January 10, 1939--January 23, 2020 Twenty three years ago, I stood in front of a similar crowd to deliver my mother’s eulogy. Her death was a shock to us all. The six of us were far too young to lose our mother. After 23 years growing and maturing into successful independent adults, we aren’t any … Continue reading Eulogy for My Father
When I lead women or women observe from the margins of the dance floor, nearly every woman will either tell me, "One day I would love to learn to lead" and then proceed with the same litany of reasons as to why that's not possible right now; or say with laughter, "I want to lead but I don't know where to put my boobs," sweeping their arms in large circles around their breasts as if they swayed uncontrollaby with every step. I reply jokingly, "You leave your boobs where you last left them." Why do so many women worry about their breasts when following or leading a woman?
Yesterday in my tango class, my maestra Paola Tacchetti took one hand to her chest and the other to her pelvis and stated that the old milongueros would find heaven in their hearts and hell down below. She stated that the more we can proudly separate these two worlds, the closer we are to discovering … Continue reading Between Heaven and Hell is Tango
In tango, it’s the difference between dancing the tango of Chicho Frumboli or Moira Castellano or dancing the tango burrowed deep in our body where the sorrow of yesteryear surfaces and follows each shallow breath.
In tango, questions from our dancer partners are almost never neutral. “Why did you step there? Why didn’t you bend your knee? Why didn’t you boleo?” Lerman writes, “When defensiveness starts, learning stops” (qtd. in McCarroll 245). When two peers are involved, it is inevitable for egos to clash or for one person to feel demoralized.
Argentine tango is not only famous for its affectionate embrace and sensual synchronization between dancers and the music, tango is also celebrated for its poetry by lyricists such as Homero Manzi and Celedonio Flores. https://youtu.be/pwsuIQ4GIi8 Lyrics by Celedonio Flores Tangos are written in Spanish, yet many famous songs have examples of Lunfardo, a unique … Continue reading Dancing to Lunfardo
Most of us can vaguely recall what it was like to spell for the first time, gripping our blunt pencils thick as cigars and rounding out a G on the page, like the way my father would round his neck beneath a small doorway. I still recall learning the alphabet song, a rhythm that I … Continue reading Learning in Liminal Spaces
We weigh our lives in minutes and hours and charge people and activities according to the time they are worth: the boss is valued at 60 minutes for a work meeting; a childhood friend is worth a 30-minute coffee; and the toddler is a good 20 minutes of reading time before he falls fast asleep.
When I go to that place in my mind's mind and shame that young woman for not having the courage and wisdom to tell the man she once loved, "No, I will not forego my power and allow you to strip me of my self-worth," I remind myself of Maya Angelou's counsel: "Do the best … Continue reading When You Know Better, Do Better: Healing From a Narcissistic Abusive Relationship
At 145 km/hr (90 miles/hr), Jean-Marc François rode his motorcycle along the motorway in Lyon, France, south of his home country, Belgium. At that speed, little is perceptible. There is the asphalt triangle to the horizon and the purr of the engine between his legs. On one particular ordinary day traveling on this familiar stretch … Continue reading Tango Moves Me: A Parkinson Patient’s Road to Discovery