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Do you have the courage to live a passionate life?

posted Aug 20, 2017, 6:30 AM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Aug 20, 2017, 6:30 AM ]

Sharing this great post by Marlena Rich. Read here: ' Step Into the Mystery of Argentine Tango'

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It takes a while to recover from a tanda like that

posted Jun 26, 2017, 10:53 PM by Sophia de Lautour

The inspiration

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Painting of El Beso - by Michael Fisher

'In the tiny fish-bowl world of El Beso, the smallest gestures can assume enormous importance. Contacts between men and women are largely reduced to, on the one hand, the subtlest of silent mimes, the cross-room eye contact, the looks and half smiles and nods as decorous and yet as fraught with meaning as the gestures of characters in a Henry James novel, hinting at passion and betrayal in the way they pass a teacup, in a seemingly innocent remark about the weather, in the way they notice a tiny crack in a bowl on a mantelpiece. The conspiratorial raised eyebrow that says "I'll be yours for this Laurenz tanda, if you'll be mine."

And then there are the strange, diametrically opposite interactions that happen between us on the dance floor. We intersperse snatches of often very trivial small talk between songs with holding each other in our arms like lovers and moving, intimately physically connected, together to the accompaniment of often passionate and romantic, intensely beautiful and moving music. There is a huge and sometimes awkward gulf between what we say to each other and how we communicate on a physical level. I often wish we didn't talk between songs, but I do it because it is expected, a convention which is so firmly established that breaking it feels like a strong statement.

And, in that tiny microcosm of a world where every gesture is magnified, sometimes magic really seems to happen. Sometimes, you don't say a word between songs because you don't want to break the spell. Sometimes, your bodies seem to fit together perfectly, conjoined twins floating in embryonic fluid, long-term lovers well past the first fervour of passion suddenly rediscovering each other and feeling your bodies infused with a long, deep history, a profound carnal knowledge. Sometimes, you are aware of the whole of the other person from their head nestled next to yours to their weight being released through to the floor at each step and the music feels physical, it's not coming through the speakers, the source is not Lucía up in her eyrie, our deus ex machina of music, nor is it Laurenz's fat phalanges dancing over the buttons, confidently familiar with each one by feel, by the way his own playing has worn them down over the years, like a beloved lipstick reapplied many times that has been moulded into the shape of a pellet that perfectly fits a pouting mouth. Our twin sets of lungs like double reeds. Our bodies twisting and rolling against each other, connected from head to lower belly. With no more need than Laurenz had to think about positions and movements and where to place ourselves, thinking only about the music, flesh made music and music made flesh in the miraculous transubstantiations of our dance.

It can take a while to recover from a tanda like that.'

posted 27 January 2015

It takes three (or four) to tango

posted Jun 26, 2017, 7:42 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Aug 21, 2017, 4:56 PM ]

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In the old cliche
'It takes two to tango" the role of the music is ignored. The music is the ultimate leader in tango.  If therefore takes three to dance tango - or four if we consider social tango dancing and the impact of others on the floor. 

To illustrate this relationship I like to use the analogy of the earth (leader) and moon (follower) revolving around the sun (music) and the space between (others dancers)

The earth and moon both orbit around the sun. 
Guided by the music the leader and follower create their movement. The music enlightens and enlivens their movement. Inspired by the energy of the music the dancers respond with their unique physical expression, but always within the parameters of the music's rhythm, melody and mood.

The earth and moon are affected by each's gravitational pull
The leader's and follower's movement is dependent on and influenced by each other:

"If the Earth and Moon did not exert a force on each other they could each move independently of the other, but because they do exert a force on each other, their velocities are changed according to the magnitude and direction of each force and their respective masses. Since each is pulled toward the other, the Earth is pulled toward the Moon and therefore a little away from the path it would otherwise follow around the Sun in the absence of the Moon, and the Moon is pulled toward the Earth and therefore a little away from the independent path it would otherwise follow around the Sun in the absence of the Earth. If one or the other did not exist, the remaining object would orbit the Sun in an orbit nearly identical to the path the pair currently follows around the Sun, but since both exist they each follow a path that is roughly the same as their imaginary independent paths, but not quite the same paths as a result of their interaction with each other." 1

In tango a leader / follower simultaneously receives two 'pulls' - the pull of the music and that of their partner. 'Pull' here refers to a force that can suggest, open up or close off movement possibilities. The partner's pull is based on their position in space, velocity and direction.

