Laurel and I survived our second Argentine Tango class tonight. Even more: we enjoyed ourselves. Perhaps at least a little bit of Latin blood flows in these primarily Germanic veins.
For a brief moment I even seemed to feel a tinge of macho Tango Attitude, as my lips curled into a proudly passionate expression, which, however, was cut short by our legs getting entangled on that damn cross-step/pause move where one of us always seems to be stepping too slowly or pausing too little.
Whatever. We made progress tonight at the Micah Building Ballroom on State Street. Here in Salem on Mondays for a mere $7 per person ($5 students) you can enjoy an hour-long beginners class at 7 pm and stay for intermediate and guided practice at 8 pm.
We’ve taken a swing dance class before, but never followed up on the lessons by actually dancing in public. I’m hopeful that tango will be different. For one thing, it’s slower, so when you screw up it’s not so obvious. Falling over your partner’s feet is easier to disguise at a lower rate of speed.
With the swing classes I really enjoyed the instructor’s little speech at the start of every session: “Guys, this is the only time in your life when there’s no argument about it. You get to lead the woman around.” The only problem, of course, is that a leader has to know where he is going. And how to get there.
The tango instructor gave me some tips tonight. As I noted in my last post about the Dog Whisperer, there are some evident similarities between being the leader of the pack in your dog/human den, and being the leader on the dance floor. I was told, “You have to be absolutely sure about where you want your partner to go. Then, guide her there.”
I was cut in on near the end of the class by a guy considerably younger and cuter than me. Laurel enjoyed dancing with him. His “shall we dance?” approach was to simply walk up to a woman and hold out his hands. Didn’t matter if she was already dancing with somebody else. He was irresistible. The kid always got the girl.
A friend of ours, Bill Long, also is taking tango lessons. He’s had four now, and we’ve had two, so we consider him a quasi-pro and sought advice from him throughout the evening. Wild Bill Tango is getting pretty good.
(For more info. about the classes call 503-304-8646 or 541-231-7330.)