Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Adventures in Tango

2 March 2016

A friend and I went to the place Richard and I walked by on Sunday, the place with the "sidewalk tango" footstep design on the pavement outside.

This place has tango practice sessions a few afternoons a week, and we went to check it out.  (She and I met in tango class.)

The only requirement is to purchase a drink, which can mean anything from a coffee or soda to beer to mixed drinks.  

The restaurant/dancing room was beautiful, with wood panelling and arches over mirrors, marble columns, and the fancy ornate plaster ceiling.  Plus brass and glass chandeliers and lights on the columns, and small tables surrounding the dance floor.

There were some couples who came in and danced together, mostly people who seemed to be learning to tango and milongo, and wanted to practice dancing.

There were also singles, like us, who sat and maybe danced, or danced together.  

My favorite, though, were the several older gentlemen who wandered around and asked various women to dance.  They seemed to dance well, perhaps were widowers who liked to dance but were in need of a tango partner.  I could imagine being an older person, looking forward to practice afternoons.  Especially a man who would have his choice of dance partners, since there inevitably seems to be more women than men.

My friend is as shy as I am, reluctant to ask a stranger to dance, hesitant to make eye contact to encourage being asked.  She finally was asked and got up to dance, and we had agreed to photograph each other if one of us was dancing.  Here she is, so you can see what the milongo and Argentinian tango look like.  Although you really can't see the fancy footwork, because that part is hard to capture in a photo - people move so quickly the photo is all blurred when they turn or swirl or swish around.

I realized that I wasn't ready to dance practically cheek to cheek and chest to chest with some total stranger, so once her dances were over (always a set of three or four), I suggested that I was ready to go.  She was fine with that, and we headed out.

But we passed a beautiful tango shoe store on our way, and I really could use a pair of tango shoes.  All of my shoes have rubber soles, so they don't swivel or slide or pivot at all.  I've been dancing barefoot, but that isn't exactly the best way to go either.  I wouldn't mind a pair of flat tango shoes, which are difficult to find.  Women's tango shoes seem to all be high heel.  (Emphasis on the HIGH heel.)

I did find some gorgeous shoes, I loved the black with red flame designs on the front and heel.  But I know I won't be any good dancing in heels that high, I can barely walk in them.  They feel like stilts.  I'd buy them in flats, though!  (Birkenstock designers, that's a new line for you - Birks for dancing!!!  Black with red flame jobs!  I'd buy those in a second!)

Okay, we're heading off on a three-week road trip tomorrow, basically aiming for the coast, the beach, and parts southward.  Exploring some of Argentina's Patagonia region, the pampas environment, and seeing whatever animals we can find.  Plus maybe getting more tango if I can find dancing opportunities!


  1. I can't wear high heels at all (balance problems. I wonder what flat tango shoes look like? Are they really flat or are they like kitten heels? The shoes with the flames are hot, hot, hot! :-D

    1. The flat tango shoes are sort of soft Maryjane type shoes, but made of a softer kind of leather. The soles are very thin, and sueded - the leather sole is roughened so that it slides more easily for the twirls, but grips better than smooth leather for the dancing part. Hope that explains it. (They were very cute, just didn't have my size.)