How to dance Tango, a story only mine and my wife

How to dance Tango – how I have been successful to convince my wife to dance again with me, after ONLY 29 years from the first time I invited her out to dance on a Saturday night.
Dancing Tango with my wife at Georgetown Mall in Washington DC
Dancing the Tango with my wife at Georgetown Mall in Washington DC

How did I get to dance the tango?
You could call it the story of How to dance Tango.

I started dancing the Tango in 1997 when I was 50 years old.

Then I founded and managed the mailing list “Tangoitalia”, for tango dancers in Italy. I later donated it to the association FAI tango.

It was the infancy of the Internet.

Mark Zuckerberg was 13 years old; of course, he was not thinking yet on how to create Facebook.

I founded the websites tango-dancers.com on books and other tango media, tangoitalia.com, to inform who is interested in where to dance the Tango in Italy and the world, italian-visits.com for who travels in Italy, cooking-italian.com, and italian-salami.com on Italian food and salami. 

I also publish books on tango and tourist guides that I sell through the site books-on-italy.com.

Italiano

But the video is the story on what took me to convince my wife to dance again with me after only 29 years from our first dancing date.

Before Gabriela was able to teach me the basics of the tango, I had some lessons in Buenos Aires.

I was working in Latin America, and Argentina was one of the countries where I had business activities.
I asked my Argentinean colleagues to find me a teacher to give me some tango lessons.
They did not dance the tango themselves but found out that the best teacher for a beginner like me was Osvaldo Cohelo, el Professor de tango.
He had a group class in a beautiful museum on the outskirt of Buenos Aires.
At first, he did not want to accept me in his class: “no extranjeros solo argentinos,” only Argentines were allowed to be in his class. 
He finally accepted me when my colleagues told him that, even if I was living in the USA, I was an Italian, and not a Yankee.
My colleagues arranged for my transportation, “don’t take a taxicab; they will rip you off.” They arranged reliable transport with a safe driver.
The taxi driver gave me the most precious advice I received: “Recuerda que el tango se baila con el corazón y la cabeza, pero el corazón vien primero” – “remember that you dance the tango with the heart and the head, but the heart comes first.”
For the first half-hour of the lesson, I had to do back-ochos in front of a semi-open sliding door. I was under the strict surveillance of his petite wife.
After the half-hour was over, I was finally allowed to dance with a living human being. His wife? Absolutely no! With him, for the rest of the lesson.
I was not ready for an Argentinean dama.

Finally: a lesson with a female assistant!

A few days and a few lessons later, he organizer for me a private lesson in an apartment in the center of the city.
This time he came with an assistant, a sixteen years old young lady who wanted to become a teacher.
Finally, I was allowed to touch a living female Argentinean tango dancer!
In the middle of the lesson, her mother showed up unannounced to check out if anything dirty was happening to her precious daughter dancing with this strange fifty years old man coming from who knows where!
I don’t know if Osvaldo is still teaching the tango, probably not, he was 60 years old, and my first lesson happened thirty years ago, he would be in his nineties!

I don’t think that many other extranjeros have had my experience; for me, he made a special exception. He took me also to a barra de cafe, a coffee bar to chat with me, and see how and why, at my age, I was interested in learning the tango, starting from zero.

I continued to dance the Tango until I had medical issues preventing me to do so.

Now I started again, but I have a long way to go back where I was.

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