When we were still learning, we normally attended group classes where you shift partners. Ok, this was class, that was normal, I guess. This experience was my first exposure to different partners. We were all beginners learning in open embrace. No big deal.
After a few months, Mrs. Ampster and I started going to milongas. I'd like to think we were getting good. At least, Mrs. Ampster was. She was getting asked to dance a lot.
I on the other hand, I was to too terrified to ask anyone else. I think it was fear of rejection over anything else. My "fragile" ego would not survive a trouncing...
On one particularly bland milonga evening where dancing was sparse with the evening's ambience dead. A beautiful blond lady came up from behind me and asked...
"Would you like to dance with me?"
I gasped, turned around and said,
"I would love to."
What the hell am I doing!!??
This the monologue of my brain in turmoil that followed:
OMG, What the hell am I doing?
That's OK, we can make this work.
Here's my left arm. Oh good she took it
Here she comes!
Oh no, her arm just went over my shoulder, Gaaah! Close embrace!
I can't move.
These are NOT my wife's boobs!
Breathe, breathe, breeeeaaaatheee
My heart's racing. Relax, relaaaxxxx, breaaaaathe in annnnd ouuuut
When's the music going to start? Oh, it already began...
Now what!? I can feel HER breathing! She's alive!
Ok, calm down. Think of what your teacher taught you
Keep it simple, keep it simple... and, walk, walk, pause... pause... ocho aaaaand boleo
Hey, this works! Let's walk some more. Just walk, keep walking...
Listen to the music, syncopate, rhythm, follow the beat....
I'll stop talking to myself now...
That was the first time I had REALLY danced with a stranger. I was amazed at how well it worked. I kept it simple. After I had gotten over the initial shock, I was able to think clearly. After which, I had enough confidence in myself to just let go. It was one of the very first tango epiphanies I've had.
It was an eye opening, and magnificently liberating experience.