Here's to showing up . . .

But the traveler that flees
sooner or later stops his walking
And although forgetfulness,
which destroys all,
has killed my old dream,
I keep concealed a humble hope
that is my heart's whole fortune.

"Volver" - Lyrics: Alfredo Lepera, Music: Carlos Gardel

"Ninety-percent of life is just showing up." -- Woody Allen

I just went through pictures from 2009's Austin Spring Tango Festival and experienced a huge shift in perspective. I had only had a couple of classes (literally two classes) and had only been to one milonga. I knew exactly 3 people out of the several dozen in attendance. Far too intimidated to dance, I haunted the back rows of chairs and watched, completely mesmerized by the dancers and then later, the performances by the guest instructors.

Looking through the pictures now, I can't believe how many people I know. I now recognize more than half the people in the pictures. I've danced with about a dozen of them. It's only been about 5 months since that night. That night of pacing outside the main dance floor, wondering what on earth I thought I was playing at coming to a milonga like this. Finally going in only when I heard The Immortal, Gardel's voice. Volver. I took it as a sign. After all, you can't leave a dance during your favorite song.

I didn't dance. But I didn't leave either.
Here's to showing up . . .

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

You make a good point here about "showing up". Maybe that idea that people are snobs or clique-ish is more about the fact that experienced dancers, who have paid their dues, are waiting to see if newbies really mean it. If they keep showing up, they get points, they make friends, people know you...it all starts to work.

Mari said...

I do think there's something to that. You really have to keep putting in the miles on the milonga floor. And actually it was going to the milongas that kept my enthusiasm up when I was having a rough time in the classes.