Inspiring stories



black and red typewriter
Listen to this article
Share it like your embrace

A dying community?

“Tango is dying here”… she told me, referring to the community of tango in Thessaloniki. It was a sad affirmation of the situation coming from an experienced dancer of the community. I tried to change the topic because we were in between songs and if we were to start this discussion we would need to stop dancing for the rest of the night. Nevertheless, the phrase kept turning in my mind.

Why does it feel like tango is dying in a community? What is the problem that experienced dancers see? Obviously, the pool of good dancers is not increasing and people are realizing that without new good dancers they are not going to have as much fun as they used to have. So why don’t we see so many new good dancers arising from the “lower levels” of the community?

Passionate discussions

“You look so passionate when you talk about Tango!” a colleague of mine told me at a recent dinner with my team from work. Indeed, when I start speaking about Tango with a group of people who are not dancers I light up! You can see in my body language that I am excited about the topic. I love discussing it, making it relevant for them and trying to share with them my experiences.

After my latest post about El Marne, a friend of mine commented that all these details about the music and the stories behind it are maybe too geeky but they are what make us passionate about this dance. Discussing with a fellow dancer about the philosophy of Troilo’s orchestra his interpretation of specific songs etc. might seem too geeky for my non-tango friends but we do have the same passion when we discuss it as I had when I was describing much simpler things about Tango to them.

From casual to passionate

Do you remember what was Tango for you before you became obsessed with it? Do you remember how the different orchestras sounded when you started dancing? Most probably Tango was either a simple hobby, a way to socialize, exercise, find friends, maybe a way to find love, or even a way to get away from everyday stress. Nothing exciting and nothing to be passionate about. You had a casual relationship with it. Like a new person you met at work. A casual relationship.

Some of us… the more we stayed with it the more we started getting passionate, for different reasons. I remember myself being passionate and obsessed with finding ways to break and connect sequences we learned in class. Then becoming obsessed with musicality… and later on with the history of the music etc. How did all this happen?


The story of Adam and Eve in Paradise is one of the first stories people invented to tell something to the next generations. Stories especially those that survive time, have a strong point that we can still relate to. The stories in religious texts are the most primal way for people to communicate ethics and consciousness to the next generations so that the community survives. They served a purpose.

Stories are the most important tool in our communication even today. Powerful presentations, advertising, art, etc. are all exploiting the art of storytelling to achieve a purpose. The reasons why stories are such a strong tool are many and you can probably find many explanations.

So, if stories are the most powerful way to communicate messages and achieve a purpose, why don’t we use them to our advantage? Why don’t we share our stories with non-dancer or beginners who still have this casual relationship with Tango? Why don’t we let them know the stories that made us so passionate about this dance?

They don’t care

It is often the case for many of the advanced dancers to look down on other dancers who don’t share the same passion and say “Well… they don’t care about Tango”. This alone serves as an excuse for them to ignore those dancers… to not dance with them… not talk with them… not socialize with them. Why? Because simply… we think they don’t care!

Have you ever tried to tell them a story I would ask. Have you ever tried to tell them your own story? How did you become passionate? Why are you still obsessed with it? What makes you still passionate about it? Stories of Tandas that you will never forget. Stories of embarrassment and discomfort. Stories of classes and lessons learned. Whenever I start telling such stories people (especially casual relationship dancers) get magnetized. They may identify, they may question themselves, they may ask for more. The most important thing is that they get hooked. They get interested in diving a bit deeper. They realize that they can create and tell their own stories if they dive deeper. Hell… this blog is full of such stories being shared with friends and total strangers and people get back to me with comments that start discussions and get them to dive deeper.

Hidden stories

I believe that one of the main problems in the community is the lack of interaction with passionate advanced dancers who would share their stories. Either because they think other dancers will not care about their stories… or because they feel uncomfortable sharing some of them.

It is even worse when teachers of a community do not share such stories and even worse when they don’t really have powerful meaningful stories to tell. I don’t know if this is exactly the case in Thessaloniki… but I am sure that there are so many hidden untold stories in the community that if shared they can make a huge difference in helping casual relationship dancers to cross to the other side of passionate, obsessed dancers who will enrich the scene.

So if there is one point in this post… This is it…

Share your stories! Don’t be afraid to share your stories!

Tonight’s Goodnight Tango

Tonight’s Goodnight Tango tells that Tanog is a story… a story of our lives… a part of it that we need to share with others either because we want to share our happiness or to relieve our pain. In any case, stories are what will help us survive as communities as they have done for so many years so far. Let’s keep them alive and let’s create new!

So how about you? Are you passionate when you talk about Tango? do you have stories to share? Are you sharing them? Do you have stories that made you stick with Tango? Stories that made you more passionate about it? What are they? Let me know.

Did you like the post? Spread the word…

Do you have something to say on the topic?


Leave a Reply


Skip to content