Joe and Jenna's Sunday tango class started up again on Sunday after a month hiatus. There were only four in attendance, all guys, so Joe decided to do a class on lead technique.
It was like some kind of crazy tango-yoga. Toga. Or maybe tango-chi. We spent most of the class walking back and forth along the room, thinking about where we were putting our weight, paying attention to the torsion in our bodies, building and releasing tension with each step. It was like we had never walked before, and we built up the motion for walking from scratch, muscle by muscle. For a long time we did it without rhythm, with Bach guitar music playing softly in the background. Then we put on tango music and started slowly building up speed and enthusiasm.
At some point I experienced one of my favorite emotions, something I've never managed to give a proper name to. Happiness is a part of it, but that's not quite the right word--not strong enough. Bliss is too passive. Inspiration? Not quite. It's a kind of sudden, oxygenated fire that starts in my torso, bubbles up through my lungs, fills my arms and legs with dance and my brain with music. To my eyes, it brings these cathartic kind of tears, fueled by the bittersweet knowledge that I will only have maybe a thousand of these kinds of moments in all my life, if I'm lucky. I remember feeling it the first time I heard Loreena McKennitt
, and the first time I led a sacred harp song. I experienced it about two dozen times in Mexico.
Buoyed by this feeling, my steps, which were previously awkward and tentative, became confident. For a fleeting moment I felt like I had danced tango all my life, like there was nothing more natural and easy in the world than this strange motion we call tango walking. I found myself wondering whether, if I could somehow ditch my cerebral nature and live my life with pure passion, I might be able to experience this kind of joy several times a day. But I'll probably always be cerebral.
Alex Krebs has a Tuesday evening class starting up on the 12th. Four weeks, and it fits my schedule perfectly. I think I'm going to take it.
In other news, apparently Kristi H. thinks I have my priorities in order. For some reason I'm really touched by that.