Yesterday, once again, I took advantage of the free event series offered at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. The last time I entered the auditorium on the third floor it was to listen to the bluegrass sounds of musician Tuck Tucker. This time I was treated to a dance exhibition sponsored by Exclusively Argentine Tango At George’s. This dance studio showcased 8 professional dancers, 4 men and 4 women, who wowed the crowed with their sophisticated steps. Each pair was gracious enough to explain the history of the dance they performed as well as to inform the audience of the background regarding the music they chose to dance to.
It did not take long for the sensual mood of the music to make its presence known. After all, what would the tango be without sensuality? Violin, bass, piano and bandoneón all woven together to make a musical quilt, all encompassing and comforting. It’s as if the music puts you at ease, lowers your defenses, soothes your aches, whisks you away to some enchanted place, and makes the potential for something romantic possible. Enter the dancers! Graceful, sleek women with subtle curves gliding on downbeats clad in silk. Refined, gentle yet firm men, granted permission to lead the dance while holding the world in their arms.
After several sets of dances and much applause, the exhibition ended and I was invited to a reception, luncheon and milonga (The term for the music and dance which comprise Argentine Tango) at Exclusively Argentine Tango At George’s. I had the privilege of eating lunch and conversing with the exceptional dancers I had just enjoyed watching perform on stage. There, I was treated once again to their fancy footwork on the studio’s dance floor and some very interesting commentary concerning the nature of a woman being “led” by a man in the tango.
As one of the female dancers I met named Vanya put it, a man leading a woman on the dance floor isn’t sexist, because the man is more or less inviting the woman to dance. As with any invitation, the invitee can either accept or reject the inviter. And when a woman accepts the man’s invitation, it can open the door for unexpected opportunities on the dance floor. Susan, another of the female dancers seemed to approve of this assertion. I wonder if it is only coincidental that the dancer who made this observation went on to imply a strong correlation to the dating world. After all, a date also starts with an invitation, which is either accepted or rejected. I suggested she write a book on that correlation. It Takes Two To Tango has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?