Thursday, October 25, 2007

What is tango?

Tango is a mode of transportation.
Tango is a conversation with legs.
Tango is Tai-Chi for two, Akido for two, yoga for two, a martial art for two, with music.
Tango is a three-minute romance.
Tango is a Way in the world, a state of mind, an art, a religion, an addiction.
Tango begins when you decide to live in another country in another time in your mind, while continuing to function in the life you are living.
When people speak of tango they use words like love, passion, fear, desire, sorrow, exile, longing, and anguish. No other social dance form is described with these words. It is not completely true that it takes two to tango. It takes three. An audience. Witnesses.
Tango is a syndrome, a gestalt.
Tango is a sad thought that can be danced.
Tango expresses and creates exile.
Tango is a ritual of encounters and separations.
Tango is the music, the lyrics, the instruments, and the dance - they cannot be separated.
Tango is whatever a milonguero or milonguera says it is for them.
Tango is Argentina.

By Robert Fulghum, copyright 2007
The Continuing Chronicles of Senor Don Roberto Juan Carlos Fuljumero y Suipacha

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tango Dresses (Pretty in Lace)


1. Champagne Cocktail Dress (Gorgeous black tulle detail throughout this strapless.)

2. Lay of the land Dress (Love the scallop lace at neck/hem-line. pretty shade of moss green.)

3. Soft Focus Dress (Old fashion glamour and romance, love the lace details and color.)

4. Meadow-Brown Dress (A-line dress with tulle and a sexy but wearable bustline.)

5. Night Falls Dress (Love the dotted-lace cap sleeves with pretty sash in the back.)

1-5 available at Anthropologie

6. Sexy Red Dress by Giselle James (It's satin, it's lace and it's RED. Need I say more?)

7. Dina Bar-el Lace Cocktail Dress (Sexy & elegant cocktail number from all angles.)

8. Lux in Between Days Dress (Sexy delicate crochet cutouts on neckline, back and hemline.)

9. Alexia Admor Dress (great asymmetrical lace hemline at a great price)

10. Tadashi Lace Illusion Dress (Gorgeous dress...especially from the back!)

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Kiss

I watched Cinema Paradiso again today. I am not the type of girl who cries over hallmark commercials but this movie gets me every time. It has one of the most beautiful film scores ever composed by Ennio Morricone.

Now tell me... when was the last time you kissed like that?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Revenge is Sweet

It finally happened at a milonga this past weekend. I know he's been watching me for the past 5 months. I have moved on since that painful and disappointing day. I was a new and naive kid on the block, getting picked on by a senior bully on the playground. I guess it never crossed my mind then that this sort of thing could happen on the social dance floor.

He was watching me; watching and waiting for that perfect song and that perfect moment. The second song of the tanda had just started when he got up from his seat across the room. He actually walked across the middle of the dance floor, while people were dancing. (talk about not respecting the line of dance.) I tried not to look directly at him, but I could sense him approaching with my peripheral vision.

"Oh my, I think The Tan-Ego is about to ask me to dance."

I've played out this scenario in my mind many times. Each time I saw him at a milonga, I knew it was just a matter of time before we'd meet again. The community isn't THAT big and I was making improvements in my dancing. There were so many things I wanted to say to him(...and do to him!)

A) I could be angry.

"What did you ask me you little f#@ker? Why don't you put on your Comme Il Fauts and dance with a pole instead!!!"

B) Kill him with kindness for the greater good of all mankind.

"Hi there, I don't know if you remember me but we met 5 months ago. I was a newbie and you were a bit hard on me. You may not have realized it but I was really hurt and it made me cry. Please be gentle with your comments to the beginners in the future. For the sake of preserving the art of tango, let's work together to build and expand this tango community. With that said, let's make up and enjoy this beautiful dance together."(head tilted and batting my eyelashes)


Ugh! He's coming closer... only 4 seconds to decide!

(4...... 3...... 2...... 1)

"Would you like to dance?"

I was aware that the people around me were also watching him walk across the crowded moving dance floor. So I looked him in the eyes, paused then said in a clear voice,

"No, thank you."

He looked surprised then walked away with his tail between his legs. My impulse would have chosen response A, but I knew it was best to treat him like any other guy, whom I have no interest in dancing with. I also wanted him to feel the rejection that he so feared. He certainly wouldn't have felt that rejection, if he knew I was rejecting him because he had hurt my feelings. It is not up to me to help him fix his issues. I am just a tanguera, who wants to dance with her eyes closed.

After my final encounter with the Tan-Ego, I smiled and danced without a break for four sweet sweet hours. : )

Friday, October 12, 2007

Which side of the brain do you use most?

This is a great Right Brain vs Left Brain Test!

Ok ready?

Now click on this photo...
Do you see the dancer turning clockwise or counter-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning counter-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

I'm curious to see the results of this poll from you tangueros and tangueras.

* Please vote when you are done.

* For those of you, who didn't get enough, here's a more in-depth Right/Left Brain test.

It's free but just remember to click "Skip all Offers" at the top of the page when you are done to get your results.

FINAL POLL RESULTS: (based on 33 votes)
51% Right Brain
30% Left Brain
18% Both

(Hmm....does this conclude that people who dance tango are more right brained??)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Good Leaders, Where Art Thou??!!

Help!! There is a serious shortage of decent leaders in our city!!!

