My first thought was to think back on when Mariano and I lived in BsAs and how pregnancy in tango was perceived there. Being around the age, we were quite used to seeing, being with and dancing with expecting parents in the younger generation practicas and milongas of BsAs. In fact a few years ago there seemed to be a tango baby boom, we had our best friends Carolina and Pablo Villarraza expecting, then there was Moira (of Gaston & Moira), Nancy (of Damián & Nancy), Virginia (of Jose & Virginia) and a handful more all around the same time, all high profile dancers. In fact there were interviews and articles written in El Tangauta and once, this time last year (October 2012 issue) the topic together with the decorated bellies, made it to the front cover of this most popular Tango magazine in honour of Argentine mothers day.
I think the general sentiment from the ladies was that dancing Tango whilst pregnant was a great experience; They felt super sensitive, they really appreciated being embraced and as the aforementioned lovely Linda voluntarily wrote to me to share her experience, I can say with certainty that she feels enormous physical, social and relationship benefits from continuing to dance tango during her pregnancy. She tells me it's great for strengthening the core and back muscles so important for protecting the back during pregnancy, that's it's a perfect way to keep moving and active without overdoing it and that going out to tango on a Saturday afternoon is an excellent "replacement for a Saturday night out" for drinks etc. She also confessed "it's a nice 'normal' thing we can rely on when everything else is changing so quickly".
But, linda did say that she didn't want to make "people feel squeamish!" and this line made me wonder how a pregnant lady is received in the tango social setting. My thoughts wandered and I remembered an odd comment I had heard from an ex-boyfriend once about him being 'scared' for the very pregnant Nancy giving an energetic performances with her partner. I must say, I haven't investigated into how men feel, but for my part, I remember thinking how lovely it was to have these glowing and smiley faced pregnant tango ladies so visible and present in the practicas & milongas. I could feel they really changed the energy of the places. The moods of these more than often ego driven spaces would be transformed and if you paid close attention you'd see the 'happy point' of the room was the bump bearing lady - the larger the bump the larger the power of the happy wave and it's effect could be seen on the men and women alike.
The power of having an expectant couple in the room is impressive, I like to think it's the combination of the awe one feels for the magic of life-creation taking place in front of ones eyes, combined with a change in perception that a pregnant woman inspires in others; drawing out the caring, loving aspects of the people she interacts with. I think it reminds us, perhaps on a subconscious level, of the power of togetherness, the intelligence of the body (human and all creatures) to create and heal itself and the importance of creating an environment good for the growth and well-being of that little one and of us all.
All these things for me are about Tango and the milonga (a great metaphor for life). Tango has it all, it can magnify all the dark shadows of our inner and outer world, it can be about lust, abuse of power, fears, ego trips etc, and that stuff has it's temptations. But over my many years dancing and teaching across the world and having watched Tango happen and be created and recreated to bring out the best and the worst in people, I realised that Tango (like life in our larger worlds) is extremely generous, it gives us the space to create the world we want to see around us. And I don't know about you but I am clear about the environment I'd like to live in, and I love Tango because in my world and in my perception, it bring us together to enjoy each other with all our differences, to simply go for a walk with someone in a hug, caring for each other along the way, with a bit of play, a bit of seduction. The 'leader' may think her's in control but the better and wiser he gets the more he realises it's about getting in 'the flow' with the partner other people, space and music around… We all know that it feels and looks best when two people come together, each their own unique self harmonised. And for me, watching a room harmonise, not through excessive rules but through intelligence, a sense of consideration and caring and a sense of togetherness, all dancing to the same tune in his or her own unique way, this is life in creation, it's the same magic, that babies are made of.
It is scientifically proven that we are best when we are in harmony, that our bodies are made up of 50-100 trillion individual entities (cells) cooperating, that cells respond and adapt to their environment, a good, nurturing environment promotes health, growth and increased complexity (i.e.intelligence / lower entropy) and visa versa. This is the way of all cells, that is the way of nature and that is the way of our society and our little microcosm of Tango.
And these pregnant ladies, remind us of all this wisdom, and in joy, we smile.
Dedicated to Linda & John Tango Garden's expecting parents and to the life creating intelligence in us all.
By Maral Kojayan