I am not the world's greatest dancer.. while I can remain in step with the rythmn, with awe I have always watched those that glide, spin and turn with ease and precision.
So I signed up for an argentine tango class with a good friend, because a partner was required. He and I got there just as the class was starting, neither of sure of what to wear, walked in with normal gym gear, although something had told me to bring heels too.
Inside the studio the average age of the men was I would guess 65..Lots of belted pants and shiny shoes..Plenty of smiles as well, and a few whose first, second or third language wasn't English.
The women were younger mid twenties to fifties and all the space left in the room was by the big windows facing third street.
The teacher began by explaining the history of the tango, then specifically the Argentine Tango.
"is about feeling. and following the lead of your partner. The beauty is watching the woman's movements trail almost effortlessly behind the man's as if in one body."
We worked with our partner then we traded partners, and worked on our first eight steps . I changed into my heels, concentrated on my posture and stared not at my feet, but into the eyes of my partner(s) trying to listen to the music and feel where the music was going.
When my friend ( who is 26) and I left he said to me.
." All of the older women let me lead, the younger chicks, no matter how forcefully I tried to slow them down..still wanted to control the pace of the dance.."
I started laughing because my 85 year old partner,after I stepped on his foot the third time took me by the shoulders and said in a thick Austrian accent..
" It's ok. When you make a mistake, don't stop. trust me. Wait and let me get us back with the music. Because you make mistake, I can fix it, so if you just trust me it still is beautiful dance. ok? ok."