Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

I was up awful late last night, but it was so worth it, practicing tango steps with My Darling B after we moved as much of the furniture out of the living room as possible. If we push the recliner into the front entrance, move the coffee table into the hallway and plop the beer crate in the dining room, we have just enough room to do all the tango steps we know. Really short tango steps.

The toughest part about dancing a tango is keeping step with the music. Not because the steps are so difficult: Learning the actual steps takes a lot of practice, but it’s doable for just about anybody, even doofuses like us. Finding a tune that keeps a steady beat is just about impossible, though. Most of the tango music we’ve been able to find starts out so slow we can’t do anything but stand there for an awkwardly long time, looking like lost kids in the lobby of a busy bus terminal. Then the speed picks up and has a danceable beat for about a minute and a half before it slows to a crawl again. This seems to be the rule for most tango music. I’m sure you’re supposed to be doing something very stylish when that happens, but we haven’t advanced far enough in our classes to have a clue what that might possibly be.

Since we started taking lessons, My Darling B has been checking out collections of dance music from the library. The library likes it a lot whenever B checks out music CDs because they know they’re going to make a lot of money when she forgets to bring them back on time, and she almost always forgets. The idea, of course, is to try all kinds of music free, then pay for what we like. Maybe some day we’ll figure out how to make it work out that way.

Every time she finds a CD with plenty of the music she likes, B buys a copy of it through mail order. Last week a copy of a record called “The Absolute Best Tango Album Ever.” With a name like that, it ought to be just crammed full of tunes we could dance to, right? Well, so far we’ve found two. Yarg.

The next toughest part about dancing the tango is keeping time with the music. Or maybe it’s not so tough. Maybe we’re just klutzes. That seems very likely. In either case, the trouble we were having was getting our inner timing cue, the earworm-like tango music playing in our heads, to sync up with the tango music that happened to be playing on the stereo at the time at which we were supposed to be dancing to. If there’s a failure to learning to tango the way we were taught, it’s that we ended up dancing to “Step, together, step, collect, tang! Go! Close!” and hardly listening to the music at all, except to start.

But last night we managed to find a couple tunes we could dance to, and how to make the steps to a routine we’ve been working on match the rhythm of the music we found. It was an Aha! moment worth staying up past our bed times for. Or at least I thought so until my alarm clock woke me up this morning.

tango-able | 7:33 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags: ,
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