London is diverse and naturally Tango in London is diverse too. I dance in most Central London Milongas most of the times and I have now done it consistently for almost 12 years but Tango in London is bigger than any of us have ever experienced or even likely to experience. Even for someone like me who dances a crazy amount, it is impossible to experience the full scale of Tango in London with all the classes, special workshops, Practicas, Milongas, Festivals, etc just in Central London let alone all the good stuff that happens in the suburbs and just outside London. But I wold like to share some positive stories that I know of and have experienced in London Tango over more than a decade now. So here is the first one... this is the Tango story of Ian and Anne, one of my most favourite people in London Tango. If I walk into a Milonga and see Ian and Anne there, which is practically most of the times, it definitely brightens me up an extra notch. One, there is the guaranteed joyful tanda with Anne and the other, I can always catch up on a bit of cricket with Ian. Unfortunately, most of you Tango people are from non commonwealth countries and usually have no idea of cricket, so people like Ian are like a treasure for me! I think I started dancing with Anne regularly about 7 years ago. Apart from the beautiful disassociation during her pivots, the first thing that stuck me about Anne was her knowledge of Tango music and her ability to pinpoint the orchestra of the Tanda we are dancing to. Talking to Ian and listening to Ian talk about dancing to the Vocalist or Troilo's bandoneon it became clear that they are both obsessed with Tango music!
Their Tango journey:
They had their first Tango lesson in 2002 while living in the Cornish country side. And guess who their teachers were... it was none other than our own Corrientes duo Mina and Giraldo! Apparently, there was some sort of Tango Festival around that time and Mina and Giraldo had made a trip there and Ian and Anne got hooked up. After Mina and Giraldo returned back to London, Ian and Anne desperately tried to keep up by starting to buy loads of Tango CDs, watching videos, etc. (Side note: There was definitely a charm in collecting Tango music in CDs. Because of the limited nature of the collection, we tend to make a stronger connection with the Orchestras. These days of course we have Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, etc.)They then moved to Bristol, where they continued with their Tango and in 2011 decided to move to London, part of the reason being Tango. Since then they have been a regular fixture in our Milongas 2 to 3 times every week! They have been super nice to everyone and most importantly they are there in the Milongas week after week.
Anne: Fresedo (for the cheesy romantic music!)
Ian: Pedro Laurenz, Troilo
Favourite London Milongas:
The old Negracha, Etnia
Non Tango facts:
Ian was a lecturer in an Arts school, Did/does Painting, Still displays his work in Arts exhibitions in London and is also a Jazz musician.Anne worked in Education and Designed jewellery.
The beauty of their Tango journey is how Tango allowed them to reconnect with each other. They were/are active people all the time but their activities were separate from each other but since picking up Tango as a common hobby, they feel like they have connected with each other more!
Quote (from Ian):
"Don't chase the music, let the music guide you".
If you really care about London Tango, there is no bigger contribution that you can do than being there in our Milongas much like Ian and Anne. And when you see them next, say a hello and surprise them with facts from above.