Dancing with a maestro

IMGP6772 In La Ideal on my first night in Buenos Aires I watched the maestros dance. I was inspired beyond my imagination and my tango journey took a fresh turn. On Tuesday night at Porteño y Bailarin I sat on the table next to a couple I recognised from that first night, Osvaldo y Coca. Osvaldo y Coca are past  ‘Campeones Mundiales de Tango Salon’ (world champions to you and me) and are held dear in the hearts of the BA tango community. And now I understand some of the reasons why.

Firstly I have seen them dance. As they walked on to the pista at Porteño y Bailarin a porteño approached our table and in animated castellano whispered, ‘Watch. Watch. This couple are incredible. They don’t touch the floor. They glide. They are amazing. Watch how beautiful they are.’ I watched.

Secondly I have been hugged by them. After they danced, I waited a while for the buzz around their table to die down. Then I approached and in my broken castellano tried to convey my feelings, ‘Señor y Señora. Soy inglesa. I want to say that is is an honor and a great inspiration to watch you dance.’ As I reached the end of my attempt, Coca broke into a huge smile and reached for me. ‘Oh cariña…’ and she hugged me warmly. She seemed amazed that I had only been learning the language for three months. She fumbled in her bag and on the back of a photograph of herself and Osvaldo wrote, ‘Para Sally, con todo carino de Coca y Osvaldo, Campeones Mundiales de Tango Salon.’ Osvaldo then drew a love heart struck through with an arrow, marked above with a ‘C’ and below with an ‘O’. I felt tears well up at the love shining from this delightful couple. As Gabriella and I posed for photos with them, joined by their friend and famous milonga bailarin, El Flaco ‘Dany’, I had one of those ‘is this really me?’ moments. But yet again – yes it is.

Finally, I have danced a tango with Osvaldo. Later in the night he came to me as I sat chatting with my friends in the back room. He asked Carlos for permission (common practice when I am at a Milonga with a man) and led me to the dance floor. I prayed hard that I would not disgrace myself. His embrace was slightly open, a few centimetres. I had to be totally on my axis at all times. His steps were smooth beyond words and often tiny. I focused completely to follow every one. It was a dream come true for me to be invited to tango with a man such as this. I did not stumble or trip. I danced with my heart and I will never forget these three minutes as long as I live.

Nights such as these are golden moments in my tango journey, and in my life adventure. I learn that to gain them I have to give something. I have to walk tall, be unafraid to approach strangers, be brave in speaking a foreign language, take a risk that I will be rejected. I try to give with grace and warmth. I receive with dignity and joy. I am rarely disappointed. I have videos and photos to remind myself of my happiness and to share it with you. Enjoy.

See pictures of my night at Porteño y Bailarin

Watch a video of Coca y Osvaldo dancing in Buenos Aires


2 Responses

  1. Hi Sally,
    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading hearing about your experiences and seeing all your videos and pictures. I recently started tango myself, and immediately fell in love with it too, so much so that I will shortly be coming to BA for the Winter to dance. I would love to correspond with you: may I ask you to email me?
    Thanks so much!

  2. WOWSA! You certainly have been touched, Grrrrl! Tango royalty indeed! Simply IMPRESSIVE!

    Your last paragraph is such beautiful poetry to read, Sally. 🙂

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