back to life

17/01/2011 § Leave a comment

I remember the days we used to dance.

And then, for some reason, we grew up.

In the privacy of our homes, double-paned windows wrapped in silky drapes, in dark corners of living rooms, we quietly stare at our souls, tapping our toes.


Last night, a reunion of sorts and it was happenstance.

It just so happened that last week I was walking the street of Santa Fe and I re-encountered my tango instructor-friend,

“How strange? How, what, where did you come from?!”

“Well, I just got back a couple of days ago from Canada by plane. But, fancy seeing you on this street.”

“Come back to tango. We need more girls.”

“Ok, I will see you Sunday.”

I rang the familiar bell of a familiar place and climbed a familiar staircase. Back into the swing of things.

“Would you like coffee or tea?”

“Coffee. Obviously,” I smiled.

The music had already started and I saw some familiar faces. We did the Argentine kiss-on-the-cheek and I pulled them in for a big, ol’ Canadian hug. The cultures collided, not clashing, but melding.

“You still danced tango when you were in Canada?”

“Nope. I probably don’t remember a thing.”

“Do you want to dance?”


There were some new faces, one was an older lady,

“Hi, how are you? You dance very well, did you dance before?”

“Yes, many years ago. I learned when I came here from Germany, fifteen years ago.”

“Why did you stop?”

“I had a husband, children, I had to work. How do you find time to dance?”

“But, you are taking classes again. I think that’s awesome.”


“Wicked, cool, good, fantastic. I’m going to keep dancing, are you going to dance?”

“No, no, right now I am going to rest. Tango nowadays has so many big steps and flare. I am used to smaller, slower steps.”

A few stumbles and a stubbed toe later, I regained my hook.

“Look! You remember everything.”

“Yes, it’s like riding a bicycle, I guess.”

“What does that mean, ‘it’s like riding a bicycle'”.

“You don’t forget. You wobble when you get back on, but you continue to glide. Do you have a similar saying in Spanish?”

“No. We keep dancing, always. It’s part of our culture. It is part of our life. Now, time to go outside and dance. We will go to the Plaza!”

At the square, a battle of the bands. In one corner, tango. In the the other, samba from Brazil. The old and the new Argentina.

“Look at this, it’s ridiculous. Here, you have people trying to dance a cultural dance and there you have loud, obnoxious noise.”

“I don’t know, I kind of like it. I wonder if you could synthesize the two? Make them part of one another. The new-ness of migration and other cultures is a reality of life. We could learn to bring it in, no?”

Back at the studio-apartment, windows wide open to the street, we danced tango to a Portishead-remix. On my tippy-toes, I looked down and noticed my left foot was bleeding. Turning it to look at the bottom, I saw my sole was just fine.


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