You Know You're a Tanguera When...

“Trust your feeling. If you want to guess go ahead, but your connection will never take you the wrong way”.

~A quote from today’s lesson with Lorena Ermocida

Here is a funny story. A tango story.

The other day I was taking a shower, bubbles and such and washing my feet and all of the sudden I realized that all of the soap made my foot incredibly slippery in the tub. I quickly stood strong on my standing leg and made sure to rinse off the bubbles from my free leg and my foot prior to putting it down. Now, why does this mean I am a Tanguera? Well, the fact of the matter is, if I were to be lazy and not be present with my foot, it’s very possible that I could have slipped in the shower. And that my friends, would be very sad. I didn’t come to Buenos Aires to spend a month on the couch. No ma’am . I am here to dance. So with that said, lets be honest and say I have a little OCD now while taking the shower and also.. I will admit I did take my cell in to the shower but hey I am a photographer and wanted to make a point!

Another point to make is this…
This year I am a different dancer, a different woman and different person inside and out. This past week has been monumental for me. Something actually clicked … its all working. The education that I have received from my Tango teachers is finally understood. The work and practice and efforts to travel to become the dancer I desire, is all coming together. Not a quick process by any means,  a true and life long process for sure. Something that stands out for me in this journey is the ability to be kind. While we may not appreciate the other persons lead or the followers exact technique, we are still ALL HUMAN. We are still on our own journey with this dance and we are still in this together. I think back to some of the fabulous heart centered partners that I have been given the amazing opportunity to share an embrace with, this post goes to you fellas/gals: Ljuba, Mike & Carrie, Luis & Daniela, Hilario, Eduardo, Hans, Andre, Dmitry, Bruce, Joni, Chris, Mark, Patrick, Jorge, Scott, Roberto, Eduardo#2, Jason and Harold.. and to the many fabulous people from across the world that I cannot remember your names, thank you. Your patience with me and your ability to see the diamond in the rough has made my dance better and better each year. Because of your patience and the love I have for myself, I can now listen and accept your invitations and propositions and choose how that fits in to my dance. You probably never knew that giving this lady a chance on the dance floor would actually allow for the opportunity for me to get to know the real me and how I not only embrace in Tango, but how I embrace the world around me.

With Love,
McCarson Leigh


Siendo Una Mujer ~ Being A Woman

I often joke about how Tango is my therapy, but in all honesty, there is no joking about it. This dance has changed me.

Many of you see me buying shoes and enjoying the happiness in that. But what you do not see is my foundational work and the internal work and the work not yet created. To allow myself to be completely vulnerable to ME. That is what this dance has done for me. Its allowed me to experience revelations on were I am frozen, possibly paralyzed and moments of where I flourish in my dance and I am free. I have started a journal of my experiences in class as well as my milongas. I realize that with each day, I experience me but there are multiple levels of that presence.

It has been powerful to write about what shines for me in the education of this dance and what my words are from an evening of dancing til 3am at a Milonga. There is no doubt, this dance takes commitment… not only to engage in the steps and the code and the way, but a commitment to oneself that only we as individuals can acknowledge. Yes it is truly a passion, but it is also the best kept secret to personal growth. I wanted to share a few of my AHA moments from this past week while attending 22.5 hours of classes and also an emotional moments before and after the Milongas late night.

3.6.17 Moira Castellano's invaluable information:
*Always adjust yourself in an odd embrace. It will be your fault to the dance, if you do not.
*There are no followers and no leaders. There are dancers.
*Offer your presence, I accept your invitation to dance. Allow them to understand that your motor is running and you are an active participant in the embrace. “I am always ready to dance, you’re asking me to dance? I will dance, you will feel my dance”.

I arrived in BA with RSV. The plane wasn’t my most favorite of trips. My chest was incredibly heavy and I wasn’t well. I took a few days to rest and to heal. I took my time as I knew that I would need energy and presence to learn and to dance. We decided one evening to attend a Practilonga at Bicicleta and I was still a little under the weather.

My tango sister/ travel buddy and I arrived at the location and opened the door. Immediately the sound of the live orchestra was playing. My heart rushed with excitement. I coughed a little and climbed the stairs. I felt confident but a little weak, but never the less I strapped on my black tango shoes that are my go to feel good, dependable shoes. I was asked to dance by a beautiful tall, older local fellow and when I embraced him, I immediately felt a rush of panic, fear and nervousness. It happens sometimes. My teeth should have been physically chattering from the way I felt inside. We danced our first dance of the tanda, my dance wasn’t good nor was it bad. It just wasn’t. I looked at hime and asked if he spoke English, he did. I apologized for being so nervous. We laugh and agreed “now that I am over with that … “lets dance” he said. He embraced me in a quietly strong but soft hug, I took a deep breath…. I was back in my body and the next three songs were what they should be… lovely, peaceful and almost meditative.

The moment for me to shift my dance was that moment of authenticity. No he probably didn’t want to hear that I had been sick, although I am sure he would have listened. No he didn’t want to hear me make excuses for myself and my anxiety over the situation. Yes he wanted to dance. Yes he wanted to dance and he choose to do that with ME. So… After I disclosed my moment of nervousness and became a vulnerable person with him, of which I took a chance at doing so, he embraced me and he became incredibly present and a visionary at the same time. I went back to my earlier memory of what was said in class: let me show you how I can dance, I will not be the follower, but I will be your partner and we can move together to something that we both hold dear.

Here’s to Tango and to being Human.

With Love,  McCarson Leigh

Photo:  DNI Practica, Buenos Aires.  3.4.17