TANGO


WARNING: tango contains highly addictive ingredients, such as pain, pleasure, passion, excitement, connection, freedom, torment, and bliss. In seven out of ten cases it takes over a person's life.

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TO TANGO TIS NEFELIS

 

 

SOHA – MIL PASOS

 

MY TANGO DIARIES

These paragraphs were written in 2016, I have put Tango lessons on hold until I get a partner whom I can grow with..

DULL LIFE…

Life changed for worst, when it comes to meeting people or even having a good night out dancing.

People gets too drunk, takes too many drugs and end up with a hangover and never get to meet anyone interesting. They go home empty handed and with empty pockets from overspending in things that don’t really make them happy.

We forgot or are even oblivious to the fact that our parents and grandparents had a better time.

FIGHT OR… DANCE!

I had a massive meltdown in 2015, with all sorts of stress. I remember that cheesy sentence I read somewhere in the internet, that God wanted to hide happiness from us just for fun, and he decided to hide it inside us, as he knew we would never look in there. I asked myself what I could do to stop the stress from knocking me out cold every time.

I met some active English middle aged people who were very keen to find tango dances and I had a taster Tango lesson. I knew I wanted to carry on and do it once and for all. I finally took the plunge in 2016 and I started learning what I always wanted, tango lessons. This has proven to be the best thing I have ever done in my life, surpassing my travelling experiences. It opened a whole new world to me.

Whenever I tell people that I dance/d Tango they always look at me surprised and marvelled at the thought of it.

HEEL WORKS

After the 6 weeks of learning the basic steps, I started to wear high heels, as I wanted to feel more feminine and I knew this moment would come sooner or later. It was very painful to start getting used to dancing in heels at the whooping age of 35, thank God mum gave me strong legs!

I even started taking my heels to my office so at 5 o’clock when not many people were watching I would be able to practise on them. I must thank God there wasn’t a fire or fire alarm happening or else I’d be in deep trouble! They soon started to joke “Oh, is that time already”?

(STILL GOT IT! 🙂

To my surprise my colleague whom I have been working with for the last 5 years and who has never shown any real interest in me, was suddenly giving me a lot of attention! A pair of heels is all it took. Not even make up.

MILONGA READY!

After 3 months of lessons I was able to go to what they call “Milongas”. Milonga is a type of dance itself, however it is a night where tango is also danced.

EHEM… DRESS CODE DARLING

Being the careless person I am, I went with my usual jeans and jumper. Being in the polite country I am in, England, they didn’t tell me off until a few weeks later for bringing jeans.

CABECEO OR ELSE..

I had my usual favourite man there, whom I do lessons with, he was the first one to invite me to dance. You are meant to do “cabeceo”, which means “heading”, basically you are meant to make eye contact with the leaders so they will invite you for a dance. Being the shy person I am and humble as hell, I avoided doing the cabeceo. I still got a brave man coming up to me asking me to dance, nicely shaved!

BEARD FREE FINALLY!!! :))))

If there is something I adore about Tango men is that most of them shave, they know how uncomfortable it is to scratch the lady’s face.. He was holding me very close and tight, no man has done this before but I liked it. I have a phobia with all sorts of beards, so it was lovely to feel the clean shaved face of that stranger. I felt clumsy and I know I have a lot to learn.

WHAT WOMEN REALLY REALLY WANT

It felt like being at prom and I thought being asked to dance is what every single woman wants deep inside. I have never realised until I was in that first milonga.

MEN WANTED! REALLY!

For once, men are high in demand, as there are so many women and so few leaders. I suspect even some men are constantly abused not being left to rest their feet. Can you imagine women wanting you? And the better you dance, the more popular you will be. It does not matter how you look like, it is the dance (and smell) that women will judge you on. I have always been open minded and very approachable, I wouldn’t turn anyone down unless they were showing they were a very nasty or arrogant person. In tango everyone is polite, everyone is in for the dance.

I never drink  alcohol, just water. The workout I get from dancing in heels is unbelievably exhausting. Yet I feel so full of life, so glad of having finally found a new passion. The first workshop I went to I didn’t recognise anyone from the previous night. It was a bit daunting, but soon one of the most attractive men offered to be my partner. With the music playing, it seemed like a Disney movie. I was no longer shy, very soon I started chatting with people.

