My friend Vanessa (a Canadian) lived in Munich, Germany for a time and joined a world-wide group for ex-pats called Internations. I forgot about Internations until I met a British guy here who said he was part of it as he lives in Spain. So I looked up if there was a group and there is a small group based out of Osaka City. They meet once a month for drinks and mingling. I joined just before the June meeting so went to a Swiss hotel in Osaka and met some folks. One prominent member of the group is leaving at the end of July and he is passionate about tango so he helped organize a tango lesson with an open tango dance night following.
I decided to forgo my Friday night taiko drumming for a chance to feel adventurous, alive and beautiful in a different way! Off to Osaka I went! I have danced my whole life but always as part of a group not partner dancing. I was surprised to see mostly Japanese women and a few foreign men at the event.
My first impression of tango is that it is a slow dance – just walking, really, and it is very intimate and sensual. I had both male and female partners as we danced a lot and switched partners constantly. I enjoyed it, though I had never been led in dancing before and I found it a challenge. The easy parts of just swaying and simple movements forward and back and sideways, I was able to lead but anything more than that I found I wasn’t so skilled at leading and was better at following. Haha. The music is intriguing – sultry with many varied rhythms. At the open dance, I spoke with a Japanese man who loves tango and had been dancing tango for ten years. He started with salsa but found he likes the slower pace of tango better. He told me tango started originally in Argentina with men dancing partner dance. He said people generally love it or hate it because of the close proximity.
The teacher is Argentian living sometimes in Japan over the last ten years but also elsewhere in the world for teaching Tango. He encouraged us to try to seduce our dance partners with our steps. One move involved rubbing your foot up and down the leg of the man and another put you foot and leg up between his legs. It definitely had a sexy and flirtatious feel to it!!!
Overall, it was a fun evening and I reconnected with a few people, and laughed and enjoyed an intro to a new type of dance.