After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Everything's Beautiful at the Tango Club

On Fridays when I lived in Los Angeles, as I wrote in the previous Tangofoot, my friends knew that if I'm not out dancing, they should check the morgue. The year before I had a shot of cortisone directly into the ball of my foot at the podiatrist's on Friday afternoon. So painful. I had been suffering from "dancer's foot," the official diagnosis.

By the time I hobbled into my apartment with my left foot in thick fat bandages, the painkillers had kicked in, and actually I felt pretty good. The pain in my foot was gone for the first time in months. I went next door and borrowed some heels from my friend Marita whose shoe size was larger than mine, stuffed my bandaged foot into the left one and wore two socks on the right and I went to dance.

Nuevo Chiqué
Later that night at the milonga, I looked around and saw many familiar people, the same ones I see at all the clubs and dances in L.A. They all had smiles on their faces. Especially when they were dancing. Because I had known these folks for years, I was acquainted with their backstories: the private hurts, anguishes, jealousy, rejections, liaisons, gossip, and backstabbing.

You couldn't tell by looking. People were mixing and dancing and chatting and listening to the great band and tapping their feet and laughing. Me too, my cortisone shot and my funny-looking feet were forgotten as I burned the floor.

Maybe some of us have had bad moments with each other over a period of time--bad dance experiences, some not-so-great personal relationships with friends and the opposite sex, slights both real and imagined--but when we all come together under one high ceiling and the gorgeous umbrella of music, we are one. Like family. We are all worshiping at the same church.
Milonga de los Consagrados

We might kick each other around occasionally, both literally and figuratively, but when the music's hot and the dancing's smoking, we are all in love. At least for five minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah! Buenos Aires where they dance because they love tango, the men dance because they love women and the women love the men.
Would it were the same all over the world.
Personally I think the love lasts a bit longer than the dance, but I am still viewing from the outside.
In the words of Arnie "I'll be Back" "Hasta la Vista"