than I expected(I guess the entire world isn't a tango enthusiast like I was). I could tell my mom was a little nervous too so we walked around and went to the second room where there was a table with dancing shoes and another table with tango cds. Tango music filled the studio.

I striked up a conversation with a woman who worked there and after her description of the teacher and general chit chat I felt better and my mom and I sat down to wait for more people to trickle in.

Completely un-related comment: It's raining right now as I type this and I'm getting super giddy. I love rain!

Finally the dance teacher came. Older man all in black with a bit of a belly, perfect posture and although the top of his head was bald the rest of his flowing gray hair reached his shoulders. Fair skin and skinty light eyes, this man WAS an Argentinian Tango master.

He was intense from the get go and explained that this class wasn't about learning steps and that Tango wasn't about a routine choreography. You work for the music and the music doesn't work for you. So, the first step to seeing if Tango was for you was to "listen to the music" and if you didn't feel something for it then the music wasn't for you.

He kept saying things like "stop thinking" and "Stop worrying about the steps and just listen!"
"I'm not going to teach you how to count. You already know how to count. There is no counting!"

In other words, this guy was awesome.

We all stood in a straight line. He taught us how to stand. Then how to walk. Then how to groove. He then separated the men from the women and thought us the basic steps. Turned around and taught the women the coordinating steps. Then paired us up!

I'm not used to having a partner when I dance. I'm usually the lead. I couldn't be the lead this time because I didn't learn the male steps! So I was relieved that I was actually going to dance with a guy for once. LOL

The guy I ended up with was pretty suave-ly dressed and apparently a current student because he helped me and corrected me (nicely) as we went. He complimented my fast learning skills and I thanked him. More current students had come at this time and were helping all the newbies as we switched partners.

I got to dance with almost the entire male audience and I admit more than a couple of times I would look over to the mirrors and see (and feel) myself in perfect sync with my partner.

"Holy shit. I can dance!"

Now, I know I can 'dance'. Most people who meet me, then see me dance end up commenting on it with awe and each time I laugh and thank them. But this was a class. I was dancing with current students. It was TANGO! And I could do it. I did it. It was awesome.

By the end of the night most of the new people had left (where did they go? Where was I? Oh right dancing suckers! HA!) and my mom and I sat down for a breather. (Btw. I got my dance craziness from my mom and although I hadn't been paying much attention to my moms progress I was no where near surprised when people were going up to her saying things like "You're really good!" or "I was watching you and you can really dance." LOL) The only dancers left were the current students and I was watching their fancy moves.

My mom decided it was time to go and so we said our goodbyes. Thanked everyone and shook the teachers hand. As we were walking to the door one of the guys came up to us and told us that it could be intimidating and that its just like coffee. It could be an acquired taste. I laughed and patted his arm and told him not to worry we were hooked before we walked through the door.

As we drove away we excitedly recalled the night and talked about which dancers were easier to dance with and how comfortable we felt with the moves etc. We were both at our element then and I was so happy to see my mom so excited.

To top it off it was raining! This place is so dry in the summer I welcomed the weather.

Over all an amazing night. It just proves to me that I WILL make it a priority to take dance classes. When? I don't know but either way it WILL happen.



midlife_swimmer said...

I am so glad you had fun.

Anonymous said...

Sounds fun. I'm glad you like dancing. That's a great way to get in activity. :)

I'm glad you are in the challenge. Can't wait to see how we all do. Good luck :)

Air de Tango said...

We hope you're still enjoying it and you have the guts to go out to milongas, intimidating at first but afterwards the greatest fun of all.