February 8th, 2003

Roman

First Tango in SLO

P and I attended a two-part tango introduction last night and this morning. First time for both of us.

I can see why this dance is so popular, why some people go out of their way to attend tango dances and workshops. It is so different from other social dances, yet so connected to the earth, so much more comprehensible than I had previously thought. Of course it's sexual, but it's more than that.

It is essentially a way of walking. And, as with walking, you sometimes turn, something go backwards, pivot, change direction, on the spur of the moment. Tango is entirely improvisational.

Last night we heard a lot about the history of the dance and we saw excerpts from videos that illustrated interesting aspects of the dance. For example, the top half of the dance couple doesn't really move except horizontally around the floor, while the legs and feet are doing all kinds of things. It is as if the two halves of the body are separate. We learned a little about the walk and some basics in holding our bodies last night, and this subject was expanded this morning. We danced all morning, stopping to learn a new type move, changing partners, going on.

I wasn't anyone's favorite dancer. I didn't always read the man's subtle moves correctly, I kept forgetting how to get the "cross", I got off balance easily, I stepped on feet and had my feet stepped on, or nearly. One guy finally said he was sorry but he had to take a break. I know he had to get away from me, is what. It was funny, actually.

There's a chance that someone will start up classes here in SLO. The only choice now is to drive to Santa Barbara. Many SLO people actually do that. Maybe I will be joining them.