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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

She's Just Not That Into You

Dearest Tango,

I never thought it would come to this, but I need to start seeing other dances.

For over two years, you have been my light in the night. Sometimes you were the only thing I looked forward to and I waited for days to have you. You've given me a way of being, of feeling, that I guess I always had inside me but never knew how to express until I met you. You've made me feel confident, sexy, beautiful and an object of desire--to myself, if no one else.

You've also made me feel lonely, insecure and inadequate. But that's not fair to blame it on you--you didn't do that. I did it to myself.

Even though I love you so, dear Tango, I think I'm getting bored, unsettled, unsatisfied. I can't believe it myself, and I'm not sure what happened. I know experienced dancers say this happens to everyone, this slump I can't seem to break out of.

It's not you, it's me.

I'm not giving you up completely. That could never happen. I'll always want you in my life. I just need to stop putting all my eggs in one basket.

Love always,


Tonight I started my first flamenco class. It was very challenging and my feet really hurt right now.

I'm going to have to learn to build stamina (which I don't have), muscles (ones I don't use) and precision (thinking!), while remaining graceful and poised. I'm going to have to do many things at one time: swirling wrists, flowing arms, bent knees, stomping feet and tapping heels.

Tonight I felt like a different kind of dancer. Like a dancer who only needs herself to be complete. I am not used to that. That is going to take a lot more practice than any kind of technique. Dancing on my own, alone. But in the company of women who are strong and powerful.

I think that sounds really awesome.

Wish me luck.

The first and third paintings are by talented contemporary artist Fabian Perez.

The second incredible image is El Jaleo by John Singer Sargeant.


Here are a few videos so you can see what the fuss is all about. The second one in particular reminds me of the veil dances in bellydancing.


FogBay March 11, 2008 at 10:08 PM  

Flamenco? I was sure clogging was your new passion.

I do wish you luck, I hope you find flamenco to be challenging, inspiring and a worthy paramour to your tango.

Psyche March 11, 2008 at 10:32 PM  

> Like a dancer who only needs herself to be complete.

Oh, such a good way of putting it. The fact that it takes two to tango is both the gift and the curse of tango. When it works, it's as rewarding and energising as a new relationship, but when it doesn't, it's like a relationship gone horribly wrong, where you lie awake feeling horribly lonely even though your partner is sleeping right next to you.

Alex March 12, 2008 at 4:34 AM  

Cool...one of my most memorable dances was with a professional flamenco dancer (from Canada)...who had never danced tango before...I took her under my wing...into my embrace...and we danced every song...every tanda...that night...

re: psyche's comment...ouch!...but so very true...

Red shoes March 12, 2008 at 6:34 AM  

Hmm, I had wondered, after our cocktail date recently--you know I'm behind you. It's a lovely thing to dance and not have to depend on anyone else.

I love John Singer Sargent.

tangobaby March 12, 2008 at 10:04 AM  

Hi FogBay,

Clogging is probably as hard as flamenco, but I like the idea of using my arms, too and my impression of clogging is that it's all about the legs.

I also hope to perfect my fiery gaze by becoming a flamenco dancer so I can start fires with my eyes. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Hola Psyche,

So true, what you say. I am just hoping that absence, or abstinence, makes my heart grow fonder.

Hi Alex,

Your dancer was very lucky. If you had been the first person I ever danced tango with, I'd probably be following you around like a puppy.

Hi Red Shoes,

Yeah, I guess the writing was on the wall that night. It wasn't just the gin. ;-)

You have to read that book about Madame X and JSS that I was telling you about. It was excellent. Hey! Maybe I'll get it for you as a Library Present!


Anonymous March 12, 2008 at 10:34 AM  

Oh TB, say it ain't so!!!

Ok, I'll be supportive. But you'd BETTER take me dancing (Tango!) when I come visit!

Elizabeth March 12, 2008 at 10:41 AM  

Tangobaby, I wrote you an email about this. The two person aspect, as well as always being the one waiting, either to dance or to take the step, to initiate...well it is frustrating sometimes. Knowing how well you move, how musical you are, it is a sure thing that flamenco will please you, thrill you. But I don't think you will forget tango.

RealityPivots March 12, 2008 at 7:33 PM  


tangobaby March 12, 2008 at 9:52 PM  

Hi Johanna,

I'm not quitting tango. I'm just looking for some other options. This is an option that fulfills some of the same desires. So when are you coming up here, then?

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for your email...and you're right, I'll never forget tango. I'll just have something else to do when I'm not tangoing, or when I don't have anyone else to dance with!


Hey RealityPivots, thanks!

Mélanie March 13, 2008 at 2:10 AM  

Flamenco , spanish women . I love their allure and elegance !!
Great post

Anonymous March 13, 2008 at 2:26 AM  

Oh, flamenco is wonderful! That's so great, I want to do it!

I've always partaken in other dances - maybe it's what keeps me in love with Tango. ;-)

Good for you!

Anonymous March 13, 2008 at 2:38 AM  

By the way, I like those videos. One can certainly see the Arab influence in Flamenco :-)

Hum, now you have me all curious to try it! Though I have Argentine folclore next on my list.

