I spent the weekend dancing tango in Portland. I love the city of Portland. And I love dancing in that city. The combination is unusually pleasing. Portland is an old and new city. Even as it gentrifies it has an older charm. And it was raining over the weekend. It was a sweet and even rain, bordering on romantic. I felt warm and cherished by its consistency. In my tango world, the city favors the young. And Portland is crazy about tango. It is one of the best cities to dance in within the United States.
When I go away for the weekend to dance tango in other cities, I always meet up with my old friends and often meet new people. It has been interesting to me that most people who dance tango are very bright individuals. Conversation isn’t always about tango, although it dominates the interest scale. I’m fascinated by what people do in the professional world. There are ER doctors, lawyers, ex-state troopers, engineers, dentists, environmental consultants, CFO’s, accountants, astro physicists, musicians, computer scientists, web designers, massage therapists, nurses, and every other profession you can imagine.
There are not many yoga teachers, but dancing tango is a moving meditation and so it fits well with my profession. Tango is about breathing through the music and the movements and staying absolutely present – in the moment full of consciousness. And it’s somewhat addictive emitting adrenalin and serotonin and dopamine into the body’s system often causing exhaustion at the end of the evening.
Dancing tango often overtakes a person’s brain functions as it promotes the repetition of its musical rhythms and familiar dance movements. It is often good to sit back and take breaks because a milonga can last all night – at the minimum four hours.
What did I get myself in to sixteen years ago? I’ve been all over the western world dancing tango, to Buenos Aires about thirteen times, to Denver, and New York, and Santa Fe, and San Diego, San Francisco, Albuquerque, and there are plans for more places to visit and dance. I understand that the dancing and music are my passions and I understand that tango is also part of my social life. And I also realize that I am one fortunate lady who just happened to wander in to a tango show in 1987 and found myself enchanted.
It’s good to have a passion. And, yes, the passion has to be in balance with life. Not easy sometimes, but it’s mentally and emotionally healthy to let all the light into our souls and live as richly as possible.