A tango dancer needs to be able to stay simultaneously connected to the the music and ones partner.  S/he must find a way to synthesise both influences. From this synthesis comes the dancer's unique self expression.  Failure to do so will lead to loss of connection (orbit) with either the music or partner. The dance will be incomplete.

As suggested earlier, in social tango dancer there is a fourth element - the other dancers on the floor - the 'space between'.  It's a very dynamic space, the presence of which can greatly impact on the dance, depending  on how many 'others' there are!  A dancer's moves will be constrained by other dancers. When there is no room to move forward the leader may suggest the circular, spatially economic move of a giro. The follower, aware of space limits, will keep her footwork as small as compact as possible avoiding any temptation for kicks and flicks! When space opens up on a crowded floor the leader may be irresistibly drawn to take a spatially indulgent 'caminata'2.  

Not wanting to get too Newtownian, this post does not intend to reduce tango to classical mechanics. Tango is so much more than objects moving in space reacting to other objects. Tango is essentially the art of connection and an act of communion. That said, to be able to dance tango soulfully and pleasurably a practical understanding of the mechanics of tango is an essential prerequisite. 

In tango there is a complex alchemical interplay between leader and follower connecting and communing with the music and the other. From this alchemy the dynamism and magic of tango is forged!

1 C Seligman online astronomy course
2 'caminata': tango walk

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Why tango is growing in popularity worldwide...

posted Jun 20, 2017, 3:24 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Aug 10, 2017, 3:15 PM ]

Sharing this article which caught my eye today.  Have highlighted some of my favourite quotes from the article.

If this post tempts you to try out tango - go to SoTango's  free introductory tango lessons in North Sydney on Sep 4 and Bondi on September 6.

Why is Argentine tango so popular?
By James Kong March 26, 2012 02:21 BST

Tango is like playing chess, having a work-out, being on a date, travelling through space and time, discovering a foreign culture, going to a concert, and exploring one's creativity... all at the same time. Does it sound complicated?

Some may be surprised to read however, that it is much less complicated in the inside than it looks like on the outside - to summarise how it feels in just a few words, it is best described as having a warm conversation with very close friends. The biggest misconception in tango is that the man 'decides' and the lady 'executes' - in fact, the man's role is to make the lady shine on the dance floor, so all his attention is put towards this goal. It is therefore a truly selfless act.

Tango being a partners' dance, it involves a leader (usually the man), and a follower (usually the lady). So, what does dancing tango mean for each of them?

From the man leading...
The leader's main responsibility is to listen to the music and plan steps according to the emotions the music stirs in him. As tango maestros put it: "Music goes in my ears, is filtered through my heart, and comes out through my feet". It is said that when talking, unspoken body signs are at least as important as what is actually being said. In tango, communication goes 100% through one's body. The leader will therefore engage into a warm 'conversation' (using figures) with his partner. The impression he is also playing chess comes from the fact his environment is constantly changing: other couples are moving, music is accelerating, his partner did not understand his latest step, and so on. So, he needs to constantly adapt.
This is why gentlemen in management positions (or wanting to develop their management skills) love tango so much: it is the ultimate test for them. Being decisive, innovative, clear, and all this while being gentle and inspirational. Sounds familiar?

To the lady following...
Her role is far from being easier than his: she needs to listen carefully and understand the steps planned by the leader. For this to happen, she needs to be quick to respond, fully concentrated, and to trust her leader completely - or 'surrender' as some put it. She also needs to be 'light' (without trying to second guess what the leader is up to). But that is not all: if she barely executes the steps without interpreting them, it will soon become a bit dull. Thus, she needs to put all her heart and creativity, bring her own personality to the table and fuel the conversation, inspire her partner and contribute to the dialogue. So that, if a step is lead twice, the outcome never looks the same. As tango maestros put it, "The woman is not just a follower, she is to whom the tango is dedicated".

