dinsdag 8 april 2014


*klik hier voor de Nederlandse vertaling*

Every now and then I am glowing. Not because I've eaten radioactive food. No, I have danced tango. That glow remains for days or sometimes fills me up even longer.

Copyright Stefan Wimmer

A life without dance, I cannot imagine. I started ballet classes when I was 4 years old; it would turn out to be the foundation of my later dancing. When I grew up this toddler dancing was followed by many other forms of dancing like classical ballet, modern, jazz, ballroom & latin, flamenco. Especially in Ballroom dancing, I was pretty fanatical. Hours and hours I spend on the dance floor, training to get the routines right. Many kilometers we drove to participate in competitions. And then, with the highest amateur dance level we could reach in sight, it was enough. The competition, the fake hair, the fake skin color, the expensive but oh so wonderful Ballroom dresses. Finished. Big emptiness followed.

Which took no long to be filled up, because in my opinion there is no life without dancing! Without anything else to base it on but 'gut feeling' the choice fell on Tango. Tango Argentino. A whole new world opened for me. Fixed combinations of steps were exchanged for pure improvisation. Not knowing what to expect. Just follow. Feel. Flowing energy. No fake things, but pure dancing from the heart. From one fixed dance partner in Ballroom to a whole room full of lovely potential dance partners to share the typical feeling of tango with. Wow.

It did not take long before I ate, drank, slept and lived tango. Oh yeah, it was a true passion, a total addiction. But a very fine one. Because where on earth is it possible to enter the dance floor with a total stranger, and do you experience in each other's arms - cheek to cheek, his body against yours - a dance? Like one big hugging session on your elegant high-heeled tango shoes. In a public space, on a full floor. With an entire room of people watching.

There is a lot to tell about tango. One thing every tango dancer will agree on: it takes you into the depths. It leads you to your inner world and maybe beyond even. And yet, it all starts on the outside. Tradition dictates tango is all about making eye contact and inviting without words. Sometimes it clicks immediately and you find each other in just one look. Or not. Then it is hard to not feel rejected. Because maybe he is too tired or he has another good reason not wanting to dance. Everyone has the right to say no, including me. A lesson in setting your own boundaries or respecting the other. Although some dancers could use a training in refusing more humanly...

And then it happens. It is right there where the connection already begins. The eye contact. We agree to dance and together we walk towards the dance floor. Hands touching sometimes. I snuggle into the arms of the other. I close my eyes and feel his body, my weight slightly towards him. I surrender to the moment and to him. Trusting that he will lead me safely around the dance floor. The embrace - before we even started to dance - says so much. Does he hold me tenderly or firm? Nervous or seasoned? What does his body feel like? Soft or firm? What does he smell like? Does his hair or beard tickle in my face?

He holds me and we start to move. Gentle, playful, flowing, funny or staccato. He initiates and I follow with space for me to play. We feel each other. Style, energy, interpretation of rhythm and musicality. Suddenly it is there. That pure magical click with the other. Everything falls into place; the music is wonderful, the connection is perfect, the dance is an amazing flow and the other dancers on the floor do not seem to exist anymore. There is a deep connection with each other, moving as one, completely and totally in the moment. It leads me to a deeper essence of myself. As for me no meditation session is better than this. Then the music stops. And when I open my eyes again, the world looks a bit nicer. Warmer. The colors and everything seems more intense. What a wonderful intimate moment this was. I smile from my heart to my tanguero and have received many beautiful looks back.

For those who have lost me, or just find it a sticky intent; I understand completely. You have to experience it. Oh, and not all dances are so heavenly. Usually it is pleasant, nice and fine. And very rare it is boring or really uncomfortable. But those special dances. That is exactly what makes tango so blissful for me. More, more, again, again!

All that and so infinitely more is tango for me. All over the world I made ​​lovely friends, and together we share the same passion. I danced at many beautiful places. I discovered the sensuality of my body and therefore left prudishness behind me. Every time I dance or when I am watching others I enjoy it so much. And every time I visit a milonga, hearing the music and feeling the typical tango atmosphere - it does not matter where in the world I am - I know. I'm home. And I am glowing the next days.

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