Courtesies of Tango

Tango Dancers in San Telmo

Photo Credits: Andrea Balducci

To me, one of the most appealing things about tango is that it is accessible across social levels and includes all types of people, from lawyers to taxi drivers. It’s a working class dance, initially cultivated by mariners and immigrants who missed their homelands and wanted to experience an embrace–to remember loves left behind, lost loves, or the hope of future loves.

On the dance floor, everyone starts at an even stature until his or her dance skills are displayed.

Tango has also taught me more courtesy and empathy. The dance hall can be a community. Hosts regularly greet their guests who come to dance and send them off with hearty goodbyes and kisses on their cheeks. Milongueros greet familiar dancers as they enter the hall. Codigos are set to protect a dancer’s wishes and pride. Regular milongueros greet elderly dancers with the utmost reverence. 

The moments I miss a step or catch my partner’s foot, he usually takes the blame: “No, no, it was my fault.”

I am developing my steps, technical abilities, the weight with which to balance my feet, and the way my knees need to brush as I walk. The pleasantries and courtesies have taught me how to be a more thoughtful person as well.



Filed under Arts, Tango

5 responses to “Courtesies of Tango

  1. The milongas certainly are a unique micro universe.

  2. Beautiful metaphor you’ve come up with.

  3. Your description makes me think tango is really good for the posture. I’m going to have to watch you walk and see if I can tell the difference. You’ll be gliding, perfectly balanced, and poised. Have you bought some dance shoes yet?

    The posture is incredible, and I have yet to master it. Hopefully it will seep into my everyday walk, as it takes a lot of confidence and focus to keep the torso elevated in tango. 🙂

  4. You make me want to go there and live my life dancing tango forever. There is so much more than dancing in tango…there is a lot of feelings, and emotions, and history, and the lyrics are amazing!
    I can tell you are learning a lot about the whole tango experience, and more than anything getting to know the wonderful argentine-argentinian people.
    I love the picture.

    Thanks for your kind comments, Tania.

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