Careful what you wish for

I’m tired.  We have just come from a marathon dancing trip to Llandudno, followed by our usual night out at Ewloe. Perhaps I should not be so tired, as apart from Viv , I was the youngest  there. I wonder sometimes where they all get their stamina.

It was on the bus travelling out there that I started to wonder “when did I lose my enthusiasm for the seaside?”  When I was a child, it was somewhere we went maybe once a year. It was a great journey that took hours on the train. In these modern times, we can reach the coast in less than an hour and a day trip is no longer a big deal. So perhaps my childhood wish to always be at the seaside has almost come true.

Now, of course, it is so accessible that it is no longer desirable. Is it just that we always want what we cannot have? Or, has age just shown me that it is always cold and windy, you get burned, and sandcastles will always wash away? Perhaps I am one of those people who are just never happy with their lot.

Right now my wish is not to have this endless stream of shifts; not to have to work almost every weekend and thereby miss almost every event that I want to attend. That wish will come true before very long, as I approach retirement age, but old age will come with that also.

My other big wish is to make a living out of Tango. This, of course will never happen.  Firstly, if I had to rely on tango for my living, the joy would go out of it, it would just become the daily drudge. Secondly, my attitude to tango is not one of a business nature.

Let me explain: I charge too little, I do this because I want people to come and dance tango. I remember my early years spent travelling around the country, learning at workshops and tango weekends. All this cost me a great deal of money. I spent many hours worrying that I could not afford this level of expenditure, and that this way of life was beyond me. This may be why tango has become, to some extent, the exclusive realm of professionals. (See

Now I try to bring tango to those who perhaps have the same trouble keeping this lifestyle up that I did.

Here is another illustration of why I do not have that business edge; it all started with my midweek time off, I was not available for weekend milongas and unable to have our Monday practicas so I had a big slot for private lessons. So, unusually I had two visitors in an afternoon. My first pupil, after her lesson, stayed for a coffee, then a chat, some cake and more talking. I think it was a further hour and a half before she left. We loved the company, but there was no time before our next pupil arrived. Again he stayed on talking for, well I can’t remember how long, you lose track of time when you are happy.

This of course took out my whole day. I enjoyed every minute of it. I felt fulfilled at passing on my knowledge and by the appreciation I received, but as a means of earning a living? Well I would earn more stacking shelves at the local supermarket.

Could I ever be happy doing that? Well what do you think?



Filed under Tango

2 responses to “Careful what you wish for

  1. I think many wonder what it would be like to make tango their profession

    Not for nothing do Paris milongeuros refer to their city’s tango dance teachers as the “profesionelles”. 🙂

  2. My vote is that you follow your intuition that making tango your living would ruin the love you have for it. It doesn’t happen that way for everyone, but it is a huge risk. You teach out of love for tango and enjoyment of people. The one blog that has the most hits that I have written was on the theme, “Why I am not a [tango] teacher.” I really do not know why people are drawn to that article, but I think many wonder what it would be like to make tango their profession and my post is counter-intuitive to the dream of many tangueros/tangueras. I think that everyone who loves tango should help others develop the same love. But when making sufficient or even a lot of money comes into play, I rarely see the person who really has the magic in his or her eyes. Here’s the link: Cheers! Mark

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