My husband and I signed up for tango classes.
Please, don’t laugh.
No, we’re not in our ’80s yet and neither is this the ’30s, but I thought (me, who else), why not try and learn Argentinian tango!
Now that we’ve mastered all the other tango since we got married, I thought it’s time for the Argentinian one.
I actually thought: newness expands time. I want to learn/do something out of the ordinary – burping babies and changing diapers – and get us some thrill in our lives.
I could choose between learning how to yodel, belly dance, or back-pack in Africa.
However, for the first one I realised I’m too far from the Alps.
For the second one, stay away from my belly.
My belly needs resting from the third baby.
And for the third, I’m still breastfeeding so I wouldn’t be able to get those malaria shots.
Because that was the only reason why I couldn’t chose the back-packing in Africa.
But most of all, yodelling seemed too solitary to me.
I wanted to partner with my man in this newness idea.
Tango fitted in all the boxes.
And off we went to our first class.
The timing was perfect – we escaped the feeding, the washing, and the putting the kids to bed!
Our nanny did the whole job because we HAD TO GO! (with a jingle in my voice, like for the “I’m in the bathroom…you take the baby” line!)
And the reason we couldn’t do the feeding, the washing and the putting the kids to bed was no other than to go and enjoy ourselves!
You see why Argentinian tango is just the greatest thing ever?
The class began.
We were put in a circle with the other ‘tango students’.
Some looked like they had escaped a nursing home, a bad marriage, or a house full of uncontrollable toddlers.
In short: tired, disoriented and dreaming of picture 1 above.
For the next two hours there was pretty much a lot of walking going on.
Walking forward in a circle; walking backwards in a circle, walking in, walking out of the circle; walking in pairs; walking alone; walking by bumping into each other; walking by avoiding bumping into each other.
I had no idea tango required all this walking back and forth.
I didn’t really expect Scent of a Woman swaying but we were literally like blindfolded cattle trying to find a green pasture.
Ok, I’m being mean I know. It was a lot more than walking.
In fact, it was intense because the walking required quite a few things.
You have to swallow your belly but at the same time continue to breathe.
You mustn’t stick your buttocks out.
Straighten up your back (I’m sure you’re doing it now).
Open up your chest, don’t look down towards your toes, look towards your partner.
In short, stay as if you’ve just swallowed a huge stick and a vicious dog has bitten your butt.
Now, in that same position, hold your partner’s shoulders and lean on him a little, but not in a Scarlett O’Hara way, just be natural and stay on your forefeet.
The man begins to walk forward, while the woman walks back. The man, however, must try not to walk too much between the woman’s feet because she’ll look as if she’s got a tractor tire between her legs and that’s not tango at all!
In tango, the woman is like a lawn mower (how romantic!) and the man navigates her and tells her which part of the grass to cut.
The woman, herself, could try and suggest other hippity hops, back flaps and flip flops, because the whole point of Argentinian tango is COMMUNICATION!
You communicate through the dance.
Instead of your mouth, you have your feet, the swallowed stick body, the bitten butt, and your arms to do the talking.
In short, you’re not limited to walking in a circle, or in a line, or towards the green pasture where the rest of the cattle is heading.
Your move invites your partner to respond, always with one intention: to seduce them.
Or, as in previously used analogy: to find A pasture and make them chew more grass!
I laughed a lot with my husband in that first class.
We goofed around so much.
I’m hoping the teacher will let us in next Sunday, and not because we need a break from our kids and house chores, but mainly because we want to excel in Argentinian tango.
We did dance at the end.
It wasn’t so hard to get to the basic moves.
I’d recommend tango classes to couples!
What I also fully recommend is to always push each other to get off the couch even if it’s just to go to the kitchen table and play a game of chess or, ok if chess sounds too posh, then a game of strip poker.
It takes so much energy out of a married couple with three kids under 5 (that’s you out there!), but doing something new is absolutely SWEET and important and reviving!
Once you’re in the rhythm of this newness and you’re with your partner – it’s the best!
It takes two to goof to tango!
Now I’m thinking, sky diving after the tango classes are over.
I can hear my husband signing up the divorce papers 🙂
And now, for the enthusiasts, a little gift: libertango Fionnuala Hunt