One of the things I love most about dancing Tango is finding my “tribe” in almost any city in the world.
It’s listening for the sound of familiar notes floating trough the air when wandering unfamiliar streets. It’s entering the room, to the etiquette all Tango dancers learn, from taking off the coats, changing the shoes, watching the floor, then surveying the crowd to find a partner. And when the familiar nod and smile is exchanged, the dance. The communication that is shared, requires no words.
Having recently danced in three European cities, finding a new milonga in a brand new city, feel like coming home. I may not know anyone there, but I know what to expect. People say the style of Tango differentiates in each city or region, but I have found that in general, Tango is Tango.
One of the challenging aspects of dancing somewhere new, is that everyone is a new partner. In San Francisco, I have my regular partners, as we all do. I love dancing with my “regulars”, and they are my favorites for a good reason. We have connected well in the past, and continue to seek each other out. But having the opportunity to dance with someone new is very exciting. From the first embrace and figuring out what hold is preferred (milonguero, salon or open), to assessing each other’s level with the first few steps, the experience can be both challenging and magical.
Not every dance is going to be a positive experience, and with some people, even though they may be very competent dancers, the connection is just not there. But when the magical connection does happen, it’s truly a joyful experience. I have experienced moments when I “wake up” after a tanda. It seems that time has stopped. Both my partner and I were in the flow, totally immersed in the present moment of our dance.
Maxi Copello and Raquel Makow have a wonderful story of that magical first connection. Here is their story:
Maxi Copello was born breathing Tango. In his childhood he would accompany his father to the theater, seated in the lighting booth watching each show with awe and admiration. At one point in his life, the curiosity or his genes won him over and Tango became his biggest passion. Since then he has directed and acted in Tango movies and has traveled the world teaching and dancing tango.
Raquel Makow, born in San Francisco, California with a father from Buenos Aires and a mother from New York, began dancing at 10 years old. Dance was always something natural and essential in her life. She went on to win international titles in Ballroom competitions and danced in well known Ballroom shows in different theaters throughout the world. However, it was at the age of 15 that she discovered her true passion in Tango and later on in 2013 that she moved to Buenos Aires to pursue her new dream.
One calm weeknight in May of 2015, Maxi Copello and Raquel Makow met each other for the first time at the famous Salón Canning milonga. They spent the whole night dancing with other people until the early hours of the morning when the crowd trickled out one by one, and the dance floor slowly emptied. The only people left were the late night milongueros and the two of them.
Raquel stayed still in her seat for the first time all night and Maxi finally had his opportunity. He caught her eye, invited her to dance with a cabeceo, and together they walked on to the dance floor. Maxi embraced Raquel, and she closed her eyes feeling and listening to each thing that Maxi told her with his body. They felt an intense chemistry from the moment they began dancing, and in that instant, they got to know each much deeper than they could have ever had with words. They found their soulmate in tango, and from then on, Maxi and Raquel dance together professionally and share the same dream to dance, create art, and to convey to others their love of Tango.
Catch Maxi and Raquel this Tuesday, April 24th at El Valenciano Restaurant and Bar
8pm – 9:30 Special Tango Workshop/Intermediate Level & Above with Maxi Copello & Raquel Makow
Topic: “Technique in Giros and Sacadas with Musical Dynamics”.
9:30 – 1:00a Tango Bailongo w/ DJ Jun Yi
They are also offering a four week semi-private class series: Students are given a space to work over the course of 3 hours with a reduced group of people to develop a concept and at the same time address the needs and doubts of each individual student. Each week is a different topic all leading to the last class, an advanced class focusing on the creative and artistic part of tango dancing.
Couples only, must reserve your spot in advance! It starts tonight at 6pm!
Learn more here: facebook.com/events/712993638824479/