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The learning curve
Comfort zones and challenges, plateau and fall. Your journey is yours but you're not alone.
The following is an extract from a letter written by the late Ricardo Vidort, famous for not only his million dollar smile, but his tango. Ricardo wrote this letter to Brian Fletcher who kindly allowed me to publish it here. Thanks Brian.
“To explain what is a milonguero, is really very difficult,
because the feeling of this beautiful emotion is something new
to each person. It is almost impossible to put it in
words. But I shall try to do it, and I hope without
offending or hurting anybody’s feelings.
To be a milonguero, first of all you have your own style of
dancing. It means that you have a unique feeling for the
music, rhythm, cadence and embrace. When you have all
this, the music invades your body and mind and then, only then,
the chemistry begins that really makes you transmit to your
partner as if both were talking, whispering, sliding on the
floor with sacadas, corridas, turns, dancing only one for the
other, not for the people. In that moment, when both are
listening to the magic of the music, the skin of one in the skin
of the other, the smell, the touch produces the miracle of
something like a mantra, and the ying and the yang is there!!!
We are dancing tango!!!
The priorities of a milonguero are the feeling and the woman.
The codes are like the commandments which were born with the
tango, and the music is defined in three parts. The first
is a question, the second is a pause or prologue, the third part
holds an answer. All this is in our feeling and this is
why we always improvise, having the pleasure of being ourselves,
in our own style with the rhythm and the cadence.
Today people teach in methodic ways, but the tango, the real
Tango Salon, does not have method, because it is a feeling.
Technique and choreography are only for performance, this is
tango which has been learned for hours for show business; there
are hundreds of couples doing the same thing, and only a few of
them, let us say ten or fifteen are really very good because
they are different and that is another thing.
Every tango dancer of the streets, those who practised in the
squares or parks, with other men, developed technique naturally,
without knowing it. His steps and feeling were a
My advice is – walk, walk with your toe first and always in the
music, walk and practise to be yourself and not a copy of
Ricardo Vidort, July 2004
Here’s the man himself, thanks to Oscar & Mary Ann Casas for the tribute film.
“I didn’t do anything, I just walked, why don’t you try it.”
Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you’re perfectly free.
Jalal ad-Din Rumi (13th century)