How does she do that? Adornments ("adornos" in Spanish - these little movements used to embellish the lady's dance) are amongst the most important part of the follower's arsenal to express herself. They need to be precise, quick, in tune with the music and the lead, without getting in the way of what the leader has planned.

As Nathalie, the founder of Tanguito, an Argentine tango school in Angel argues, they need to say something: "When drawing a lapiz (circle on the floor), mean it. When rubbing your foot against the leader's leg, mean it. There's nothing worse than half baked adornos, thrown in hastily just for the sake of it". A good follower is therefore someone who inspires the tango dialogue, with style, personality and technique.

... truly dancing together
While both roles appear very different, they share one thing in common: respect. Respect of oneself, of one's partner and of the dance floor. That means to forgive these parts of the tango 'conversation' that don't feel right, and show consideration to the other couples dancing around. That also includes showing respect to the music: in other words, to resist the temptation of throwing in impressive moves regardless of the tune. When all these ingredients are put together, it creates an exhilarating feeling of freedom and togetherness.

Because Argentine tango is so rewarding, it now attracts a new crowd to the dance. Young urban professionals are increasingly drawn to tango, and are often surprised to discover that tango helps them bring out the best of themselves - because tango relentlessly questions and challenges. In her group tango classes in London, Nathalie encourages both men and women to try leading and following. It's not surprising that this is how tango has always been transmitted, as you can never better understand your partner than when you've experienced things from their perspective.

Click here for the original post.

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Reproducing this article in its entirety, as links tend to get lost in cyberspace over time.  

8 Tango Myths Busted!

posted Feb 16, 2017, 5:07 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Sep 21, 2017, 12:09 AM ]

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Tango newbies, are faulty assumptions stopping you from taking your first tango lesson?

From my experience of teaching tango for over 17 years - these are the most common myths people have about tango...

1. It's full of complicated choreographies.
2. It's a ‘macho’ dance, with men leading and women following submissively.
3. It's a dance you have to start young (with all its kicks and flicks)
4. It's a very serious and melancholic dance.
5. It's “just a dance”.
6. It's a sensual, erotic dance (with shades of S & M)
7. It's that dance where the woman wears fishnets and a red dress (with optional red rose between the teeth) and the man a black suit. 
8. It requires a partner to learn how to dance.

Absolutely none of the above are true!

These and other 'alternative facts' about tango are debunked in the following article by the London based-tango school Tango Space10 Tango Myths Busted -   Click on the link for the article.

Thank you Tango Space for your work in revealing the true tango - the tango that aficionados all over the world are so passionate about! 

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The reason you don't take your first tango lesson

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The reason you don't take your first tango lesson...

posted Feb 6, 2017, 3:00 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Sep 21, 2017, 12:43 AM ]

...or don't practice your tango between's not lack of motivation.

In this TED talk (one of the 20 most popular TED talks ever!) Mel Robbins, a former criminal defence attorney turned on-air commentator exposes the myth of motivation.

Mel also explains how to make the micro-decisions that will help you to step out of your comfort zone - the pre-requisite action to any worthwhile goal.

Mel abides by the '5 Second Rule' (not the one about food dropped on the floor!).
You can read more about that approach here.

"So here's the one-liner definition of the 5 second rule: If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea."

So when you hesitate to take that first tango class, do your tango drills, dance at your first Practica or Milonga, or perform tango in public...

Don't hesitate!
Take action within 5 seconds.
Be aware that your mind, if given time, will always find ways to stop you from taking action; bringing up a tonne of reasons why you shouldn't act (such as the classic one for Sydney-siders - bad weather!).

Just take action! 
Do something towards your desired goal - book that class, put on your dance shoes, or whatever else you need to do to get started!
Go do it!

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About 'levels' in tango...

posted Feb 3, 2017, 3:36 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Feb 3, 2017, 3:45 PM ]

Sharing this post by Chicho Frumboli (a tango pioneer and one of the most inspirational tango dancers in the world) translated by Julia Shiptsova (December 28, 2016)

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A message from Chicho Frumboli. Always fascinating reading that makes me think! I've tried my best translating, please forgive the imperfections! 

