14 February 2011

My perfect tango partner

It was in a Valentine's day party, 23 years ago that I met this cute girl. It was 1988.

Her ensemble was a huge lace ribbon on her heavily curled long hair. She wore winged way-farer gold Ray-Ban's, low socks with fuzzy pom-poms. She spoke in happy tones. She was vibrant, smart, sometimes cynical, sometimes funny. She was complicated, yet easily understood. Her perfume filled the air with a sweet scent. I was smitten. I was in love.

23 years passed and it has had its complications, challenges, and irritations. The struggle of life took hold as every young couple embarks on the great tango adventure called life. There were highs and lows. But, amidst it all, there were was a happines that made life all so worth living.

Like a great tango, Mrs. Ampster has been my perfect tango partner. Through good and bad tandas and milongas alike. I thank her, and grateful to God to have blessed me with my perfect tango partner. After all, without a tango partner, I'm just a crazy guy going through the motions of life (and dancing)

I love you Mrs. Ampster, and here's to many, many more decades of going through the great milonga of life, called the Tango.


07 February 2011

My personal tango milestones

I've been contemplating where my tango journey has taken me with some interesting stops along the way. I've grown, and vastly benefited from this journey. It is sprinkled with experiences and friends that have enriched my soul.

Looking back, I'm bemused at the milestones I've passed...

My, 'I've danced ballroom, I can dance anything' milestone
Coming from a the ballroom world, with all of it's focus on technique, standard patterns, and forms, I was under the impression that I could dance anything and everything. Even this simple dance, devoid of formal exactingly competitive patterns called Argentine Tango.

I was sorely mistaken.

My, 'This is how you need to teach me' milestone
Coming from the highly detail oriented hands of ballroom teachers, I was under the impression that tango teachers would be the same. Finding that there was a difference, I (sometimes) looked contemptuously the lack of formality. I had concrete ideas of how I should be instructed.

I was mistaken.

My, 'I need to get all the tango stuff I can get my hands on' milestone
This was my "Obsession" phase. I needed everything "Tango" related. Shoes, clothes, music, food, wine, books, movies, etc.

It was an expensive endeavor

My, 'I need to attend all of the workshops' milestone
I tuned in to www.allseattletango.com. If there was a visiting instructor, I was there. If they were veterans of "Forever Tango," I was doubly there.

It was exhausting, and I barely retained anything

My cool moves milestone
If I saw some cool tango move from CITA, YouTube or learned in some workshop, I had to keep doing it until I looked good doing it.

It bolstered my ego, but it was hell on my partners

My need to attend every single milonga milestone
Every milonga and practica was on my hit list. I had to be in every one of them, tango every night, and do all my moves whenever and with whomever I can.

It was madness

My overly technically deep analytical milestone
I saw every step, every pattern, every move with blow-by-blow extreme technical analysis, thinking that it would help me improve in my tango. I studied degrees of angles, definitions, triangulated, moved and executed  with exacting preciseness.

It filled me with information that I really didn't need to know, and made my head ache

My Milonguero epiphany milestone
One day, I took up this thing called Tango Milonguero i.e. Close embrace tango. It's complicated in its miniaturization of everything I've known thus far. The alignment and mechanics with my partner was much closer, and much more difficult as the axis of movement and centers of gravity were different. The connections were much more intense.

I was blown away

My Intermittent absence milestone
There are quite a few times that life and reality gets in the way of tango. Things such as work, injuries, illness, got in the way of tango and caused "disruptions" in my tango aggressive schedule.

The intermittent absences turned out to be a blessing. Each absence allowed my brain and body to rest. It allowed me to stop and think of my technique, balance, connection, etc, etc, etc.

Each return made each tango better.

My Simplicity milestone
Amazingly, after all the time, money, and effort, instead of building and growing an awesome repertoire of moves, I've grown to love the simple.

Ampstertango blog milestone

This tango journey of mine has taken many twists and turns. As in any journey, one has to stop and enjoy the view for a while. I'm there, enjoying the view for now. Soon, I'll move to the next destination and milestones there will be more to come.