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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Tango in My Heart

This is me (with pals), in a cab, in Buenos Aires. (I'm the one on the end. You knew that.)

We're just coming back from a wonderful class at the Dinzel's studio. This may be a capture of one of the happiest times in my entire life, one that I can remember like it was yesterday.

But it wasn't yesterday at all. It's been a while since that day.


I was awakened this morning by a dream about tango. I never dream about tango.

In my dream, I was wearing my flamenco shoes and I think I was in a hardware store (go figure), but they were having some sort of dance competition there. Some guy asked me to dance. (You know how in your dreams there's someone that seems really familiar to you, but doesn't look like anyone you know in real life? Well, this guy was like that. Upon awakening, I still don't know who he might be.)

Anyway, the song they played is the one that makes me melt, the one that draws me like a moth to a flame: Desde el Alma. In my dream, I could sense my partner's nervousness (he was a beginning dancer) but since I had more experience than him, I could feel his happiness and relief that I could follow his steps so effortlessly, and could even feel his cheek smiling, pressed against my own. I closed my eyes and danced to this beautiful waltz.

And then I woke up, that song still haunting me.


I haven't been dancing in several months now, not flamenco, not ballet and not tango. It's been an amalgamation of reasons, a snowballing effect of things I don't need to bore you all with, but to some degree a bit of this, some of this, vestiges of this, and other mundane things like being flat broke and tired at the end of the day.

But dancing in my dreams, and still having my beloved song playing on endless loop in my brain has made me remember all the wonderful things, the lovely things, the tango in my future, when I was a tango angel, and especially this memory, the tango in my past.

For those of you new readers who weren't sure where a silly little name like tangobaby comes from, to those few remaining tango-loving readers who still read my blog even though I don't really write about tango anymore, let's watch this dance together, to the song that haunts me even now, as the faint rays of the sun start to brighten the sky and I wait for the day to begin.

I need to dust off my dancing shoes already. I still haven't even worn these shoes yet.


P August 20, 2008 at 7:00 AM  

Sometimes it's good to take a little break and do something else for a while. You still have tango in you, and when the time is right, you'll start dancing again.

Liz August 20, 2008 at 8:24 AM  

so love that photo of you and other smiling people... you look like the happiest of all happy people, with a little impish-ness hovering on the edges of your smile... oh isn't it glorious to find things in our lives that make us smile so? 'tis wonderful!

studio wellspring August 20, 2008 at 9:43 AM  

i can empathize completely, dear one. although my reasons are very different i haven't danced in over a month and i miss it so much! unfortunatley i think it will be several more before i will get to tango again. do you want to commit to a new year's milonga with me...just in case we're both ready to put on our come il faut's & hit the scene again with 2009's newness all around us?

tangobaby August 20, 2008 at 1:47 PM  

Hi p,

Yes, I know you're right. My break has turned into something of a sabbatical.

I guess my subconscious mind is trying to give me a kick in the pants where other normal methods are not working.

Hi Liz,

We were having a ball that day. Acutally the whole trip is one happy blur and I can't tell you specific things about it anymore, but I still get twinges of "wow" and little flashes of images and music and feelings.

Hi Ms. Wellspring,

I'm sure both of us will be back in stilettos again soon, and hopefully together like old times! I just hope I can remedy my own sitch before New Year's though! We can work out the details later, I'm sure.


paris parfait August 20, 2008 at 3:04 PM  

Taking a "time out" can sometimes remind us of the best of the things that we love - show it in a different perspective and/or more flattering light. After all, if we ate Specialty's cookies every single day, they'd soon lose their appeal. I expect at some point you will be dancing your heart out in those gorgeous shoes! Meanwhile, you've been busy pursuing other important things, like your photography! Not an insignificant pastime, after all. xoxox

Christina August 20, 2008 at 3:34 PM  

You really are a cutie! Your just taking a break from one of your talents, to hang out with another that's all!

I love that song!

My Castle in Spain August 20, 2008 at 5:28 PM  

I loved reading your post ! and i've never read a more beautiful description of tango than "vertical expression of horizontal desire".
I'm sure you will catch up with your dancing classes. This dream is interesting. I sometimes dream, i dance flamenco and my only explanation for it is that i miss it. (so i do a vague practice at home at times)
Dancing brings so much doesn't it ?

In the meantime, i wish you good luck with photoshop !

ps : you look so pretty and happy in this pic !

Kath August 20, 2008 at 6:58 PM  

That you are dancing in your dreams makes me jealous. That you can dance in your waking hours fills me with awe. I cannot dance.

Relyn August 20, 2008 at 9:20 PM  

Oh goodie! I've been waiting for your return to tango.

Life is so full. It seems that most of us live such busy lives that there is hardly room for competing passions. Your tango-break was photography-fruitful. Just look at all you've done with it.

