For those of you who follow tango blogs, Sallycat's recent post "When Tango Cultures Meet"* inspired me to make a comment about my own "epiphany" about following - how "willingness" to follow was my way to connecting with my partner in tango and also enjoying the dance:
And today, I came across a post by jetsetting and glamourous tanguera Tina (Argentina and Italy! Can you imagine!) about enhancing your dances by truly embracing your partner with love - which resonates with what I have been feeling:
So, I go and tell Man Yung about this big revelation that I have been having, and being a know-it-all, he calmly remarks:
"I told you so. That's what I've been telling you all along."
You see, Man Yung used to be a pretty hardcore communist back in the 60's and 70's when he was a young lad in Hong Kong. He went to all the communist rallies, sang all the songs in praise of the motherland and the proletariats, chanted all the pro-communist slogans, waved the little red book around and threw rocks at anti-government riots. Really.
And years after, after we started tango, whenever he got frustrated about my "lack of following", he would always tell me to stop arguing with him and love him, adore him, follow him - like he was "The Great Chairman Mao".
At which point I would freak out and try to strangle him.
But thinking about it, I guess there was some truth in what he was saying. Perhaps the key is to follow the leader like he was The Great Leader.
So ladies, if you really want to follow better and become better tango dancers, imagine that your leader is Chairman Mao, and don't do anything to your leader that you wouldn't do to Chairman Mao (if you are a Mao-struck proletariat, that is)!
1. You would not try to run ahead of Chairman Mao.
2. You would not dance with Chairman Mao and scan the room looking for better leaders to dance with.
3. You would not dance with Chairman Mao and even think/fantasize about dancing with other guys. Or about what you are having for dinner. Or what you are going to wear to work tomorrow.
4. Even though you adore him, you would not try to choke Chairman Mao with your embrace. And you wouldn't hang on his neck and make him feel tired and achy.
5. You would not shine your shoes on Chairman Mao.
6. Even though you may not agree with his policies on agricultural reform, you would not try to obstruct Chairman Mao or try to slow him down.
7. You would not use Chairman Mao as a striptease pole. Or a personal vibration (ahem) device. He shouldn't be standing there while you are twisting around, swirling and tapping your feet and generally adorning excessively for your own pleasure!
8. You would not breathe heavily into Chairman Mao's ear, or play with the hair on the nape of his neck (ewww!)
9. When stepping over in the parada, you will be careful not to let your knee flip Chairman Mao's "little brother".
10. You would not wear backless clothing while dancing with Chairman Mao, because then he would feel like he is holding a naked woman. Because Chairman Mao is pretty old and we all want Chairman Mao to live a long life of at least "ten thousand years".**
* By the way, Sally's blog is my favourite tango blog, her writing is so moving and full of life. She is also humourous, humble, honest, courageous and generous - and all this is reflected in her posts which make her blog a terrific read.
** Unless your Great Leader is actually Fabio and not Chairman Mao. Then, please feel free to be as naked as you like.
Martha's Apartment in Buenos Aires
A Non-exhaustive set of Tango links in Toronto
- La Cachila - weekly milonga
- Paradiso -- weekly milonga
- Practica El Beso
- WE Tango
- Tango Sur - classes, shows
- Rhythm and Motion - classes, milonga, practica, annual Toronto Tango Festival
- Tango Obsession - classes, weekly Practica La Coqueta
- Tango Lirico - classes, practica, weekly milonga
- Tango de Oro - classes, shows
- Tango Soul Productions - classes, weekly milonga, shows, El Congreso annual Tango Festival
- Vivatango - classes
- Tango Argentino - classes
- Club Milonga - classes, special events
- Alternatango - classes, weekly milonga
- University of Toronto Tango Club - classes, practica
- El Abrazo - classes
- Tangoloft - twice monthly milonga