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Tango In An Elevator Friday, 23 March 2018 print

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There are a few classic signs that you’re addicted to tango.

When the other day a new student told me - a few months after starting tango - that he was looking for a new flat with more space to dance in, I couldn’t help but chuckle.

I knew then that he was well and truly part of our crazy worldwide club of tango junkies.

Another tell tell sign? Grabbing absolutely any opportunity you can to practice your tango.

No matter when, no matter where. You look left, you look right. No one around? Quick, time to just trace out that little *lapiz* you learnt in tango class last week.

We are the Ikea generation. Experts at finding inventive ways to create more space.

You discover that the kitchen counter provides the ideal support to practice your ochos … provided of course your hand doesn’t accidentally switch the hob on!

A flight of stairs doubles up as the perfect apparatus to stretch out your calf muscles after a long night in the milonga.

And why stare into space when you’re waiting for the microwave to ping? It’s a total waste of valuable practice time!

Picture me then just the other night at our venue in Soho making my way up to our first floor dance studio.

That night I had put my tango shoes on in the changing rooms before going up to class. And I decided to take the lift rather than the stairs.

Socialising After Tango Class

Even on the lower ground floor I could hear the lovely sounds of tango emanating from the studio, where my partner was setting up for our class.

And there I was standing in a lift. In tango shoes. With tango music. How was I not going to practice some *rulos*?

But there was a snag. The lift was made of glass.

A man in sports gear, climbing the stairs turned and stared. And for a few moments, I was at a total loss as to why.

Then it hit me. A grown woman. Dancing. In pink stilettos. And a matching pink fur coat (a complete coincidence, by the way). I guess that is not something "non-tango people" see every day.

But it didn’t end there.

He kept pace with my lift as he climbed the stairwell. As we together reached each new level, my rulos became just a touch more flamboyant and began to lift of the floor. His eyes widened.

Well, you didn't really expect me to stop and let such a golden opportunity to practice slip through my fingers? Plus, it was kind of fun to have an audience! ;)

If you've been dancing even a short time, you'll probably have a funny tango anecdote. Please share it with us in the comments section below!

3 comments

  • Comment Link Elizabeth Shovelton Sunday, 25 March 2018 21:44 posted by Elizabeth Shovelton

    The lift at work has a bar all the way around the back. I may happen to have been using it to practice back ochos and an adornos. Unfortunately I didn't stop before the door opened to reveal our senior management team on the way to a meeting. I looked as nonchalant as possible and made polite conversation.

    Oh well, they encourage us to be true to ourselves. Besides they shouldn't put a rail there and not expect me to use it.

  • Comment Link Ash Saturday, 24 March 2018 16:34 posted by Ash

    You are right, even the newest of us will have had funny experiences.
    I was waiting for our friend to arrive at terminal 3 arrivals from Finland … near the ‘Love Actually was filmed here’ sign, when the urge came on me to practise some of the rather cool leader embellishments I’d been taught the evening before. There were very few people about as it was early morning, so I just went for it. Several happy minutes of ironing out the bugs and balance issues and I noticed a rather attractive, middle aged lady about 20 yards away, behind the barrier on the other side of the lounge, was mirroring my movements … and indeed adding some rather polished ones of her own! We exchanged huge grins, and carried on for several minutes … before a crowd of arriving passengers obstructed my view of her … and when they cleared, she was gone. However, that was a lovely moment of connection between two total strangers caused by this wonderful shared passion.

  • Comment Link Cherie DeHaven Friday, 23 March 2018 19:04 posted by Cherie DeHaven

    I was once cooking dinner for several people, some of whom were tango dancers. While chopping vegetables and listening happily to tango music in my small kitchen I feel someone approach me, remove the knife from my hand and turn me around for an impromptu tango. I guess he felt moved by the music and the moment. We finished the tango he turned me back around and gave me back my knife. We both carried on as if it was perfectly natural to stop everything and tango, which of course it is! It was truly enjoyable and it definitely made the food taste better ⯑

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