Child's Play

9th January 2009


For a couple of reasons, I got to Negracha fairly 'later' than normal on Friday. It was about midnight.

Anyway, I got myself upstairs fairly sharp-ish. I spotted a young boy who on appearance; couldn't have been more than 10 year's old. I'm guessing he was with his mother, the lady seated next to him. His facial features resembled hers. I'm also assuming that as a minor, he would need to have been accompanied by their guardian or parent to enter the club.

Awww, how cute! I thought.

Second thoughts

And then I thought, it's a bit late for him to be out at this sort of time, in this sort of place?

After a couple of dances, during an interlude, the boy was on the floor! Leading, paying attention to floorcraft, doing the lot! And I just couldn't keep my eyes of him. Young talent. With his mother.

I pointed him out to John, who sat next to me. Being a man, he didn't seem as moved as I was. But yes, I thought the scene was 'beautiful'. It was the innocence and playfulness of a child (not surprising as he was one) coupled with the maturity and poise of a Tango leader that was striking and impressive to watch.

Third thoughts

And then I began to wonder about my own and whether or not I would encourage or indeed allow their going out with their mother - to where again, Tango!?!

This was not the first instance I had seen a child at Tango. In fact, Tango seems to embrace all of the human kind, evidently noted at Tango Al Fresco (the open air Tango event I attended in summer of 2008).

Tango honesty

Until I started Tango, my thoughts of Tango have been plagued by 'naughty' images - hardly surprising as Tango for the native English speaker conjures up sex. It takes two to Tango!

How naive or perhaps ignorant!? I'm learning more about Tango and or myself now. It continues to be an "enlightening" process. Tango is about being 'human' - all of that "stuff" which makes us so.

Driven more so by our inner self (yes, you, you've got one, we all have!). It is yet to be rivalled as I've only been able to be who I am - I can't be anything else. It is so real that if I'm not being so, I won't be able to Tango and if I attempted to, it would end up nastily. You see, it can't be faked.

So can Tango be mirrored or identified to children? Children are honest aren't they? They are genetically designed to be so - that's until they grow up of course. And then most loose this honesty.

Then we go to Tango. We revert and rekindle our youth, our honesty with ourselves and who we are. Are we children again, incapable of dishonesty?

So you see, we've gone full circle, the circle of life. Maybe this is why I love Tango? (not forgetting the shoes, the clothes, the drama, the life, and both good (butterflies in stomach) and bad feelings). I'm finding its adaptability to life (my life) poignant.

Tango simplicity

So seeing my children grow and learning about life, I guess one of the first lessons they learn, from a basic child like interpretation is knowing:

  • Those things or people that are good for them (or make them feel good) and
  • What can hurt them the most.

It's the simplicity of this ideology that translates in Tango.

I've not come across young children at Ceroc yet (but having said this, I've been dancing for less than a year, so I speak with the voice of an inexperienced dancer. Tango is the only dance space where I have met young children.

At classes, I've encountered a couple of mothers who bring their young ones with them. And now it seems they are attending Milongas.

Should we be asking why, or why not?

- Betty Smith, 9th January 2009

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