Christie March 13, 2008 at 7:16 AM  

Best of luck! A nice hot bath will fix those sore feet... I loved the letter, very clever.

tangocherie March 13, 2008 at 7:40 AM  

Hola Baby!
When I moved to Mexico in 2001, I was very tango-frustrated because either there isn't any tango in Mexico, or it's really terrible.

So I began flamenco classes, which I continued in BsAs after I moved here.

But for me it was too hard on my feet and legs, and after 4 years, I quit. I think it's something, like ballet, that one needs to start young.

When I began studying flamenco, I too thought as you: it's a solo dance, you don't have to depend on finding a partner.

But I learned that's not true: you have to find and depend on a guitar player.

And that's why there are so many flamenco couples where one is the dancer and the other is the guitarist/singer.

It's an incredibly complicated and profound dance, and I know you will love the experience and the music.

I recommend the book, Duende by Jason Webster, and Carlos Saura's Flamenco, if you haven't already seen it. Also if you can get your hands on Saura's Sevillanas.


j March 13, 2008 at 10:28 AM  

oh my gosh, were you in the room downstairs at 6:00 when i poked my head in after my class?? i took a peak before running back upstairs to rehearsal, and i'm not kidding, i thought - one of these days i'm going to see tangobaby in here. maybe you were!

j March 13, 2008 at 11:07 AM  

no, i mean it was 7:30!

tangobaby March 13, 2008 at 8:34 PM  

Hi Melanie,

Thank you for visiting my blog and being so kind as to leave your comment. I agree with you, there are many beautiful women to be appreciated all over the world. I hope that I can absorb some of the special grace and power of flamenco too, even though it is not my heritage.

Hola Tina,

I am fascinated by the similarities I've seen between flamenco and bellydance. I'm reading a book right now that I think you would love called Something In the Way She Moves, and I bet there's a chapter in there I haven't gotten to yet that might illumiate how these dances have common elements.

Have fun with your folklorico. I can't wait to hear about it. I have been missing that, which is also what has been pushing me to flamenco. All of that stomping and clapping!

BTW, this weekend is Rakkasah, the big bellydance festival of the West Coast. It made me think of you and TangoCherie.

Hi Christie,

Some people like hot hot water. I am an ice cold water person. Somehow, by freezing the feet so much that they hurt, it makes my feet feel so much better later. And it helps with the swelling. I know I sound like a total sadomasochist, but that is what seems to work for me. And Aleve.

Hola TangoCherie,

As always, I feel I benefit so much from your wisdom. I am already on the same page as you about the ballet. I realized in that first class that I need to have a basic, strong core, and ballet was what immediately came to mind.

So today I had a basic barre class at lunchtime, and I think that could really help me have the strength to give flamenco a real try.

The flamenco community here is much smaller than the tango community, but you'll be pleased to know that our class had its own live music.

I will definitely check out those movies. I did not know that Saura made a movie about flamenco!

Hi Miss J.,

Yes! I WAS downstairs (the 6pm class is the beginner class and it goes till 7pm). Next time I should find you and peek in at your class! We can go out for a snack afterwards. How fun that we were so close to each other.

You will be very proud of me. I took Kathy Mata's barre class today! I LOVE SFDC! (I became a member today. Yay!)

xoxo to all of you.

AnnieElf March 14, 2008 at 12:49 PM  

Wow. How exciting. Sets me to dreaming of getting off my duff. I like that connection with women and the power and strength found in the dance.

koolricky March 15, 2008 at 1:05 PM  

Hi TB:
I am still waiting for that long promised tanda!
I am sure that the flamenco is only going to enrich your tango dance. And I look forward to read your flamenco curiosities in this blog!

tangobaby March 15, 2008 at 2:52 PM  

Hi AnnieElf,

Right now, I can tell you for sure that I am not strong and powerful, but merely pitiful. However! I have can see a tiny ray of light at the end of the loooooong tunnel and it gives me hope that I won't suck at flamenco forever.

If you are looking for something that gets you off your duff and makes you work up a good sweat, then flamenco is a great dance to try. Plus you get to wear a really cool long skirt with pretty ruffles (which looks cool when you kick up the ruffles) and shoes with nails in the heels and toes so they make a huge sound when you stomp your feet!

Hello dear Koolricky,

Of course I owe you a tanda! You owe me one, too. So that makes us indebted to each other.

I am not giving up tango at all, and I agree with you that flamenco will only make me appreciate tango more. Each dance holds a certain charm for me, but both have passion in their roots so that is what makes me want to be good at both of them.

AND I have to bring you a brownie. I was in the store yesterday where there were a huge pile of brownies and I thought of you.


paris parfait March 17, 2008 at 5:07 PM  

I love, love, love Flamenco dancing! And I think you will love it too and be very good at it, especially with your background w/ tango.

tangobaby March 17, 2008 at 8:50 PM  

Hi Paris Parfait!

I will think of you rooting for me on the sidelines when I want to cry for looking like such a ding-dong.

Flamenco is SO much harder than tango...I don't even know how to begin to describe it. It's like tapdancing and bellydancing at the same time, with a bunch of ballet thrown in to boot.