If you ever find a way to do all the things you love, plus all the things you must, all at the same time - won't you please let me know? You could bottle it and make a million. Or write about it and have a best seller.

Anyway, I'm excited that tango is calling your name again.

mrs. sarah ott August 20, 2008 at 10:35 PM  

tangobaby, tangoheart. i've needed to dust off my shoes too. been feeling that heart-palpating compelling urge to dance again. though i am not a tango-er, i would love to learn. i am a jazz baby though, as you said lol. and a ballet baby at one time. miss it so much. if im ever in san fran you must, must, must teach me all you know about flamenco. ; )
dance on pretty woman!

Christie @ fig & cherry August 21, 2008 at 1:00 AM  

LOVE the new header. I'm guessing they're your sexy legs? :)

willow August 21, 2008 at 6:45 AM  

Heehee...I dance in my dreams, and I'm not even a dancer! :)

Mia's Mama August 21, 2008 at 11:38 AM  

you are so lovely. what a fun shot of you having the time of your life. I just spent a while immersed in your blog. again. lovely.

robin bird August 21, 2008 at 1:31 PM  

what a perfect post for Love Thursday julie!! i love how happy you look and i was not here when you wrote about your tango life so that is a side of you i still want to get to now. the dance and song was very easy to relate to for a no-tango girl like myself. you are such a pretty, lovely girl :) (i like that word girl sometimes as it describes a woman in a particular frame of mind/heart and with a particularly youthful happy look.)

julochka August 21, 2008 at 1:53 PM  

i'm back from weegieland and catching up! i have to ask..was the hardware store in a mall? ;-)

i think it's a good and healthy thing to dream of dancing and great music and i'm sure you'll go back to doing it while you're awake sometime soon. :-)

tangobaby August 21, 2008 at 1:58 PM  

Hi paris parfait,

Yes, you're right. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, but it's also that new things catch my attention, too. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

Thank goodness I don't have a Specialty's cookie every day! I'd be a blimp! (That is also the bakery where I wiped out, so going back there brings flashbacks of my humilation.)


Hi christina,

It almost feels like I'm cheating on one fixation to be with another...like tango is jealous or something.

I have to stop anthropomophizing my life. How silly!

I'm glad you liked the song, too.

Hi lala,

I know your dancer's heart would enjoy this post, and that you could relate very much. At this point, I wonder when or if I will go back to flamenco. I think I might be too old for it!

I miss them all, though. You understand. And swing dance and fencing. I left them out.


Hi kath,

I think there is a dance out there for all of us. I used to think I couldn't dance too, before I started tango. Find a dance where you love the music so much that you can't help moving your feet, and I bet you'll be surprised that you can dance.

And like all things worth doing, you might have to stick it out in the beginning when it's the hardest. But then all of a sudden you'll be dancing, and smiling because of it!

Hi relyn,

I wish I knew that secret. I really do. Part of me figures that it would have to mean not having a day job and then that would require some other means of support such as lottery winnings or sugar daddies...

I will keep you posted on the tango but I'm not quite there yet. I might still be dreaming.


Hi sarah,

If you are ever in SF, then we can look at whatever type of dancing you might enjoy...I'm pretty much up for anything once. And the jazz scene, we can hit Yoshi's for that.

I loved the music you had on your blog last time I was there. You are going to turn me into a jazz baby, too.

Hi Christie,

Yes, and thanks! I was redecorating. Fishnets do wonders for most legs, I think.


Hi willow,

If you're a dancer in your dreams, then you ARE a dancer. What kind, we wonder?

Hi mia's mama,

Welcome back, and thank you! I love those photos you just posted of your baby. She is adorable!

tangobaby August 21, 2008 at 2:34 PM  

Hi robin bird and julochka,

You were leaving me a comment while I was leaving me a comment! How funny!

Hi robin bird,

I'm so glad you're enjoying yet another part of tangobaby (or at least now the name makes sense). I know I'm well past the expiration date for calling myself a girl, but I still feel like one, so I know what you mean.

Hope you are enjoying your little precious one on her first birthday!


Hi julochka,

Okay, that was hilarious! A mall, indeed. You know, my dream mall doesn't have a hardware store (or else I've just never shopped there). It does have a Saks Fifth Avenue, though.

You are just a really funny person!

I am waiting to hear more about weegieland, though.

Abbey August 23, 2008 at 11:35 PM  

Oh My Goodness that was fabulous. Dancing is the only form of exercise I enjoy.

I really need to pick it up again. My dance of choice is Tap. Though I do love a good Broadway Jazz! Okay, and a little Swing. Alright, Fine! I just love Dance! Period!

koolricky August 27, 2008 at 2:38 AM  

Hi tangobaby:

Oh, I missed your blog! I've been internetless for most of August... I can understand that smile after a class with Rodolfo and Gloria Dinzel, they are SOOOO inspirational!
And, I am still waiting to dance with you, whether it is Desde El Alma or Café Dominguez or any other track...