Baby tanguera at One Year Old

A week of anniversaries. Most importantly, my 14th wedding anniversary is this Wednesday. My husband and I have actually been together about 18 years. Wow . . . Our marriage is old enough to vote. After 14 years, my patient and supportive husband, has found himself married to a rabidly obsessed tanguera. He's coping as well as can be expected. ;)

This week is also the anniversary of my first steps in tango. My first class at UT, my first milonga, and my first dance.

"Your baby at One Year - Milestones this month (from Parenthood.com)"

- Your baby now drinks from a cup without assistance. (well, wine glass anyway)
- She can stand alone for several minutes. (but she doesn't like it very much)
- Baby walks well (that might be a bit generous.Still working on that whole extending the back leg/walking with intention etc etc)
- Baby expresses her wants with gestures and words instead of cries. (gesture, schmesture, she uses the cabeceo)
- She engages in gibberish conversation. (oh, no she doesn't!)

Baby tanguera at one year old. That's me.

It overwhelms me to think too hard on getting here. My husband told me, 'you like this right now - so throw yourself into it. This month, take all the classes, go to all the practicas and milongas. See what happens. In a month, or three months, if you still like it, we'll work out how to keep it up.'

That was a year ago. Since then, this has been the year of eating, sleeping, dreaming, walking, thinking, writing . . .

and living, tango.

The first two months of my tango life, I danced between 15 and 20 hours a week, with all the classes, milongas, festivals, and practicas. I wonder if I'd started slower, if I would have stuck through the scarier parts. Like jumping into frigid water, I wanted the scariest, most uncomfortable part to be over with quickly. That meant no hesitating. No taking it slow. No easing into it. I dove in...

Heart first.

The first milonga I attended, my hands shook so much I was afraid to dance. Of course my "dancing" at that point, consisted of walking back and forth, and getting about every third cross lead. Maybe it was too soon to go to milongas. But that was the advice I got - don't wait until some mythical tango competency is acquired - just start going. Watch people. So that's what I did.

This Friday I will celebrate the anniversary of my first dance. I'm going back to La Tazza Fresca where, one year ago, a gentleman asked me to dance and I finally got the nerve to say yes. We danced to Pensalo Bien . .

Pensalo bien,
antes de dar ese paso,
que tal vez mañana acaso
no puedas retroceder.

Think it well,
before taking that step,
that perhaps tomorrow maybe
you may not go back.

8 comments:

Margo Romero said...

Congratulations!!!!! I can't wait until I turn one...! =)

Mari said...

Thank you Margo - it goes very fast! You'll be a 1 yr old tanguera before you know it!

tangopassionista said...

Congratulations. It goes without staying that throwing yourself in at the deep end paid off. You were obviously born to tango and to write about your experience. I'm about two turn two tango-wise - does that mean I'm going to have tango tantrums?

Kasia said...

Happy one year tango anniversary, and the wedding anniversary too! Thumbs up for diving in and sticking to it. Now, I hope the year two of tango will take me to Austin at some point and I will be able to finally meet you!

Johanna said...

Very clever post, mari. Congrats on your b'day :-)

Kirra said...

Bravo Mari. You are a very wise toddler ;)

Tango Padawan said...

Great song choice :-)

Good luck with your tango voyage!

Mari said...

thank you for your comments, everyone - sorry I've been so slow in responding (here and via email). I still feel like my tango journey is just beginning - which is a wonderful thing. I couldn't have stayed with it, especially in the very rough beginning, without so many people encouraging me.

It's amazing that a few words from someone hundreds of miles away were frequently the deciding factor in my getting off my butt and going to a milonga one night (or a class, or a workshop . . .)