My Tango Beginning

I came across Tango by pure chance about 10 years ago.

I was out with some friends at the Loughborough Hotel in Brixton having a Salsa lesson. (Sadly, the building has since been turned into apartments.)  After the lesson I went upstairs to see what else was going on, as the room I was in turned into a mixture of Latin and Caribbean beats.

There was one room completely devoted to Salsa and the other room had this beautiful and haunting sound coming from it.  I had this feeling of déjà-vu as the music had a familiar old-fashioned feel to it.  I walked into this lovely room that seemed to resemble someone’s sitting room rather than what you would normally find in a Latin club.  There were little tables with lamps and red tablecloths.  The lighting was dim.  People were dressed up.  There were men in suits and hats and the women mainly in black dresses and fishnet stockings.  And they were dancing in a way that I had never seen before.

I was invited to sit down and have a look if I wanted.  I sat there completely mesmerised.  How do they manage to dance like this with only the top half of their bodies touching?  Where do the ladies go for their shoes? What is this music?  It is so beautiful!  Where can I learn how to dance like this?

I learned that this was Argentine Tango and that I was listening to Tango music.  Most of the dance classes seemed to take place in North London, quite a distance away from where I lived.  It wasn’t the right time for me.  I had too many other family commitments.  I knew that one day my time would come.

My time came six years later.

I had been learning Salsa for about a year, when I discovered that someone was giving Tango lessons near to where I lived.

It all started with the shoes.

One of the ladies had on a great pair of shoes which she told us she’d bought from the Tango teacher.  As soon as I heard the word ‘Tango’, I was out there with the questions: Where are you learning Tango?  What night is it?  What time does it start?  What is the name of the teacher?  The poor woman didn’t know what hit her.

The next week, I was there for my first Tango class.  I was really nervous and excited.  I had been waiting so long for this moment and it was finally here!  I could hear the music before I entered the room and knew I was in the right place.

From the moment I walked into the room, with the music filling my heart, I knew that I would do whatever it took to learn how to dance Argentine Tango and be good at it.

I haven’t looked back.

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