“There is nothing worse in tango than believing that we dance well and have a “level”. A boleo, a sacada, a gancho, a colgada executed more or less in the rhythm, and we already feel that we are “experts”, “critics”, “professionals”…. Tango has “this” that for my generation is something new. 

My generation worked every day to understand, grow, and improve, because the information wasn’t as clear as it is for today’s generations. To investigate, discover, get together with friends to practice what we have studied and learned in a class…. it all seems as if it were from another age…..

It’s not easy to keep “motivation” in any part of life. Routine is a pattern to follow “comfortably” for some. For others routine can be crushing and destructive in terms of learning or creativity. 

Some leaders and followers say it’s hard to find a partner to take classes with or to dance in milongas, someone “who would be at my level” as they describe it, but have they ever questioned if they themselves have that “level”?? 

I say this because of the competition that exists today. When learning tango, we have to think in being open and available just as much as in listening to our own bodies and in controlling certain moves that we maybe never thought we could get, in learning about the dynamics, the musicality, the syncopation, the dialog. 

The technique is the same for men and women, the only difference is that one leads and the other follows. However, I see that often men focus on the movement, without thinking what they express with it, a lot of times those movements have no content and appear more like a monologue that doesn’t include their partner. Hiding behind the movement impairs our ability to commit to the emotions or to another human being in that moment. 

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And women want to be led that boleo that they have perfected and also to be able to connect…. But what if the Wi-Fi isn’t working well? What if this time the Bluetooth is failing us? What do we do??? Abandon it all???

After working for Tango for over 20 years, investigating and creating ever since discovering it, I can tell that my technique is based on “giving and receiving”, listening and responding, on having a dialogue… those who are familiar with it know that it’s what it is. 

There are not many generous people in tango. 

What does the “LEVEL” mean? Maybe it’s something that allows us to be a part? To belong to a select group of people who woke up one day and decided that they can convert into critics and look down at others from a different height?? 

Or is it someone who is aware that there is always something to learn and is available to share? 

“Outfits” don’t make one a tanguerO, a “high boleo” doesn’t make one a tanguerA.

What does make us tangueros is the sentiments that we dance and listen to, it’s not only the connection, but also the sentiments for the music, for the shared movement, for the enjoyment of a tanda, with whomever, without thinking of their LEVEL. 

Learning is a divine state, a beautiful process of exploring. Let’s do it for the tango as the tango has been doing a lot for us. Let’s study it, understand it, take care of it, instead of destroying it with our human banalities.

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Let’s caress, embrace, let’s dance with love. The more we give… the more we will receive…
The trends, the critics, the experts - none of it exists in Tango. Let’s not contaminate it.
I’m waiting for you in the class to enjoy, to have a good time together, and to share with both, MEN and WOMEN, those who would like to keep growing, who feel that Tango keeps “motivating” them, those who would like to be a part and belong to its world, without the limitations. Abrazo!”

Mariano “Chicho” Frumboli"

Here's one of my all-time favourite displays by Chicho and his partner Juana...

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What tango habits would you like to develop in 2016?

posted Jan 11, 2016, 10:48 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Jan 11, 2016, 10:48 PM ]

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Recently read this excellent blog post by the 'author, thinker and life enthusiast' Mark Manson (is he perhaps related to Marilyn I wonder?) So agree with Manson that goals are over-rated. What's more important to personal success is the development of good habits. 

My purpose of writing this short post is both to etch this message into my own mindset, and to share it more widely because I think it's a wonderful message for the start of 2016 when so many of us are making our 'New Year's resolutions'. 

While on a catamaran in the middle of Sydney's glorious harbour a friend asked our intimate group of merry makers what our resolutions were. The boat's skipper replied (I thought very wisely at the time) that he did not make resolutions on the eve of a new year. He preferred to formulate them slowly over the course of January. 

I'm following the wise skipper's advice and that of Mark Manson - I'm deciding on what good habits I might like to acquire  this year. 

That begs the question as to what good habits I might like to acquire in terms of my tango development? As anyone who dances knows, the tango journey of improvement never stops, and that's what we love about it!  I am still working on my tango habits resolutions... January is not over yet my friends!

You can read Manson's post here. It's highly recommended it if you're in to improving your life in 2016 and onwards.

