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Tango: Day One

For the last five years, FIVE WHOLE YEARS I have been thinking deeply about a dance class - specifically a Tango class and where I would find one and how I could go about finding one. As life continued, like it does, this question in my heart has been getting stronger.

It started in Florence in Italy while I was studying there, after long days spent printmaking with my talented and lovely friends at the wonderful Il Bisonte, we would often buy a bottle of wine and some light supper things from Il Forno and walk up to the mesmerising Piazza Michelangelo to discuss life and dreams while watching the golden city of Florence by night. In pauses between conversations, while watching the Arno reflect the city lights as it flowed through, there was something to add even more weight to this magical setting. You could smell the traditional Italian restaurant serving delicious Tuscan food below and then your eyes would stop at many adept couples doing the Tango. I was deeply content watching this dialogue unfold through dance, night after night. Even though we did do some swing dance lessons, watching these Tango masters dance, I guess at that point it was too far out for me to even imagine stepping onto that sacred space where these angels danced.

Meanwhile, I have been religiously working towards increasing my understanding of Ashtanga Yoga for the past two years and making slow and steady progress (which I will write about sometime soon).

Now, older, wiser & closer acquainted with the body, finally I muster up the courage and Google Delhi Tango, and my friend Uzma gives the last nudge to bring me here. We walk into a basement, only a ten minute walk from my house (as always, as all great things come, all this time it's been right here under my nose!)

Through a slit in a curtain I am transported to yet another world. It's nothing if you look at it from just the eye, an hour and a half on a Saturday afternoon and a couple of lovely people in a basement with mirrors along the walls and a laptop and a set of speakers. Setting. Environment. The physical. But it's the invisible that pulls, in this place is a way of living and being which we are all connecting with. An incredibly talented Irish man and an amazingly talented and graceful Indian lady are here today showing us with patience, the footwork needed for the endless possibilities of this deeply stirring dance.

As we switch partners and try to understand minute degrees of movement, the quality of stretchable time, keeping one's weight in the centre, slowly switching weight from one leg to the other, whilst understanding the different ways these rules are interpreted by each partner, it's started.

Something that doesn't yet flow freely out of me but something that flows into me deeply. It's also interesting to find that the man always leads. I take pride in being an independent woman and in this time in society, especially in places like Delhi, all the ladies who live here well know the daily battle we fight for the fact that we are all equals. Very few do look out for each other as man and woman and understand this delicate balance. But in instances such as dance there is a historical place of the man and an awaited place of the woman and it's beautiful to trust these roles and surrender. So I follow. 

It's incredible to just let go and wait for his moves and essentially just mirror every micro second of every mm of his movement and here, time stops and speeds up, muscles tense and release, on my toes - I pause and slide (always as if two sheets of paper are below your feet) and we are feeling it - something ancient and forgotten and natural. The soul is awake.