When I receive a new student in my class I know that he or she wants to dance.
But teaching them to dance involves not only showing the moves, but also giving the student a sense of placement, making him or her aware that you cannot just do any move at any time.
I must give the new students a sense of Tango as a whole, make them understand that they are learning a culture.
Tango is what happens in the milonga. And when I say milonga, my image is that of the very best of the most authentic milongas in Buenos Aires.
This is what guides my instruction, and that is why, along with others who are after the same goal, we created the Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires.
Lafayette classes and milonga are the most similar to a Buenos Aires neighborhood class and milonga. The friendly and committed to learn crowd of regulars makes the experience of this class and milonga to feel very welcoming and rewarding.
The milonga is where Tango lives, where Tango is kept alive.
When you are at the milonga, whether a well known milonguero/a or a new good student, you are making possible that Tango lives. You bring Tango to life, in your body, in everything you do with your body, not by dancing only, but by everything you do.
Lafayette classes and milonga are the most similar to a Buenos Aires neighborhood class and milonga. The friendly and committed to learn crowd of regulars makes the experience of this class and milonga to feel very welcoming and rewarding. For more information, click here.
Walking, in Tango, is more than basic: it is what we are.
For some time now we have stopped walking, instead sitting all day long in front of screens, steering wheels, and other people.
That’s why we feel so at home dancing Tango, in good company, creating something with our body that is real and objective, something that ceases to exist immediately after dancing, leaving us in a state of relaxed pleasure and untranslatable wisdom.
The following are my answers to a questionnaire from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology of Palo Alto, made in 2011.
1. What qualities characterize a good Argentine tango leader during the dance? MS: Secure, precise, smooth, gentle, patient, adaptable, smart, elegant, musical, respectful, protective, spontaneous, unintentional, efficient and aware.
2. What qualities characterize a poor Argentine tango leader during the dance? MS: Insecure, imprecise, rough, impatient, rigid and single minded, silly, ignorant of the music, disrespectful, intentional, calculative and unaware.
3. What behaviors and attitudes are demonstrated by a good Argentine tango leader? MS: Asking to dance according to the etiquette, entering the floor acknowledging others, following the line of dance, listening to the music and knowing it well (knowing the song, the orchestra, the singer, the year of the recording, etc.), letting the dance just happen rather than trying moves and steps, not talking or chatting while dancing, talking nicely between songs, at the end of the tanda accompanying his partner back to her place, not insisting on a second tanda.
4. What behaviors and attitudes are demonstrated by a poor Argentine tango leader? MS: Asking to dance in an inappropriate way making the other person feel obliged, entering the dance floor at any time and place without acknowledging other dancers, not following the line of dance, not listening to music, not caring to learn about it, trying to do moves and steps, talking while dancing, being mean to his partner, correcting or teaching her, leaving his partner on the dance floor at the end of the tanda or insisting on another tanda.
5. What behaviors and attitudes are demonstrated by a good Argentine tango follower? MS: Listening to music, knowing it well, waiting for the lead but also dancing (not just following), being present in the moment like someone who takes a challenge, being patient.
6. What behaviors and attitudes are demonstrated by a poor Argentine tango follower? MS: Not caring about music, moving by herself without waiting for the lead or just plain following without any life in the moves, being absent minded (for example, thinking about the next leader she wants to dance with), impatient, asking you to dance or making you to feel obliged to dance with her.
7. What qualities characterize a good Argentine tango follower? MS: She really likes the music and knows it well, she is elegant, natural, and spontaneous.
8. What qualities characterize a poor Argentine tango follower? MS: Does not care about music, is exaggerated and calculative.
9. By what criteria do you judge a good dance? In other words, how do you know when you have experienced a good dance? MS: A good dance is when everything happens without any intention.
10. How do you know when you have had a bad dance? MS: I never had a bad dance. If it is not going to be good, I know it beforehand, so I pass.
11. As a teacher who has many opportunities to observe couples, what do you look for—or what do you see—in a good dance? MS: No intention.
12. What do you see in a bad dance? MS: The dancers try too hard.
The physical presence of our partner, here and now, is an invitation that can either be accepted or refused, but is hard to postpone.
Love is to demand improvement from each other.
Let’s do what we consider to be the best, in every moment, and do it in the most efficient way.
Let’s free ourselves from the actitudes which enclosed our bodies in a shell of prejudice, conformity and cowardice, a shell which made our body redundant.
Own it, care for it, use it, dance with it.
If we are not our body, it is at least a part of our world which remains present to us at all times.
Contemplate the continuity with ourselves, our body and the world with the other people in it.
Let’s be inspired to be productive, selecting creativity rather than inertia or anger.
Words are an indispensable tool to determine our relationships to objects, both in the case of our interactions with things and in the interactions between people in relation to things (for instance: our belongings).
However, regarding interpersonal relationships, the objective word may be useless.
Challenge, creativity and embrace make most words superfluous.
Dance is a manifestation of our essential freedom of being, making existence beautiful.