12: Dear Tango

26 Jun


(picture by)

Dear Tango,

I had very high expectations about our relationship.

I thought we were going to be a great fit considering I fancy myself a decent dancer (I mean I danced ballet for 10 years and all) and I love to watch other people move to your steps (I’m riveted by it, actually. It’s so sexy!). For these reasons, I put you on my list for the year. But, like many of my past relationships, you were better for me in theory and the real thing was, well…not so good.

I was jazzed at my first lesson. I came equipped with a good attitude, my winning sense of humor and of course new tango shoes (I’ll take any  reason to buy new shoes!).  The first half of the lesson was a breeze and I thought I did pretty well. I was on my way to calling myself a “natural” born tango dancer.

But, then…it came time to incorporate the steps I learned into an actual dance with my partner and the shit hit the fan. 

It was then I learned that when actually dancing the tango, the woman never knows what step comes next. Instead, she has to wait for the man to lead her and I would just have to feel it. I WOULD JUST HAVE TO FEEL IT? What?! That’s bullshit! There isn’t a routine or something?!

Slowly, this began to eat away at me (and my controlling side) and I found the whole being “led” thing impossible to grasp.

I knew it was over for us then, but in true Kate fashion I decided to torture myself for a bit longer because, well, I hate to be a quitter- again reminding me of many of my past relationships. 

This went on until I simply couldn’t take it anymore- I decided to come clean with myself (and all of you) and admit that I was, indeed, not a fan of the tango. I will admit that I hated saying, it but once I said it, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest and then I kinda wanted to skip around and scream with delight…”I hate the tango!!!” How nice to allow myself the freedom to hate something! I have spent too many years pretending I like certain things, certain people and certain ideas because I don’t want to offend and/or disappoint. Life is too damn short to be filling my day with stuff that isn’t enjoyable, stimulating and worth it to me. So what that I thought I would like it…I don’t. What’s the big deal if I don’t like something?? I like lots and lots of other things!

So thanks tango for teaching me that very valuable lesson before I turn thirty.

And I want you to know that I still like to watch other people dance you.



A trip down memory lane…post 123

“Oh geez, did I pick a fun new tango class to attend (please adjust your sarcasm radar). I’m not really sure what to think about my new situation. I guess it wasn’t a horrible way to spend an hour and a half of one’s life…I mean how often does one get to dance a very sexy, close and personal dance with a very sweaty elderly man named George?

As we all know by now, the tango and I have issues. We don’t mesh as well as I thought we would. It wasn’t that I hated the tango after my first few private lessons but I wouldn’t say I was totally in love with it either. It’s very very very very very very very hard for me to be stop thinking long enough to enjoy being led by the man. I still don’t understand how the woman is supposed to know where to move her feet without a set sequence. I was told by my last instructor that closing my eyes might help me feel the movements more. I tried it and all it helped me with was tripping over my feet at a greater rate. I almost thought about scrapping the tango completely for the year. Maggi even pointed out that the process of reaching the goals on 365 til 30 wasn’t meant to torture myself. I knew she was right but I also felt sad every time I thought about giving up on the tango completely. We did share a few good moments. Listen to me, I sound like i’m talking about a broken love affair. To be totally honest, I still think we are headed for a break up but I am not ready to hang up my tango shoes just yet.

That said, I felt I needed a new plan of action for the tango. So first, I decided I had to switch to a class closer to home so it would be easier for me to feel motivated to go (kinda like getting oneself to the gym). I also thought I should find a group class instead of privates- my logic being more people equals more energy!

Cut to Monday night. I arrived to my class 20 minutes early. I am early everywhere I go and I do realize that I will have wasted half my life being early. When I arrived to class there was a woman dressed in black shiny jazz pants, a blue mesh top and crazy make-up, dancing by herself in the center of the room. She looked at me with crazy eyes and asked me if I was there for the tango class. I almost said no. I almost said no, turned around, walked out of the room and back home to safety. But I had come this far so I meekly said yes and introduced myself. Enter Claudia…one of my fellow classmates who (note to self) obviously gets there early to warm up.

After making small talk with Claudia about the world of tango, I excused myself, sat in the corner and quietly put my tango shoes on as the other students trickled in. After meeting Claudia, I thought the worst was over but then I met the men. There’s George, an elderly man who has always loved the tango (which he made a point to tell me many times very loudly in my ear), has a perspiration problem and liked to step on my toes. I was lucky enough to dance with him a bunch!! The two other men were closer to my age but very strange. I would actually choose to dance with George over the other men any day because at least he enthusiastic about the tango. One was there with his fiance practicing for their wedding- she seemed very lovely but he was an odd duck. I wouldn’t say he seemed totally comfortable dancing with other women. He couldn’t look me in the eyes even when I addressed him directly. The other guy, well, I didn’t get much from him but I can safely say he had a few drinks before class and from what I could smell I would say they were vodka’s.

I definitely had a few good laughs during the class, mostly by myself at inappropriate times. It was a totally different experience dancing with fellow students. If I had trouble following my partners lead before when I was dancing with an experienced tango dancer then I am most definitely screwed now. I was spoiled…very spoiled. This should be an interesting five weeks.


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12 Responses to “12: Dear Tango”

  1. Cassy June 26, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Oh no! I would probably hate the tango too… but at least it was a good lesson! =D and hey, who can blame you for being independent and not wanting to wait to feel the next move…

  2. Rebecca Koo June 26, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    I so love this. Was waiting for your letter to the tango, actually. I ADORE your humor and also had CHILLS with this paragraph…”I have spent too many years pretending I like certain things, certain people and certain ideas because I don’t want to offend and/or disappoint.” I so thoroughly enjoy your writing, thank you!!!!

    • katemcclafferty June 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Thank you so much Rebecca!! I’m glad you enjoyed it!!! 🙂

  3. Christina Zambon June 26, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Maybe that’s an important thing to learn before turning 30, no? I love this lesson — saying no to the things you don’t enjoy in life! So this item had an important function on the list after all. 🙂

  4. jmsabbagh June 26, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    Great post ,thank you for sharing.JM

  5. free penny press June 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Sorry, I had to laugh..we have the visions of things and “BAM” in reality it’s the opposite end of the spectrum.. At least you gave it a try which is more than many will do and yes, it’s okay to not like things.
    Now about those new shoes, perhaps a private dance for Le Man on ze kitchen floor, yes?

    • katemcclafferty June 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Isn’t that the truth!! Sometimes the reality looks very different then the vision we had!!
      Regarding the shoes…I think you may be on to something:)

  6. eatwithfatjoe July 2, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    Shake…..shake….shake…..shake your booty!!

  7. i mayfly July 13, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    For me it wasn’t the Tango, but water skiing. My husband is (was) an accomplished and very enthusiastic water skier. He taught me to ski and I took my lumps for years, until I came to the conclusion that the tension headaches and anxiety attacks over being bitten by a water moccasin just weren’t worth it. (Irrational; I know. But sometimes the imagination doesn’t listen to logic AND I had seen more than one moccasin crossing that lake!)
    Wish I had been blogging back then. The satire could probably have dissipated the guilt of quitting…and possibly hastened my growing a backbone? 😉

    Hope the relationship (between you & Tango) proves to be mutually beneficial. -Nikki


  1. 365 til 33 | - July 30, 2014

    […] each year. The first year,  365 til 30 my goals included driving across the USA, learning French, learning how to tango, going camping, spending a week at Tassajara, Learning how to cook, volunteering, getting a French […]

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