Archive for the ‘tango communities’ Tag

Let’s Be Careful Out There   Leave a comment

Let’s Be Careful Out There

Mental health is a serious issue that doesn’t get the necessary attention it deserves. Occasionally somebody goes way over the edge and tragedy ensues. Like the absurd killing in her sleep of a tango dancer and Pilates instructor by her disturbed husband who committed suicide, leaving the proverbial question of why it happened, unanswered. A few days earlier the woman had written a foreboding poem on her Facebook page.

A social media site like Facebook,where people are in daily contact with a lot of “friends in name only (FINO)” most of whom have never met, is not the place to be abusive of ex-spouses, or to air dirty linen in public. Unruly children, regardless of biological age, are bound to run into parents everywhere. The world of tango is not excluded. Lack of tact and propriety in venting family or personal feuds in public are good enough reasons sometimes for an adult wanting to intervene.

When one of those FINOs went into a public tirade about her daughter’s “lame-ass father,” I commented on the wisdom of writing in public, “he hung up when she asked him to take her to the doctor for an infection that was giving her shooting pain. She was way upset and she called me at work asking what to do. He doesn’t give a damn and that’s that.

Her reply was very eloquent, “If you or anyone else can’t handle that, then you are the psychological screw up. I tell it like it is. He has time for his Bible studies, to distribute Gideon Bibles in Motels, has time to sit around and blow off his daughter while she’s suffering. And I’m divorced because I have a brain and don’t put up with this kind of crap! You’d better block me because I’m going to litter your inbox with TRUTH! So if you hate TRUTH, then hate me.

People may feel the need to be very sorry for this person. Personally I had no love nor hate available for her. I saw a dangerous person capable of a different kind of harm, as she continued.

BTW, my daughter is 18. She talks about how her dad treats her poorly. Yes, I confirm it so she doesn’t wind up picking up the same kind of man, a selfish, selfish, selfish man who is a major hypocrite. Puts on the airs at church and treats people badly at home. You would be contributing to the psychological screwing by saying I should defend his behavior. Shame on you!!!!!!!! Maybe you like hypocrites? Yes? Put on the airs of holier than thou, eradicating truth? You’d better believe I’m putting it on Facebook. I’m sick of the people who think he’s so holy when he doesn’t give a shit about his own kids. He deserves far worse!

But, but…

You sound like a sorry excuse for a man. I bet your tango dancing sucks…

But, but…

And clearly if you have kids, you must not give a damn about them like my ex doesn’t give a damn about her. Go continue to abuse women… I’ll be sure to warn my tango friends about your abusiveness in case you wind up in their tango community.

And that my friends, is how psychotic and hysterical words that have been repeated so many times in high school bathrooms all over the land, make their way into our sacred adult tango world. And that’s how character assassination begins.

Now, the words of a possible mentally unstable person are not as dangerous as those of the ones who willfully propagate innuendos and harmful gossip because they lack character and moral fortitude. So let’s be careful out there…

The gift of tango   Leave a comment

Summer vocation

By Alberto Paz
October/November 1999

Standing in the living room, we formed a circle and held hands. One by one we introduced ourselves. Some came from Texas, others from Chicago. Then there were the hosts, the family who owned the farm surrounding the home where the ritual was taking place. We were from California, and the words “traveling tango teachers” sounded awkward and somehow out of context with the spirit of the moment. Suddenly, and all at once, they began to sing a harmonious hymn that filled the room with sounds of purity, love and a heartfelt appreciation for the joy of being alive, surrounded by friends and family. Then, we sat down at the dinner table and celebrated Thanksgiving in the heartland of America.

We’ve been traveling quite a lot embracing our chosen vocation of preserving and fostering the development of new and established Argentine tango communities. We bring along our passionate love and dedication for the music, poetry and dance, empowering the force of knowledge to free the minds, to encourage the bodies to accept the closeness of other bodies for engaging in enjoyment of the music and joyful sharing of the dance. Returning to places we have been, where the Argentine tango already has a established presence, we have also discovered new fledgling hamlets. There, the desire to dance the tango is only surpassed by the energy and passion with which the people go out of their way to reach out, grasping as much tango as is humanly possible.

In retrospect, our intuition, our confidence and our faith in people has allowed us to establish a presence for the tango as far north as the city of Anchorage in Alaska, and as deep in the south as the city of New Orleans. Along the way, we met great people in Winnipeg, Canada, and found ourselves a family in the heartland of America. So, when Thanksgiving caught us wandering through the prairie, we never felt away from home. We never paused to question what does a traveling tango teacher do when the moan of the bandoneon and the whine of the violin, are replaced by the call of the turkey on Thanksgiving day .

We found ourselves holding hands with our new friends and their families, saying grace and feeling thankful that our lives are so blessed with the gift of tango. We are thankful for the possibility of sharing that gift with warm, gentle, generous and caring human beings who had morphed from total strangers to affectionate friends in the brief time it takes to embrace and walk a few times around the dance floor.

This is the kind of rewarding experience that reminds us about the quality of life that Argentine tango can bring to those who dare to be close. There is nothing like the shared intimacy of a sound, a scent, a gesture, a look, a smile, a tear. Intense moments that soothe the soul, energize the heart and make us feel alive, vibrant, inspired, and above all thankful. We have connected, we have made an everlasting impression, and there is a part of us that forever will be special. Step by step we keep navigating the dance floor of life. As we go around, there is always something or somebody who reminds us how important it is to be at peace with ourselves, to give each other the gift of tango, to hold hands, to embrace, to love the music, to absorb the culture, to teach by learning and to learn by teaching.