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You might be surprised to learn how I came to dance tango.

It was down to Scent of A Woman. A 1992 Hollywood film with one short, sentimental tango scene.

It’s kind of funny now to think that I wouldn’t be dancing tango if it wasn’t for a Hollywood film. Me, who is always complaining about how Hollywood, and the mainstream media, misrepresent and parody tango.

I remember loving the film when it came out in the cinema. And I vividly remember the scene in which Al Pacino - a blind war veteran - dances tango with a beautiful stranger.

But in fact that wasn’t the actual moment I discovered tango. It should have been but it wasn’t. It simply didn’t occur to me that I could learn to dance tango and I carried on with my life as usual.

However, in another cinema, on another day, it inspired my future brother-in-law to try tango and it was through him I came to my first tango class. (Thank you Daniel!)

Returning to the film over 20 years later, I prepared myself to be under-whelmed by the tango scene which had indirectly changed my life forever.

And yes, it has to be said that the tango itself is only a sketchy representation of what the real dance should look like. My brother-in-law was determined to dance “like Al Pacino” but to my more experienced eyes, it appeared that Al Pacino had had nothing more than a few basic classes in Argentine tango before the film.

However, the sentiment of the film was as beautiful to me as it was back in the 1990’s. And if I look beyond the steps and style, what the scene says about tango still strikes a chord with me.

It tells me that tango is about stepping onto the dance floor with a complete stranger and dancing without any pre-planned steps. And it tells me that it is about sharing a few short but unforgettable moments with another human being. Whether I have anything in common with that other human or would otherwise have had any contact with them.

And these wonderful words from the film are still pearls of wisdom for any student of tango. And yes, I do occasionally quote them in my classes!

“No mistakes in the tango, darling, not like life. It’s simple. That’s what makes the tango so great. If you make a mistake, get all tangled up, just tango on.” - Al Pacino (as Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade)

And the film has clearly made a long-lasting impact on popular culture. In our experience, "Por Una Cabeza" is by far the most popular song choice for the couples we coach for their wedding dance.

So yes, I am happy that it was this scene from Scent of A Woman that led me to the crazy course my life has taken. For me, it is in its own way, a beautiful representation of what tango is about.

On Thursday night, we celebrated the 79th birthday of our dear student and friend Sue.

Sue has been studying tango with us for nearly 10 years now and comes to our advanced class. No one who sees her dance can believe she is 79 years young!

Watch her traditional birthday tango Vals (waltz) in her celebration after class.

The Birthday Vals is one of my very favourite tango traditions. Each dancer in the room takes it in turn to dance with the birthday girl/boy. It is an exhilarating feeling to go from one dancer to the next, each with their own energy, personality and interpretation.

Sue is a more accomplished dancer than most dancers half her age! She dances several nights a week and is able to keep up with the most energetic of partners.

Sue, here’s to many many more years of dancing. Thank you making us believe that we will all be able to do it too!

We were very excited to visit the BBC on Wednesday to talk about tango!

David and I accompanied tango musician Julian Rowlands to talk about the relationship between tango and the music.

We met with Katie Derham, presenter of the BBC Proms and 2015 finalist of Strictly Come Dancing, who asked us many questions about tango, specifically focused on we interpret the music when we dance.

”Dance is music made visible” - said the great choreographer Balanchine. And tango in particular has a fascinating relationship with its music.

The programme will form part of a new series - “Sound Of Dance” - combining Katie’s love of dance and music on BBC Radio 3. Each week Katie will talk to different experts from the dance world, focusing on distinct genres such as ballet, classical Indian and of course Argentine tango!

In the first week, Katie will talk about Sir Frederick Ashton, the founder choreographer of the Royal Ballet. Argentine tango will make its appearance in Week 2 of the series.

“I am thrilled to be involved with this series which will introduce Radio 3 listeners to the wonder of dance through the magnificent music which accompanies it.” - Katie Derham

Sound Of Dance starts on BBC Radio 3 on 3rd June with episodes every Saturday from 3pm – 4pm.

We will announce on our News Page when the Tango programme that we were involved in is about to be broadcast!

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