We are like...Salt and Pepper/Peanut Butter and Jelly/Fish and Chips/Tweedledum and Tweedledee/The Owl and the Pussycat/Starsky and Hutch!
A while back, a Toronto Tanguero asked me, "Irene, you have danced with so many milongueros, and you say that they dance so wonderfully. Do you prefer dancing more with the milongueros (and which milonguero would it be?) or with Man Yung?"
I was surprised at the question.
"I prefer dancing with Man Yung!" I said.
Toronto Tanguero was surprised at my response. I think he was expecting that I would say that I preferred dancing with Osvaldo, or with Tete, or with Alberto, or with Roberto, etc. etc. etc.....
Dancing with the milongueros may be fascinating, eye-opening, educational and totally awesome but why on earth would I prefer dancing with them over Man Yung? I don't understand!
You could ask Man Yung the same question.
"Don't be silly. The milongueras and tangueras I have danced with are really great too, but - come on! Irene is my one and only!"
We of course prefer to dance with each other and it has nothing to do with how many years we have danced together or how much tango practice we have had or how much tango skill we have accumulated. In fact, if we turn back time to 2004 when we were stepping all over each other's feet and this close to strangling each other over Tango, we would still be each other's Number One choice.
Man Yung and I met a decade before we took up Tango. We first became friends and the more we talked and spent time together, the more we found out that we had lots in common. "How lucky I am to have this really special girl/guy in my life," we thought. And how amazing it was, that day when we realized - "He/she loves me! This great girl/guy has chosen me!"
There may be thousands of Tango dancers out there giving their partners more thrilling "Tango experiences" but what's that to us? I can be a Wal-Mart thinking rabid adornista and Man Yung could be a You-tubing whirling dervish (In fact, weren't we exactly that not that long ago?) but we would continue to choose each other every day.
I think that people may love each other differently. Some couples come to the milonga and they'd dance only one or two obligatory tandas together all night. The guy looks like he is more interested in dancing with all the other women than with his partner. If his partner has the same mindset, she's just as ecstatic dancing with all the other gentlemen. That's great, they are both having fun. The only downside is if the lady is not a desirable follower, she'll be glued to her seat for the next three hours.
Not everyone is like us. Maybe we are the looney-tunes. One Toronto Tanguero who has been dancing since the beginning of Toronto Tango Time once proclaimed, "Tango is a marvelous thing, because in Tango, having a partner is not important!" Go to a Buenos Aires milonga and sit apart so that other dancers will cabeceo you. Go and have your ten minute romance with different people several times a night. Tango gives you that freedom.
Manolo once said to us, "Partners are the most important thing - in life and in Tango."
We can't tell you whether what Manolo said is true or not. We just know that for either of us, the best of tango isn't to be found in some stranger's embrace. Whether we are gliding on the smooth parquet floor in the grandest milongas in the world, or just hugging and swaying to the compas barefoot in our living room, the best of anything is always to be found between the two of us.