TANGO WORKSHOPS!

I had 3 workshops that went from 7.30pm to 11.30pm, it was exhausting yet I was so thrilled to learn new steps and meet new people. Very soon I started having female crushes and fantasising away. Every now and then they encourage us to swap dancing partners, so we get to experience different people and adapt and learn to and from others. I was soon with a cute tall guy who was sweating a lot and his shirt stunk of pub cider. Yet he was sweet and had an elegant pose. They put us all in a small circle so we’d experience what it could happen in a real milonga. I kept kicking the lady behind me and I kept apologising, she didn’t turn her back not even once. Good, as she would have probably killed me there and then with just one look.

I then met Mr Perfume. He had the perfume that no one else has, ‘Terre’ from Hermes. It is the most exquisite perfume, I even fooled mum to buy it for me. She obviously didn’t know that it was a male perfume or what the real purpose of it was (indulge). I just love that perfume. There were 3 Asian ladies, I couldn’t help but think if dancing tango was an effective way to pull men. I found talking to non British people was a lot easier than British themselves. Even an Irish mentioned the same to me! I met someone who had a sort of latin/Asian look, she turned out to be from Kazakhstan. 

I kept going back to the office the following mornings, and it didn’t really felt that I was working as I was having so much fun in the Tango workshops. The last day I was doing some leg work with a nice English lady. I had my first milonga in the main town. 

I WANT TO TOO!

Somehow a lady from my country managed to find her way onto me and we soon became friends. She told me how she joined different milongas to practice. I liked the idea. I wanted more more and more! All my life I wanted something to do on a Saturday night. Something that would make me feel full of life. I have finally found it. 

Mum thinks I will meet someone in these Tango dances. I know of people who met through Tango. Regardless of where it is that I end up meeting my dear future partner, I would surely be dragging them onto Tango!

TRAPPED AT HOME..

I was living in a mad house at the time, and despite living with a mum with her two teenage daughters, it was the mother who was having the most irrational arguments with her boyfriend. I never really had to witness many arguments in my life, but that was noticeably the most uncomfortable I ever felt. It made me wonder if I made anyone feel like that when I had a couple of arguments with my then partner.. it was a bank holiday weekend and I was not looking forward to staying home. I thought about going away for the weekend only I’m on a tight budget and I was not so keen to be adventurous.. I found out by chance that there were 2 milongas happening that Saturday and Sunday. My milonga colleague didn’t mention either and I asked her to check if it was happening. She confirmed it was and she was going to make it on Sunday. I decided to dye my grey hair, put my dancing shoes, and tango’d away. I didn’t know many people and soon enough I was befriending an Irish pal. She’s been dancing for 9 years and found it difficult to enjoy a dance unless she went to London where everyone seems so much better. She was over the moon that I was driving her way, and I took her to the following milonga next day too.

FASHION CRIME

New venue, it looked like one of them American Town Halls, wooden in the outside, classic feel. Who knew that was just behind the station? It was a busy weekend, I was moving to my new place. And damn it I forgot my tango trousers. All I had was jeans. And I shouldn’t really repeat the jean thing. And oh I found my black yoga leggings in the car boot! Leggings it is then, as I didn’t fancy going to the new place just for trousers. And a black long sleeve tshirt that looks like I’m about to dance ballet. I thought I looked ok, only I didn’t. I was the black panther. At least I have been losing my belly dancing on those heels so I looked very fit! I was embarrassed and men dismissed my fears saying I looked fine. I bet women were flipping out. Thank God I had heels on so I looked a bit less yogi. Oh well!

BEFRIENDING PEOPLE

I always want to know how long people has been dancing for. I always introduce myself as a newbie so they don’t have high expectations from me. I found several men saying that they either been dancing for only 5 months, or not that much longer than me. Again it is becoming obvious it is a very polite gesture of men so women will not feel intimidated. How sweet of them.

My sin is to not being able to wait until I am led. I fear being slow. There was this one man who looked very macho man, very Spanish looking, with lovely green eyes. My friend said she liked how he danced, making her look like if she was a professional tango dancer. 5 months on, I still avoid the cabeceo, but being the young lady that I am, I keep being invited to dance. He came along and somehow I met his look, and we danced away. He made me slow down for once. I felt he felt the music, and so did I. He complimented me saying I will become very good. He was Irish with some Spanish background.