My current favourite description of tango

posted Dec 26, 2015, 5:10 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Jun 12, 2017, 7:57 PM ]

"Tango is the poetic revealing of the soul 
through movement" 

Found this beautiful quote in a recent post by the charismatic  and inspiring UK based tango teacher, organiser and DJ Steve Morrall. 

His post (shown below) provides some great suggestions on how to dance tango well:

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My experience of attending a nude milonga

posted Dec 15, 2015, 6:01 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated May 4, 2017, 8:53 PM ]

Well no, it's not my own experience, I'm rather sharing  an article written by a Finnish tango aficionado about his experience of attending a nude milonga in Heidleberg, Germany. 

Was intrigued by this radical idea! Tango is already a pretty intimate thing to do with a non-romantic partner. Tangoing nude at a milonga, well that's really pushing the boundaries!

Have broken publishing convention by taking the liberty of removing a few typos in the original article.  I offer my thoughts at the end.

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source: Kristian Salikoski

Post by Kristian Salikoski‎ 
9 December 2015 

"In my last post I promised to share my experiences of a nude milonga so here I go. If you find the combination of tango and nudity a clear no go you might be disgusted so you should stop here.

I remember seeing a few years ago a flyer of a tango club "Tango Vicioso" that had a couple wearing almost nothing in a tango embrace. My first reaction was a laugh and I thought that something like this could only happen in Germany, the country of swinger clubs and nudist culture. Since then I have grown and understand among other things that swinger clubs and nudism are completely different aspects of human behavior.

In Berlin tango is taken into the some of the city´s famous sex clubs and as I am a curious person I wanted to see what really happens inside. In this article I won´t go into what I found but only that I found much less nudity that I expected. I started to wonder why and then out of the blue my friend invited me to a milonga called "The Naked Truth". The name caught my eye and I wanted to know more. I found out that the organizer wanted to create a pure nudist milonga free from sexistic clothing and apparels. Yes, not even shoes would be allowed. I was fascinated even though I felt a strong inner resistance towards exposing myself completely naked on a milonga setting. Embracing somebody naked was something that so far for me was only linked with romantic relationships. Questions started to run on my mind. Could I keep my focus on dancing with all the naked bodies around me? What if I get turned on, would that be embarrassing? What if I bumb into friends? And do a really even want to see tango being danced naked, aren´t people more beautiful with clothes on? It took me a few days to make my desicion. I would join.

`The Naked Truth´ does not happen in Berlin but in Heidelberg south Germany. The friend who invited me there asked a local dancer to host me during my stay. Once in Heidelberg I was warmly welcomed by a lovely woman. Soon I found out that my host had written an article on german tango magazine about her experiences on the previous edition of the milonga. She had first been even angry that somebody dares to organize a naked milonga in their beloved tango club. She was also worried about the possible erections and presented also an interesting question, does it tell something about the woman if a man does not have erection while dancing naked?
Before leaving the house for the milonga we waited for the other guest to arrive and talked around nakedness and tango.

