by Lanny Udell
Why tango: The mystery of the dance intrigued her … trying to figure out what the instructors were doing and how they could move so smoothly when it was improvised. How does the follower know what to do? She had been going to Monroe Hall in Sonoma County for all kinds of dancing. Then one night the DJ played some tango music and her friend tried leading her in ochos, but she couldn’t figure out what to do. That’s when she started taking classes to learn this mysterious dance.
Tango is the union of beings, even if just for a moment. It is the breath that you take as one when the music lifts you out of the mundane and carries you to another realm.
She finds tango meditative, “there’s a stillness…it’s almost zen,” says MaryBeth. And then, of course, there are the shoes and the clothes. During a trip to Buenos Aires in 2012 she couldn’t resist those gorgeous Comme Il Faut shoes. “I bought 6 pairs,” she admits.
About Debbie & John: MaryBeth attends their Monday night Level 3 and 4 classes at Alma del Tango. “They’re amazing, I love their interaction,” she says. In 2012, MaryBeth suffered a broken hip and was unable to dance for 8 months. When she’d healed, she took a private lesson with John to test the hip…”he was very gracious and helpful,” she says. “And Debbie is always so welcoming. When she offers corrections she makes it very equal (leader and follower) because in tango, it’s about both of us.”
Anything else? A nurse, MaryBeth confesses to doing the tango walk down the hospital hallways, and she’ll sneak in a few boleos in the nurse’s station when nobody’s watching. “I need 8 days a week so I can go to more milongas,” says the tanguera, “I have more clothes and shoes than there are milongas!”