I found it very amusing when I said goodbye to my friends, and both the interesting looking men left in bicycles. “To warm up before and after tango”, said my male friend, standing up for them. I have now found happiness, I became a milonga fan who can’t get enough of dancing away in different places, meeting constantly new people.

Last weekend it was amazing. As usual, I said to one of the milonga ladies that I’d be at hers by 7. Only at 7 I left my house. Still we managed to be there 15 minutes after the start time. I felt spoilt when the lady offered to pay for my £9 entry as a thank you for having given her a couple of lifts. Nice one! We had a bit of a chit chat but very soon I was constantly invited to dance. I finally put my only skirt, and for once the evening was well balanced, with plenty of men taking me out for a dance. My favourite man was there, who mentioned it felt like a proper dance.. and another one whom I rarely manage to dance with, Mr Perfume showed up, the guy who holds me for dear life.. and my fellow older ladies were also taken for regular dances. I felt emotional to find that 2 ladies survived cancer, I never met survivors before, as my dad died having had 3 cancers in the end.. it was amusing to see one of them having the menopausal sweats and being invited to dance, such a pressure!  

GENTLEMAN GESTURE

This time it was a bar, it was crowded and dangerous to dance in, as it had steps on both sides. The object of my affection (well 2) were there! I didn’t get a chance to dance with the tall sweaty man, and he sat to change his shoes, he was rushing to catch the train. Where to? I asked. He happened to live in the direction to my home so I offered him a lift, and I felt he wanted to give me something back in return. “Would you like to dance”? Yes please, I said. And he quickly tied his shoes back on and I clumsily tried to follow his lead. 

KICKS

I asked my teacher as I noticed I don’t make both feet touch when they cross, and I can see sometimes ladies do and sometimes don’t. I no longer know when to put them together or not. My male teacher took me for a dance and I felt his anger when someone kicked him. I wanted to kiss him in the cheek so he’d forget the anger, only it would be so inappropriate, I just held onto his back.

Mr Perfume was there, and I told the girl he was taking to dance to smell his lovely perfume. I boosted his ego even more.

UK TANGO FESTIVAL

Last weekend was the biggest Tango festival in the UK. I was very excited, new faces, new place to dance.. in a college. Saturday night was a bit disappointing, only one man who I didn’t know invited me for a dance. He was not British = a lot more confident to take me out! And 4 other regulars, so it was a fairly quiet night, mind you I didn’t do the eye contact again.. I also felt very clumsy dancing and I felt the floor was slippery and too crowded. And Mr Frame came to save the night. He is the one also known as the one that holds me for dear life. He has the strongest frame, and I enjoy dancing with him, as I no longer feel wobbly.  “It takes 2 to tango” he said when I was telling him about my awful night. “Dance blocks. They happen” said a friend. 

There was one occasion when I was nearly fainting, as Mr Moulin Rouge had been dancing all night and sweating in a very very bad way. He reminds me of the character in that movie in charge of the theatre plays (not the owner), the guy with curly ginger hair with the exotic moustache.

THAT CREEPY MOMENT..

A guy invited me for a dance. He became fascinated by me and he wanted me to teach him language lessons. I didn’t take him seriously until when I was about to leave, he wanted me to sit down with him so he could talk to me. I was giving a lift to one of the ladies whom apparently gave him an evil motherly look. He still asked me if he could come and see me so I’d teach him etc. I said I was quite busy which is very true. He said “can you say yes?”. No I could not. “A maybe”? “Maybe”. 

Next day I saw my friend and she said she was concerned as Mr Frame witnessed the whole thing and he didn’t know if I made it home safe. As tango obsessed my friend was, she was concerned for a bit until she got asked to dance and forgot all about me lol. She mentioned this to her roommate who was also concerned and asked if I was fine as everyone was looking for me?? I thought Mr Frame saw me leaving with that lady and a text message is always replied to by me should you feel the need to text me! 

Later on I saw that guy and I started feeling uncomfortable. He was hanging around the dance floor not inviting anyone. He greeted me and he must have felt my body language as he didn’t dare asking me for a dance nor push the conversation any further. I was a bit concerned and my friend told me I could call security if I had to. Luckily all men were inviting me for a dance so I barely sat down. And that was the end of the creepy story.

