04 July 2009

What tango is to me

"Why do I tango?" Is a question I've asked myself many times.

I remember the first time I wanted to take up dancing was the late 70's. My parents (after all) were once folk dancers—That's how they met. I wanted to join my university's dance troupe. It didn't materialize because I was lazy. Also, I thought that dancing was less than manly. I thought school work was too much as it was and extra curricular activities would detract from my studies. My goal was to finish school, get a really good job and get rich... Period.

Fast forward three plus decades...

In the pursuit of my professional career, dancing never even came to mind. Trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up took a few years, and quite a few transformations and life changes. I've been to exotic places, and have mingled with exotic peoples. I've lived my life's adventures and my fantasies many, many times over. I got (mostly) what I wished for.

Having fared well through a drastic change in profession, I find myself in a radically different world—A civilian world.

Discovering a new world

Its amazing how a whole new world can be so close. So close that you are astonished to find that you actually live in it and not even know it.

  • Tango as a gateway and tour guide
Upon taking up tango, the simple act of finding one's way to and from milongas was an adventure. Finding restaurants, shops, and sundry places of interest along the way was an eye opening experience. It way like filling-in the places on bank map. I have discovered more of Seattle pursuing tango, than any other search expedition before it. It has built a holistic and rich view of the world around me.

  • Tango as a social networking mechanism
My best and favorite people in my life have been met through classes at first, then through milongas. These evolved into networks of tango-centric parties, identification and alignment of interests, histories, stories. It became a life enriching experience. These are friends not bonded together by politics, nor money, nor alliances, nor business. We are just friends because we are—Thanks to tango.

  • Tango as boost to self esteem
Outside of the drudgery of one's job, Tango is something (I think) I can do well, share, and believe in. It's something I enjoy, and am happy to do. The tango world, albeit fleeting, is a place where I can be, a "Somebody."

  • Tango as a reason to be healthy
The close contact inherent in tango forced me to reexamine my health. It has helped me quit smoking and modify and balance my diet as I don't want to stink. I've worked out regularly, to build strength and endurance. I find that I now stand up straighter. It has been one of the best motivational factors for improving ones health.

So far, the preceding are major points of what tango is to me. I find that the more I go, the more I know. Thus, the more I grow. It is a continuous adventure in learning and discovery.


msHedgehog said...

And I've only just linked to your previous one on the same subject. So recently that it's not even on the feed yet. Mid-air collision of thoughts, there, on the social side. I love what you say about the possibility of making friends you just like, I very much get that out of it too.

AmpsterTango said...

@ msHedgehog: Not a collision of thoughts. Rather, a meeting of minds across continents.

If it were not for tango, we would never have crossed paths. See, this tango thing works for making really good friends :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to have discovered your blog Ampster. You always make me think, reflect, appreciate. Your tango is very much like mine, but not exactly like mine. And that's what makes it fun.

Mari said...

Oh Ampster, I so needed to read a post just like that today. I recognize those same reasons for myself as well. Thank you as always for such a wonderful entry. (Now I need to get off my butt and write something. ... Wait... actually I kind of need to be on my butt to do that... nevermind...)