Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pulling out a knife at the Milonga

For me listening to the music, the true leader in tango, and actively guiding a woman at a milonga is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever experienced in my life. Dancing can create this sense of safety and peace that is indescribable. But that sense of safety, that moment of Nirvana can quickly be changed by some "warring elements." Will there be a fight? Will someone pull out a knife at the milonga because of safety violations?  All the distractions!  So many things to think about!  The woman in my arms is helping me negotiate these many distracting "warring elements."

The Guide and the Ambassador
So why is it that I am not the ambassador and the woman in my arms is? Is "ambassador" another term like "follower" or "interpreter" which makes the women in my arms less than me, the overpaid CEO--the so-called "leader"?  Leaders need followers and interpreters.  So no! "Ambassador" is not part of a hierarchy here. When in a foreign country, everyone from a tourist to the president or chancellor of a nation needs to be an ambassador. Yet, being an ambassador is not my main and active role. I guide, navigate, protect, listen and propose movement. These are more than enough responsibilities for me to juggle. I really need an active ambassador to keep us both enjoying the spontaneity of the dance.

When I am at my very best, my ambassador feels that I did not get in her way of dancing. I too have the same feeling. She feels as if she were in a very safe place in my arms. She feels as if the music possessed her body and I did not hinder her but through synergism, allowed her to fully enjoy dancing. However, this only happened, I think, because her embrace allowed me to do my open-eyed job without distractions from so many warring elements.  She calms me. She is patient with the small amount of space I gave her when evil men all around us would attempt to hurt her. Her body is so aware of the music that she easily negotiates and represented the true leader (the music), bringing me back to La Música's voice when I am distracted.  I hope she will come back to dance again and agin with me.  I so highly value what she does.  It's as if she is whispering in my ear:  "Make tango, not war." 

This world needs more ambassadors.  Followers are a dime a dozen.

Art credit:

Franco M. Iturraspe
Nacido en Esperanza, Santa Fe, el 1º de febrero de 1983.
See the artist's website at:

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