ANOTHER MILONGA EVENING

Last weekend’s milonga was quite unbalanced, many women, few men.. Mr Moulin Rouge was there and I avoided eye contact all night. He must have sensed my mood yet he took the confidence to take me for a dance after changing his shirt. He was not smelly thankfully! I got to dance with my second favourite man, a Malaysian guy 4 times, whereas I usually only dance one with each. Mr green eyes (half Spanish/Irish) was there and he ignored my female friend and me.. she was giving up on him, but she got her last dance with him in the end.. all her anger vanished as he made her feel the dance.. in the end he approached me saying he didn’t have the chance to dance with me. I said he was busy chatting to that other woman… I didn’t take it badly as I know there are plenty of men and nights around, and most importantly, he did not do it on purpose to hurt me..

MUSIC SHARING!

A lady started talking to me in our class, as usual we were soon exchanging numbers and I mentioned how much I loved the song “Mil pasos” by “Soha”. (A thousand steps is the title of it). She is of mixed race and you can hear her French accent when singing in Spanish with her strong R. Quite entertaining really! I had this song on repeat for many days. She said she sometimes goes to milongas but she was going away. I said I’d be happy to hear any song suggestions she knew as she kept Shazaming songs away. To my shock I woke up next day to 23 unread Whatsapp messages. Lol. That’s an awful lot of songs. I did go through all of them and I was glad to find the titles of songs I wasn’t aware of, which is pretty much nearly each one of them! Unfortunately I have lost them so I barely know any Tango songs now.

BEFRIENDING PEOPLE AGAIN

I went to a new venue for the Sunday’s milonga. A fancy wine bar. With my sports bottle of water with a Thai bag around it as usual. Mr green eyes was the second one to take me out for a dance, he didn’t fool around this time. I showed him my secret dance weapon, the one where you hold your nose and pretend to dive underwater.. it never fails to pull smiles! I danced with my usual man, and the Malaysian one and a new guy who knew already my name and that I went to every milonga. Rumour has it! There was this serious lady, and she sat next to my stool. Being the chatty person I am, I started asking her the usual how long have you been dancing and where malarkey. She was Canadian and married a German guy, and was in town for a short business course. She said she was from Montreal and I told her what an amazing experience eating in the “Noir” restaurant was. And a bit of my trip to that part of Canada and USA. After a while she said she would like to have my email address or something. We exchanged contact details and she said I’d be welcome to stay at her place in Germany! I only met her for 20 minutes! Some people are just lovely. I gave her a lift to save her from walking 30 minutes despite not being on my way. 

I nearly didn’t make it to this milonga as a friend was trying to convince me to go to some yogi meeting up in London. Tired and stressed, I chose to go for a nap, do the chores and catch up with mum. It felt lovely entering the milonga and seeing the friendly faces. I wasn’t sure who the teachers were, however it turns out I met both of them in a previous workshop. No wonder he danced so well with his 17 years experience, he was a teacher! My usual man took a while to take me out as I kept chatting and others took advantage, such as Mr green eyes. My friend said an Italian man who has been dancing for 25 years made her dance awesomely, I didn’t get his invite though. Perhaps next time. To be honest I was a bit clumsy again. I will get better with time!

MILONGAS ABROAD

I went to a couple of milongas back home, and I was smacked down with reality. There are dozens of pretty girls so I was barely asked to dance.

In the UK I am always invited as I’m one of the younger females and they get a kick out of me. Back home I was more sitting than anything.

A guy was a bit annoyed when he asked me to dance a quick one and I was a newbie. He regretted it was too late to ‘dump me’ and I said I was fine to pretend to need the loo and that’s what we did.

WHAT NEXT?

I want a dancing partner to practise the moves with. When you are a newbie you don’t mind who you dance with. Once you know a bit better you want to be challenged. Some men stick to the same movements and I am not in a hurry to know it all. The lady that has been dancing for  9 years is disappointed in almost every milonga and I would not want to reach that level.. I will do it ‘despacito’..

I am currently sticking to Zumba for the last 2 years, it’s easier, a lot of fun and the music is amazing.