Once at the club we were greeted on the door by two young woman completely dressed. Further in the entrance hall I could see people undressing. I found out that there would not be a separate dressing rooms for men and women. But you do not really need a dressing room to undress, do you. I felt my heart beating more strongly and I noticed myself breathing shallowly while watching the others undress and hearing the tango music coming from the dancefloor that was not visible from the entrance hall. This is it, there is no turning back. The cool air of the entrance hall forced the undressing to be quick and soon I followed a naked couple into the dance hall. In front of my eyes were women and men, from all ages, of different body shapes and all completely naked. Some sitting, others standing and a few couples dancing on the dance floor. This was something totally new for me. My eyes were catching different body parts and my inner chatter telling me all sorts of stories. I could not spot my friend who invided me to the milonga who would have made my ”landing” easier. By now I really needed a drink and headed towards the bar. Behind the bar desk I was greeted by two young woman both naked as you might have expected. After I had my cold beer at hand I sat down for a moment of reflection and to calm down my nerves. Should I aproach somebody and try to start a conversation or should I just invite somebody for a dance. Being a Dj it would feel natural to start talking with a colleague - whom I saw working behind the Dj booth wearing nothing but earphones. I had hardly time to start with my beer when I saw a woman looking at my direction. An eye contact and a smile made me realize that I was only a nod of the head far from actually dancing naked with somebody – for the first time of my life. After a few seconds we met on the dance floor and without a word we embraced each other. She was a little bit shorter than me and was really beautiful. She wanted to dance in a closed embrace and I felt her pressing against my body. The first tanda of the night is almost always exciting, as both the body and mind need time to let go of tensions. Now I faced to dance the first tanda naked in a room with complete strangers. On one of the walls there was a huge mirror kindly reminding myself of my own nakedness. At first I felt that I could somehow hide by closing my eyes for moments and diving deep into the embrace but on the other hand this made me even more open and vulnerable. There was literally no place to hide, hence the name of the milonga ”The Naked Truth”. I did my best to connect to the music and keep my dancing simple and at the same time trying to feel if my partner enjoyed dancing with me. When the first tango ended came the time for the decision whether to keep on embracing her until the next song starts or open up the embrace and face the moment of standing in front of her and trying to find topics for a small talk. After I presented myself it seemed a good moment to ask the legendary question ”do you come here often?” A friendly voice answered that she comes from Turkey and this is her first time in a naked milonga. We danced the remaining of the tanda without exchanging words and afterwards I escorted her back to her table. The closeness of the embrace made it surprisingly easy to keep the focus on dancing. The fact that me and my partner were naked felt natural and intimate but it did not have the sexual energy that I - a bit afraid of - expected. What was I afraid of? Well mostly of that how would I handle it if I get aroused. How would my partner react and what should I then do? Of course it would be natural and understandable but still it would be confusing - at least for me.

After some time my friend arrived and no surprise he was naked. It was the first time I we saw each other without clothes as I had just met him couple of weeks ago. I was really happy that he was here and greeted him with an embrace. He had been here before so he knew what to expect and how he would feel. In Berlin we dance together almost every night changing dancing roles. So here we come to the next thing that I was about to do for the first time of my life. Dance tango naked with a man, and yet more, to surrender naked into a tango embrace with a gay man. My inner voice kept feeding me with questions of him getting turned on or even more confusing what if that happens to me. I could never know. As I really enjoy dancing with him I invited him to dance and off we went to the dance floor. Without exchanging words I offered him my right hand, embraced him with my left and closed my eyes. Again the familiar music and dancing in closed embrace made it feel like the most natural thing to do and suddenly all the confusing questions were pushed aside. During the dance I opened my eyes and saw a man dancing in a open embrace having a huge erection without even a hint of shame on his face. I thought that now I really have to story to make later my children blush if I want. We danced relaxed a couple of tandas switching between roles before returning to the bar. It was pure fun!

The young women behind the bar desk where also dancers and I decided that I wanted to dance with both of them. Luckily they agreed on my cabaceo and I could share a tanda with both of them. The other wanted to dance on closed embrace and dancing with her felt heavenly soft. Again I could keep focus on dancing and keep sexual desires aside. The second one on the other hand to my surprise kept distance and offered me an open embrace. So here I was, facing a beautiful woman naked face to face. Now I really needed all I had to keep cool and could do it until she started to breath loudly. This was too much and I felt that I started to get excited. To make the situation more easy, I did what I could to invite her to close the embrace but felt that I could not verbally ask for this. Should I apologize her and run into the toilet or should I face the confusion and finnish the tanda? I chose the later and tried to enjoy dancing without getting too exited. I did what I could to cool down and it was probably for the first time I imagined being some where else when I danced. Maybe I could have enjoyed the situation more but this time I wasn't yet ready to show my excitement openly and feel as relaxed with it as the other guy who danced with his girlfriend almost the whole night with an erection. After the tanda the girl asked me with a smile if I was alright. Yes, I mumbled and we left the dance floor. Now I really needed another beer and sat down with it to calm my nerves.