As a follow up to Eva's last post - we thought we were having a temporary dry moment in our usual tango exhilaration, but I am beginning to get really discouraged! Just came back from the only afternoon milonga in the city, which I went to with the thought that it might be good idea to try a new milonga. I had heard it's informal and laid-back, so I figured maybe this is where the good dancers (who are unpretentious and dance for the sake of dancing) could be found. My hopes were shattered as soon as I got off the elevator and headed to the studio. I overheard a woman telling her friend to just turn around and not waste her time. What a disaster indeed! There were few men to begin with, and all the wrong ones at that. I must have danced with two of the worst dancers there, before a somewhat decent but still beginner-intermediate leader asked me to dance. Well, he was as good as it got there. I left after less than an hour. I simply refuse to be jerked around like a rag doll and to be led by men who are musically deaf anymore. I guess the days when we would be happy to dance with almost anyone are far gone. Is this what they call the curse of the good dancer? There are just very few people whom we enjoy dancing with nowadays. Don't get me wrong, I don't consider myself a tango goddess by any means! There is so much to learn. But we enjoy the hard work we put into learning this dance, and at this point, we just refuse to put up with leaders who are on the dance floor for the wrong reasons.

To all the tangueros out there, please keep studying! Why do most men assume that once they get the basics, and can move around the floor without bumping into every couple, they can just stop improving?? No, no, no! You need to keep at it... dear leaders! And as an added benefit to becoming a good dancer, you will have all the power of being "highly sought after". Do you know to what lengths followers will go to dance with a good leader?? On that note, if I can give one word of advice to any guy who is pondering over what hobby to take up, it would be: Learn to tango! Put all your effort into becoming a good dancer and this may change your life around. I am not joking.

Since it takes much longer for men to improve then for women, what do we do in the meantime? Who do we dance with??? I don't know if you tangueras out there have noticed, but I keep seeing a lot of female leaders at milongas lately. I actually danced with a tanguera last week, who was a better leader than a lot of the men present at the milonga. It was refreshing... she was such a joy! Coincidental or have we decided to take matters into our own hands?? I am far from promoting the idea and I happen to prefer being in the embrace of a man because I do feel tango is essentially about the connection between a man and a woman. After all this is how it's meant to be. But why do these women show such initiative and dedication in learning the art of leading, while some men don't seem to care at all? How could they love tango and be satisfied with being lousy dancers?

Still hopeful,

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tango Angels

The dreaded tango dry-spells. The love is gone. I've read about them, but haven't experienced it till now. It's been over a month since I've lost my dancing mojo. (Maybe I lost it at that awful milonga from four weeks ago.) Like a relationship turning stagnant; the excitement is gone because my lover's moves have become all too predictable. What happened??? Am I over that beginner's high, where almost every dance feels brand spanking new??? Well, it's been almost a year now since I started and the dancers I once thought was so fabulous are no longer that fabulous. What's changed? Is it because I've gotten to know them better and I'm feeling too comfortable? Because I'm constantly finding myself picking apart their techniques and secretly wishing they could hear my thoughts.

TO: T1
"I like you. You're a really nice man but you sweat too much and it smells like vomit."

TO: T2
"If only you would pay more attention to the music and worry less about your STUPID little steps."

TO: T2 (yes, you again.)
"You could take a longer pause here, the music is screaming.. slow the FCUK down!!!"

"You're leading a little too much with your right hand on the giros and the back boleos, it feels jerky... YOU BIG JERK!!!"

"Don't you're standing too fcuking close to me when you lead the crusada??? I just sliced my toe open on the hard tip of your big shoe...for the fifth time!!!"

Don't get me wrong, there are good things about their dancing that I do enjoy but I am just feeling that enjoyment is slowly dwindling away. So the big question is what has changed? Could it be that they have reached their plateau, while my dancing has improved? Does this mean I should start saying no to my friends at the milongas, so I can make room for new tangueros, even though I do notice a lot of the decent tangueros only dance with THEIR friends???

I was determined to get out of this funk last week, so Malena and I went to our usual milonga. We sat watching for a while before I turned to her and said, "It's not getting better, is it? What should we do? Do we take a break from tango?" I paused. "Hmm, maybe we could do something else." I then realized just how absurd that sounded because Malena gave me a look and said, "What else IS there to do???"

This past month has been bad. I know it's bad because I've had my eyes opened most nights while I was dancing. I was so bored that I was checking out other people's shoes. I mean I might as well have been filing my nails or even better... his nails. Almost every dance I had, the same thought ran through my mind, "What a waste of a good pair of CIFs!" ( was THAT bad.)

My maestro showed up that night and I tried to hide from him. I was worried that he would be disappointed in me if he knew I've lost my desire to dance. Anyways, he spotted me when he was dancing and even stopped in between songs to give me a kiss hello. (I just adore that man.) While we danced that night, I told him I didn't know what was wrong but I just wasn't feeling it. He said to me sweetly, "I know, NiƱa. Try to be here, be in the now, enjoy me, but dance for yourself and not for anyone else."

"Dance for yourself and not for anyone else" (I repeated it to myself)

"Dance for yourself and not for anyone else." (with my eyes closed)

So I blocked out every single person in that room; the dancers dancing; the dancers sitting; the spectators in the corner enjoying their wine. I closed my eyes, listened to the music, listened to his lead, listened to his body, listened to my body and I listened to it's natural impulses. I breathed him in, melted into his embrace, torso to torso, I allowed him to enter into my space. I forget how subconsciously guarded I can be sometimes. But hey, who can blame us when there're all kinds of strange looking creeps lurking at milongas. In the arms of my maestro, I felt safe and we danced two more tandas like this. I exhaled deeply... Pheewww! I could finally breath again! I smiled and gave him a big hug and a kiss for bringing this little tanguera back to life.

Strange but true, when I went to look for Malena to tell her the good news, I found her in a close embrace with HER former maestro, who interestingly also showed up at this milonga and revived her as well. By the time the lovefest ended, it was midnight. We both left the milonga smiling and laughing for the first time in a month. I'm still amazed at what a difference that evening made in our moods. Hey, perhaps the Tango Gods heard our cries and decided to send his tango angels to our rescue.