When Tango Chooses You

When Tango chooses you there is nothing else.

Tango can seize you anytime. You can be from any part of the world, but typically you are cerebral, introverted, and intellectual. Often your profession is in the STEM fields or a PhD student with a need for escapism.

Your first year in Tango is glorious. Finally you feel like you have found your place. You’ve always been a loner, the odd man out, accused of thinking too much, being too deep, and never being able to ‘lighten up.’ But now you’ve found people just like you. People that don’t want flashy nightclubs and highly stimulated environments. People that enjoy good wine and good food, listen to classical music or jazz while driving, and have in-depth hobbies and low sensory surroundings. You go every day or almost. You attend lessons and practicas, and then take specialty technique workshops from traveling instructors, and then finally, when you are ready, you attend the milongas, the social event where established dancers go to dance.

But you are socially stunted. Because you’ve always lived inside your head, the extensive practice of being in a close embrace with the opposite sex releases primal instincts far outside of the control of your frontal lobe. Your heart races, you obsess about the dancer that activated all of those anxious and delayed desires you are used to channeling into learning, or studying, or achieving. You feel animalistic. You feel crazed. You are unclear how to navigate this. You apply your studious discipline to the science of sexual attraction. But there seems to be something more than animal instincts in Tango. There is a transcendence of union in which all thought and time melts away and euphoria enters.

And when THAT happens, all you want to do is recreate it. But you can’t because Tango is a transient dance. No two dancers are the same, no two dances are the same, because you can never recreate the now. And, therefore, you can never recreate the euphoria; you just hope to obtain it over and over again. And that is why you keep returning and let all other aspects of your life melt away. Because you want to experience that thing, that unexplainable thing that drives you to return to the dance floor, you reprioritize all other aspects of life in search of that thing.

When Tango chooses you it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from—there is only life before Tango and then after. And the after makes you unrecognizable to who you were before.

When Tango chooses you, you define yourself by Tango. And this is your world.

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