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Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Calm in the Eye of the Storm

"Please send me your last pair of shoes, worn out with dancing as you mentioned in your letter, so that I might have something to press against my heart." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Someday I hope to have a pair of shoes like that.


Cellspace again tonight. The dancing does have a wildness to it that I am not used to. Lots and lots of crazy boleos and ganchos and leg wraps. And twirls. Twirls?!!

I am not always able to hear and feel the music because so much movement is distracting me. Plus, I got
kicked twice and stepped on once. I cannot believe my fishnets survived such abuse.

But there was yet a new Tango Angel who made it all worthwhile. He made me forget those other people even existed. He hummed and sang the music softly while we danced. He danced so smoothly, so calmly. Pausing and moving to the music so I would hear the music though his movements. Waiting for me and not rushing me through my steps. Letting me do my thing. It was a partnership.

And then I self-wallflowered when I realized I had already danced my best dances of the night. So I got to enjoy the others enjoying each other and captured a few moments before calling it a night.

Good night, tango. Good night, tango dancers everywhere.

Un beso.


François April 10, 2008 at 5:47 AM  

Nices shots ;) I also think the most important thing is to quietly hear music and simply dance. If i feel really good with my partner i try some boleos...Have a good day and marvellous tangos and ..please excuse me for my "frenchy" english :D

Anonymous April 10, 2008 at 8:22 AM  

TB, the yearning to dance often overwhelms the joy of just watching. I'm glad you had a chance to enjoy both.

paris parfait April 10, 2008 at 8:59 AM  

Such a great post - I love the romanticism it starts out with - then the beauty of your photos and description of your fabulous evening - both dancing and appreciating others' efforts. xo

Psyche April 10, 2008 at 9:14 AM  

See, that's why I love Goethe.

Ah, soltadas. I think a lot of leaders don't appreciate just how hard it is to do a full-on spinning-on-one-foot soltada. Actually, I think a lot of leaders seriously underestimate the level of skill that the standard follower pivot requires - they kind of take it for granted because we do it all the time. Occasionally there's a group class which requires them to do a long smooth pivot, perhaps an enrosque or a back sacada, and they're all wobbly and leaning on us and they're like, 'this is so hard!', and I'm like, 'you know, this what us followers spend all our time doing. Maybe you'll think twice about leading those back-sacada-into-back-boleo combinations now, eh?.'

My soltadas are improving, though, thank god. But what I like better than the spinny ones are the ones where he kind of plays hide and seek with you; he might send you round his back, then back the other way, then offer one hand and send you round the front with your back to him, then catch you by the waist and pull you back the other way, and you're kind of chasing each other and kind of teasing each other. Very few guys do this, sadly, they mostly prefer the spinny ones.

NYC Tango Pilgrim April 10, 2008 at 12:16 PM  


That's it. One good partner, a few good tanda makes one just happy enough.

I dance less and less these days. Sometimes, only one tanda a night.But I truly enjoy every single moment of the dance. I am much happier this way.

tangobaby April 10, 2008 at 1:33 PM  

Bonjour Francois,

Thank you for the compliment about the photos. Praise from you makes me feel very good as you are such a talented photographer.

My broken French cannot be any worse than your "Frenchy" English...at least you have a charming accent.

Espérons qu'un jour je serai à Paris, et nous pouvons avoir une tanda ensemble. Tango ne nécessite pas de la langue parlée à savourer.

Dear Johanna,

Yes, I feel like I'm two for two in the Tango Angel department lately. And that I also know when to quit when I'm ahead.

Hi Paris Parfait,

Last night when I was sitting on the sofa and sneaking these photos of the dancers, I was thinking of you and planning that I would take you with me when you come to visit. I think you would really enjoy the dancing and the environment.

Hola Psyche,

Yes, being whipped around like a rag doll or pranced like a show pony...not what I got into tango for. Sometimes I don't mind it, but I do think you're right in that leaders don't realize the velocity and urgency that they put on us at times to make these moves.

And it's like dancing on top of the music, instead of in the music.

Hi TP,

I knew you would understand. After reading all of your recent posts, I know that is how you feel. I am glad I have some nice memories to keep me smiling despite the bruise on my thigh today.

I do think you must be a more patient person than I am. Perhaps it is your martial arts training?

studio wellspring April 10, 2008 at 2:09 PM  

oh darlin' i'm so glad to hear it! your love affair with tango is renewed ~ 3 cheers! and this gives me hope that when i finally return to the tango dance floor i will be swept away by delights too. cellspace is definitely in my future.

Elizabeth Brinton April 10, 2008 at 3:12 PM  

I like the pictures. The light on the floor, the dancers feet... it evokes a sense of mystery.

tangobaby April 10, 2008 at 3:22 PM  

Hi Ms. Wellspring,

Thanks for the encouragement. I'll be more in love when I know I'm not going to get nailed in the leg again! Or if that guy comes back...


Hi Elizabeth,

I think I have found a whole new outlet for my photography. Tango feet. Not the rest. I just like looking at the feet and the floor.

I'm glad those photos turned out...most of them were unrecognizable as anything due to the low light and the speed of the dancers.

Unknown April 10, 2008 at 5:13 PM  

how you inspire me so my dear! that goethe quote---so romantic, so beautiful. your passion for dance makes my two left feet yearn for at least the chance to watch.

Janet April 10, 2008 at 7:40 PM  

Ooooh, awesome photographs! Thanks for stopping by my blog...and for your sweet words. I look forward to exploring your blog!

tangobaby April 11, 2008 at 9:21 AM  

Hi Miss Octavine,

That was a perfect quote. It said everything I felt inside. All of this dancing starts with baby steps and lots of practice and patience. You should try it sometime. It may not be as hard as you think.

Whereas I could not draw a stick person to save my life, so looking at your beautiful art is something that gives me a lot of pleasure.

If you want to see some beautiful dancing, click on this which will take you to all of the tango videos I have posted here. You love what you see:


Hi Janet,

Welcome and thank you for the visit. I just love your blog and what you write about. Your photos and topics are lovely.

(And whenever I read your posts, I also wish I was in DC so I could go to the National Gallery and then get a crabcake at Legal Seafood.)


François April 12, 2008 at 7:20 AM  

Hi Tangobaby,
I hope we will dance tango in Paris one day. There's a lot of milonga here. One of the best is along the Seine on spring. Have a good day and many "quiet" tango

tangobaby April 14, 2008 at 11:04 AM  

Hi Francois,

That is a deal. Tango by the Seine, or anywhere in Paris, will be perfect!