CHOCOLATE or VANILLA ?

           Whenever I tell people that I dance tango, they are immediately intrigued.  “I have always wanted to take tango lessons, BUT...my husband doesn’t dance, who will I dance with?…..or I have two left feet, I could never learn.  The desire though still is there… the desire to dance this sensous dance to the deep longing rhythms of tango.  The desire to be held close, to move as one body to the strains of tango music.  The man leads with ferocity, with implulse and demand and the woman follows him.  Now how many of you men wouldn’t want your women to act this way?  We don’t even get to question you…to ask why you lead us the way you did…Why did you do that step there dear?  No, we can not doubt your lead…we must only
follow.


            So if any of this is sounding like something you would like to experience, then now is the time to take advantage of a wonderful treat that we have given ourselves.  Our tango community
has brought to Bali two delightful and energetic young teachers. Did I mention they were young, strong male argentine dancers and that they are straight from Buenos Aires, the source of this dance…..sounding intriguing?

            When I was little I could never decide whether I should have chocolate or vanilla ice cream.  How could I not have chocolate?  …so rich and dark and sweet.  The sheer thought of it
warms me inside knowing of my satisfaction at the finish of it.  Aaah… but then there is vanilla….the axis upon which all ice cream is based.  Yes, some may call it basic but I cannot live without it.  It comforts me, is always there for me, completes me, if you will. Vanilla was the very first flavor I ever tasted and will be the one I always return to. When in doubt, it’s vanilla.  If I am feeling risqué, alive with my senses, it will probably be chocolate.

            Facundo and Bruno are just like this…….chocolate and vanilla. Both professional teachers and performers, Facundo, whom I will refer to as “the task master” is a master technician.  “Where is your chest”, he will ask you as he turns your body to face him……”My
chest is YOUR priority!” he repeats again and again.  Then he will repeat….again….. the exact degree where your foot should be placed when you execute your “ochos” (your figure eights) as you seductively let  your chest follow his and your hips untwisting softly….yes…… following.  He will not let your attention sway from his….the same attention tango demands of a woman when she is dancing with a man.

            Facundo has been dancing and teaching for 13 of his young years and is schooled in what is referred to as the “salon” style of dancing. He is just as knowledgable in what we call “tango Nuevo” and as his calling card says, he is here to teach us a “modern view” of tango…how to incorporate the best of both worlds. Tango for him is the expression of his soul.  He dances to express the perfection of the movement and the music.

            Bruno is a true “milonguero”.  What does that mean you may ask.  Yes, Bruno is also a teacher and a performer but where he most comes alive is in the milonga.   The milonga is the actual dance event.  When we go out to dance in Buenos Aires and make our way to one of the clubs there, we say we are going to a milonga.  We have our perfect outfit on and our favorite shoes.  Now all we need is for the perfect dancer to meet us in the space between our hearts. This
is where Bruno enters.  He is casually dressed, an easy smile, knows all the regulars.  We see him dance and make silent offerings for him to notice us and ask for a dance.  When he does finally, we make our way to the floor and rest in his arms awaiting his lead….it is soft….easy…he understands you….i didn’t know I was this good a dancer I am thinking.  He moves me around the floor, catching every nuance of the music as he leads me in the perfect boleo….right on time….Bruno’s love of tango is here….in the connection….in the music....with you in his arms…..this is where his perfect moment is ….

            Both Bruno and Facundo’s ability to articulate what they want you to perform is equally matched by their sense of humor.  You will laugh….at yourself, at them and realize that learning tango really is fun.  I know it looks very very serious when we are dancing but here in the “practica”, the idea is to be a community and have a good time learning.

So..hmmm….chocolate or vanilla.  I really can’t live without either of them….but who is the chocolate and who is the vanilla?


by Brenda Ferreira

 

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