A long time ago, when I still did not work professionally with tango, I had to answer one question: “Why did my sensation change so much from one milonga to another?” It was the same milonga, with the same DJ, I danced with the same girls, I was fine, but one day it was wonderful, and the other I felt that I had only moved. Coordinated movement with the follower and consistent with the music, but only movement and in that … I’m not interested! I was left without that feeling of fulfilment I had felt at another time.
My explanation until then, was that tango was a human act and therefore it depended on internal factors that I little could control. Enjoy it to the maximum or not was a question of “luck”. Well, it is not that I meditated that much! … It was not so serious.
I remember that once, with a group of friends, we went dancing two days in a row. The first day was wonderful, a dream night, and the next day I felt a very big void, it was a real disaster! The next day and for several days, I began to think and review the details of the two nights and then I went further back and I began to think: what was I doing and with whom did I dance in all the milongas I used to go to?
In the following milongas I went to, I tried to make a mental record of what happened during the milonga, without leaving aside the search for pleasure when dancing. Then I came to the conclusion that in order to feel good in the milonga and be able to enjoy “I must transform into tango”. That was the phrase I used at that time. What that means: I must allow my body, my relationship with my dancer and music to slowly enter into me “Be tanguero “
I realized that when I danced with a lot of movement and many double times and changes in speed, when I just arrived at the milonga, I would enter into an energetic loop that was completely superficial but fun and empty, empty, empty. I repeat it several times because while I am writing I try to remember situations where I felt that emptiness and I feel it again and I do not like it, because “it is not the same to match with someone than connect with someone” (it is not a phrase of mine). To dance in a coordinated and musical way, you just have to match. That is not enough for me! I do not want to feel empty, I want and I need to connect.
So, to be able to transform into tango, the first few tandas I only walked slowly and quietly, allowing me to feel good, comfortable, feeling the comfort of my dancer, connecting with her and from that trying to find the music in a simple way, then I could feel that sensation that I always wanted to find. So during the night and while the milonga grew and developed, I also grew, I became wider and the movement began to arrive accompanied by this basis of mutual comfort and deep connection.
This is an anecdote that I sometimes tell in my classes. I have learned a lot of tango, speaking about tango. I think that it can be useful to recognize what are the factors that can favor good sensations during the milonga. I suppose it exists many ways to transform into tango. A friend told me that she began her transformation at home, while showering, looking for the clothes she would wear, then dressing and giving her the finishing touches. That’s why she did not need to arrive early at the milonga, because when she arrived she was already tango. On the other hand, I like to arrive early at the milonga, very early because I need time … I always arrive at 10PM!
Looking at it from a distance, I never transformed. I always was. What happens is that I always was but in a different way. When I arrive at the milonga I am a quiet, very calm tango, then I am tango, but I do not know what tango I will be. That is the surprise of the night.
I have practiced for years until now this way of relating to the milonga and it has given me very good results. It does not guarantee that I will be able to find what I am looking for, but the chances of success are high.
Then, when I became a professional tango artist, I started to make demos. And here there is no time for this transformation process. I must be immediately 100%. Well, maybe it’s a topic for another post because what interests me most of all is social tango.