5.23.2006

Tangophiles

Learning to dance should be a prerequisite for every couple embarking on a new relationship. It takes commitment, working in tandem, and sometimes a little humility.

When tango classes began, Max immediately took to the dance, while I struggled every step of the way. But together, Max and I have continued to work. After four weeks of dance instruction, I am pleased with our progress.

It's more than just the physicality of our tango that has improved. Max and I are learning to communicate through dance. As Max learns to lead; I learn to follow. This skill is not easy to master. Max and I must be in tune with the nuances of each other's bodies and movements, as well as our own. For example, when he signals that I am to change the weight from my right foot to the left, Max does so without words. I must be alert to his subtle gestures so as to make the correct shift. Every step in Argentinean tango (like all dances) is communicated from leader to follower--a wordless conversation between the two.

Communicating with Max through tango has taught me much about our dynamics. If tango is wordless conversation, it is also heavily punctuated by commas and semi-colons. Tango is a slow, precise dance of improvisation. While Max seems to relish the unhurried and deliberate pace, I am always trying to rush ahead to the next big step. But at least on the dance floor, I cannot usurp my lead. Max confidently guides me through a series of moves, pausing and collecting as he sees fit. Tango forces me to slow down and enjoy the moment.

I've enjoyed watching Max's confidence grow with each class. Once timid and afraid to take a false step, Max makes his way to the dance the floor with certainty that I find attractive. Maybe this is on reason why it is obvious to onlookers that we are a couple. Instead of awkward distance, Max holds me comfortably in the close embrace of Argentinean tango. Rather than gaze at the floor or teacher, his eyes remain fix on mine. And in response to his romantic intent, I can only blush (and stumble as I lose my footing).

It does take two to tango--and this is most wonderful. Max and I only have 2 weeks left on our beginner series, and I am already scouting for our next classes.

2 comments:

3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) said...

What a wonderful experience for the two of you! :-)

chris said...

this sounds interesting. every couple should take up dancing.