The night continued and soon I tried to keep up with the rhythm of a difficult milonga tanda with my host, a woman with a big heart full of hospitality. Both of us had hard time following the music but we had lots of fun. Afterwards I danced a nice and relaxing tanda with the organizer changing roles from tango to tango. It was wonderful to dance with a leader who could keep his dancing simple and full of presence. For the ones who thought about if we would dare to dance a chacarera - well yes - we danced a ”nakarera”. It was rather confusing as I still do not know the structure but hilarious! At midnight the Dj changed and it was time for alternative music. For me this meant finding a warm blanket and going to reflect what I had experienced on a sofa. Few hours later one of the guest with whom I shared the accommdation waked me up. It was time to leave home. In the morning I woke up, got dressed and walked into the kitchen finding a delicious brunch waiting for me. We shared our experiences with cake and coffee. It felt as if dancing together naked had put all roles and taboos aside, the conversations were vivid and honest. After the brunch it was time to embrace and say good bye.

To end this story I want to do a short summary of what I experienced. 

First, I got an lovely insight of the nudist culture and understood how purifying experience being and dancing naked can be. Especially when dancing in a close embrace it felt not so different than being in a spa or sauna. The same familiar of feeling of equality that I love from a sauna reigned the atmosphere.

Secondly, I learned more about my own sexuality and how I can adjust what I want to feel or how deeply I want to go into a specific feeling while dancing. To finnish I want to encourage others do try dancing without clothes and maybe even organize a naked milonga. Who knows, maybe in the next edition of ”Tango Sauna” there could be a possibility for this smile emoticon."

My thoughts:

What stuck out for me was that the writer said that he had to think of something else, to distract himself from arousal, when dancing open embrace with a beautiful woman. I'd say that would take away from the pleasure of the experience, the pleasure of immersing oneself in the music, and connecting with one's partner. 

Further, many of us have body image issues. I imagine the majority of tango dancers would feel uncomfortable dancing in public naked. Clothing is a crutch that helps to protect us from our own self criticism and self consciousness so we can focus on enjoying our dance experience to its fullest.

It'd also be a pity to not wear shoes. Shoes are so much a part of the tango experience, in the way that they facilitate for women pretty ornaments and pivoting. They also help men to pivot. Enrosques without shoes are not an easy feat. Dancing without shoes can be very painful for women who struggle to pivot in bare feet. 

So perhaps then nude tango with the option of shoes? Nude with stilettos could be extremely sexy, kinky ... and dangerous! No clothing protection to one's extremities from flying ganchos... sorry my imagination is going wild!

The look and texture of beautiful clothing adds to the sensual experience of social tango dancing. I love the crisp feel of a man's suit jacket. My partners often comment on the pleasant feel of clothing I wear. I love the flourish of flowing dresses when ocho-ing and giro-ing. 

Clothing also absorbs sweat. Many male dancers bring a change of shirt to milongas for this reason. Sweaty sex may be enjoyable but not sure about sweaty tango!

What about a semi naked milonga? There is a milonga in Stuttgart, Germany (again in Germany!) called Nackter Tango (Naked Tango). From the Nakter Tango website: 

"The dress code is open to your imagination. The motto is derived from the movie of the same name (see movie link below) which an elegantly dressed tanguero and pimp dances a tense and highly erotic tango with a largely naked, beautiful tanguera in the red-light milieu of Buenos Aires in the 1930s. 

So, by no means wear street clothes or standard milonga outfit!

Guide: We intend to create a classy atmosphere. Tangueras should not be all covered up, the more enticing gleaming skin (even nudity!) can be seen in the shimmer of the discreet lights, the more suitable. As regards the tangueros, we suggest elegant evening dress (suit, dinner jacket) as a simple solution. Women love this!
But the evening will also be open for intelligent variations, such as fancy dress, 1920s or 1930s style, uniform or else - anything that goes with red-light ambience."

So it seems that at this 'Naked Milonga' the women are 'strategically naked' and the men not...

These two German milonga each take a very different approach to nudity in Tango. 

'The Naked Truth'  aims to be a 'pure nudist milonga free from sexistic clothing and apparels' - total nudism for men and women. Whilst 'Nackter Tango' requires that  women (not men) dress to titillate in a 'red-light milieu'.

Can you imagine a semi naked or fully naked milonga being part of the Sydney Tango Scene, a listing in the Sydney Tango calendar? And would you attend? 

Perhaps we're not German enough for that (yet)...

 north sydney tango
Source: Nackter Tango

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