Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Entrega total

I went dancing last night. Had a few nice dances, a couple of less nice ones, and then it happened.

I danced with this guy who is a great dancer, and he dances milonguero. I know he does, so there was no trying and adjusting the embrace during the first few seconds of the song, I just leaned into the embrace and – we danced. Or I assume we did, since when the song ended and I opened my eyes and emerged from the embrace, we were standing elsewhere. Yet I have no idea what exactly happened in between; it was just me, him, and the music. When I went to sit down later on, I had a blissful smile on my face and felt like I had awoken from a dream; I couldn´t recollect what he had lead, or what I had done... nothing. Just the music and the embrace. It was a small, crowded place, and it was quite hard to avoid other dancing couples. As I closed my eyes and surrendered myself to him, however, I became totally oblivious of the people around, absolutely sure nothing could happen to me while the embrace lasted. And I don´t remeber so much as brushing against anyone else during the songs we danced together.

I know that in some dances, with some dancers, there is feeling, and with some there isn´t any. I had heard about the entrega in tango, and I thought I understood what it meant. I have had great dances/tandas before. But this was a different dimension. We didn´t have a wonderful dance together; we were entirely lost to the dance and each other, that´s the closest I can get to describing it.

Something else also happened which would have, in itself, made my evening, though its importance wanes in comparison with that sublime tanda: I got two most unusual compliments. I mean, every now and then a man you dance with will say how well you dance, or how they enjoy dancing with you – which is always very nice and pleasing (not to mention those who call you a goddess;) But what happened to me yesterday was that two women, quite independently of each other, came up to me just to tell me how they loved my dancing and how wonderful I looked on the dancefloor (and how long I had been dancing, where had I learned, etc.). The precise words were ´Usually it is a beautiful dance with a great leader that makes my evening, but what really made my evening today was watching you dance.´ Wow! I was quite overwhelmed. Like I told the lady, that was some compliment – and doubly so, coming from another woman! :)


Anonymous said...

True entraga like that, the kind where you have no idea of time and space during the tanda is the best high in the world. Well, in my opinion, that is. I wish everyone could experience it, tango and non-tango people alike. I keep trying to describe this utter bliss to non-tango people but always fail to find the right words for there aren't any. I think your post is probably the best description of entraga I've come across.

one2tango said...

Thank you, Caroline! You´re right though, it´s hard for words to describe - and I wouldn´t dream of describing it to someone who doesn´t dance:) the thing is, non-tango people´s reaction to all this bliss and *sigh* business tends to be 'Ahaa, it's sexual!' - only, it isn't. It is physical all right, but not sexual really - but try explaining that..

Anonymous said...

wow. i have never even heard of that term, "entraga". is it tango-specific, or is it castellano to describe such a soul-sharing experience, even non-tango ones?

chère one2tango, il y a un petit café-resto ici à new york qui s'appelle "moto". la barre était contruite pour ressembler un autre petit café dans le marais à paris, "le petit fer a cheval" dans la rue vielle du temple. parfois, j'écoute du tango au café moto avec un verre de pastis, tout en rêvant de paris, et du tango parisien. un de ces jours!

bises de nyc--.

Maria said...

Dear One2Tango,

This sounds like a beautiful moment... it's such a precious thing to have experienced it, thanks for sharing it with us so vividly!!! :) (plus, what a compliment!!!!)

Dear Nuit,

"Entrega" means literally "To Give Away". In spanish, we often say we do things with "entrega", or "giving ourselves away" in the process. It means giving your soul in full-- in can be to a person, to a moment, to something you love...

tangobaby said...

I love this conversation and this post. I'm amazed to see how much passion and feeling tango has brought to my life, affecting me in a myriad of subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

I can't imagine now what my life would be without these moments and chance encounters... And then to have a community to share these experiences, too.

one2tango said...

Thanks to La tanguera for this succinct explanation of the entrega - mine would probably be long and none that precise:) but if I may, I think that what makes it truly special in tango is that it must be mutual - otherwise the miracle doesn´t happen.
Ma chere Nuit,j´ai trouve qqs. photos du cafe Moto; ca a l´air tres special, et en plein NYC en plus!

Anonymous said...


It's wonderful when two people connect and the rest of the world just recedes to the peripheral of consciousness. It’s also why I describe dancing as my meditation.