Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Some desires should really just be...Gone with the Wind

I'm telling you from experience - if you want to dance tango really well, you can't be preoccupied with your desires.

For example, right now I desire - a Emile Henry 3.4 quart braiser in red.  The indestructible ceramic cooking surface would be really handy to cook some Big Horse Stand, because the sharp bones from the crispy BBQ pork ribs would leave our teflon wok a big scratched up mess. 

I also desire... the newest iPhone!  It looks so shiny and sleek.  OK, I know the one I have still works, but...

These are only tiny weeny desires compared with some of the big ambitious desires out there.  One of my acquaintances lusts for a completely renovated backyard (a $75,000.00 price tag) with all new patio, interlock, professionally designed landscaping, top-notch outdoor furniture and a state-of-the-art BBQ that does magic tricks, dances the lambada and sings opera while it cooks. Another acquaintance is razing a perfectly good, recently renovated three bedroom house - just so that he could build the McMansion of his dreams on the bulldozed lot for $1.5 million dollars.

My acquaintances noted above in fact won't be dancing tango anytime soon.  They will be too preoccupied with 1) doing their utmost to achieve their desires, including getting that big loan/mortgage necessary and 2) expending all their time and energies into making money whichever way possible to cover all those payments they have committed themselves to for the next 5 - 30 years. As for me, I'm lucky that my desires are small, because my chances of stabbing my own big toe with the stiletto of my Comme Il Fauts increase exponentially with each thing I covet.  Frankly,  I don't know what kind of tango injury I would do to myself if I want all the latest Louis Vuitton handbags in every colour under the sun, or a Lamborghini.

"Ha ha ha!  You are a fool to desire material things at all because all material things are transitory and illusory," says some would-be Zen Master and I say "HA HA HA!  Not only material desires but ALL desires will impact your Tango ability!"  For example, consulting the magic tango 8-ball:

Do you desire more beautiful Tango shoes?  More glittering Tango costumes?

Do you desire to draw more attention to yourself when you Tango?  Do you desire being the star of your own Tango Show?

Do you desire a better Tango Resumé?  Do you desire taking classes with/dancing with/"working with" more Tango luminaries?  Do you desire more and better professional Tango opportunities?

Do you desire Fabio? Or do you desire getting better, or more, or more variety of Tango Partners to give you better Tango experiences?  And/Or do you just want to get more sexual partners through Tango?

Do you desire Tango importance?  Or Tango Power?

Do you desire Tango fame? And/or Tango fortune (good luck with that)?

Do you desire having Tango authenticity?

Do you desire being a Milonguero/Milonguera or cutting-edge Tango Nuevoist/a or being recognized as such?

Do you desire being a Tango championship winner?

Don't tell me that these desires are not just as vain and illusory as desire for the hottest fashion accessories, a monster home, or a posh car.

And get this - you can't even desire to dance Tango really well.  The more you want it, the further away it will be. 

The more you are consumed by your desires, the more likely you will do yourself physical, emotional and spiritual injury, and the less likely you will dance tango well, because your body, mind, heart and soul will be elsewhere.  Your tango needs you to be here!  Right here in this step, in this breath, in this moment, in this second of the embrace.  And then, strangely enough, when you have no more desire, you will finally have all that your heart desires.


jessiechung said...

Dear Irene and Man Yung,

Again, Dorian and I are overwhelmed by the accuracy, the profundity, and the great humour of your description of Tango desires. You are right on the money, Irene. When Dorian was starting Tango back in 2003, he felt he loved the music and the dance so much that he wouldn't have cared if someone had stopped the music and told him to leave the floor because he's not good enough to dance at a milonga. His love would have given him the strength to carry on.

Jessie and Dorian

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Jessie and Dorian,

Thanks so much for your compliment, we're so fortunate and grateful that we have friends like you that enjoy and understand Tango the same way as us.

Un abrazo grande,

Irene and Man Yung

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