The Honeymoon Phase is Over When:

Honeymoon Bliss?

…you don’t feel the need to dance every “tanda”.

…you actually enjoy sitting and listening to the music at a milonga.

…you have no desire to dance outside on a concrete floor, in cold weather, or at other locations not meant for Tango.

…you are aware of the Tango music you are amassing – you no longer download/copy any song that is Tango-like in nature.

…you are no longer interested in volcadas/colgadas/ganchos (if you ever were).

…you no longer attempt to put Tango moves to every piece of music (if you ever did).

…you no longer find it acceptable to hear anything but “golden era” Tango music at a milonga (if you ever did).

…you know how to decline a dance… and you do it.

…you no longer think “El Huracan” is a good piece of music to dance to (unless it’s D’Arienzo’s ’44) and you’ve heard “Desde el alma”, “Corazón de oro”, and Poema” (Canaro) played often enough, thank you.

…you think it’s outrageous to hear 3 or more D’Arienzo Tango tandas played at the milonga (especially if it’s less than 4 hours long)… and in fact, you don’t think everything your local DJ plays is good, is in a properly constructed tanda (i.e., what happened to playing songs from the same era?!), or is being played at the appropriate time in the night (because you can actually hear the difference between the songs AND you are actually listening to the music now).

…you do not want to hear Tango tandas by D’Arienzo and DiSarli following one another (too much!).

…you still love Caló with Berón, but you now know that it is like vanilla-flavoured ice cream (flavoured with REAL vanilla) – simple and special, but not the end-all of Tango music. (A friendly poke to some of you out there – you know who you are ;)

…you no longer think that chest contact alone amounts to an embrace – you want more than a feather-light touch.

…you no longer think that any/every teacher brought to your city or seen on YouTube is amazing and you are not impressed or interested in all the tricks and flashy moves they do.

In many ways, it makes us sad to admit that we are no longer in the Tango honeymoon phase. On the flip-side of the coin, we are happy that we are not dancers who are STUCK in the honeymoon phase – and there are many of those.  Once you grow out of the honeymoon phase, that is when you and your dance can begin to mature. We feel that we are now more knowledgeable, our dancing has evolved, and we don’t live in a delusion. We KNOW that Tango in Buenos Aires is so much better.

About Movement Invites Movement

We are relatively young Argentine Tango dancers and teachers who are married both to each other and the dance. We truly found Tango after making an 8-month Tango pilgrimage to Buenos Aires and we are using this blog to share our thoughts and feelings about our Tango experiences. We are not aspiring authors and our writing skills are questionable, but we write our truth. View all posts by Movement Invites Movement

8 responses to “The Honeymoon Phase is Over When:

  • bo

    You are kidding yourself when you represent change of your musical taste as getting to a new level. For instance there are many very dancable versions of El Huracan, ie by Los Reyes del Tango, and even the de Angelis and the Donato versions can be danced to in milongas which allow for more space.
    As to your aversion to 3 or more tandas of D’Arienzo, let me note that according to a survey of BsAs milongas 15% of all played tango tandas (as well as 19% of milonga tandas and a whopping 32% of all vals tandas) are by D’Arienzo. That is 3 tandas for a 3 hour long milonga. But maybe the taste of the portenos haven’t yet reached your level of sophistication.
    Given the immense variation of Di Sarli’s music the claim about successive D’Arienzo and Di Sarli tandas also sounds quite ridiculous.
    And I don’t even want to address the rest, like the assumption that chest contact and feather-light touch are somehow mutually exclusive.. Meh.

  • Kerstin Gaertner

    So true :-)

  • srsly

    In light of grumpypants’ indignance, I’d also like to add to this “the honeymoon is over” list:

    – you start to glaze over when tango intellectuals start arguments about the RIGHT way to think about/dance/play tango. RIGHT = their way or, even worse, according to statistics (um, really?!)

    – you watch the tango train wrecks on the dance floor with dispassioned dismissal, no longer bothered enough to get upset about them being there, because they are always there.

    – contact lenses, once mandatory, are put in only if you don’t have to work the next day and will take the time to take them out.

    – you start daydreaming about sex again, rather than slow-leg-wrappy tango

  • terpsichoral

    I am in the honeymoon phase still with regards to “El Huracan” (I´m still happy to dance to it), hearing D’Arienzo followed by Di Sarli (sure, why not?) and being delighted if I get to dance every tanda (but only with good partners). I identify with all the other points, though.

    However, it is true that I used to daydream and night dream about endless blissful tandas and now my waking and sleeping fantasies are more likely to be X-rated and much less likely to involve a REALLY great D’Agostino tanda.

    • Movement Invites Movement


      The reason that the D’Arienzeo/Di Sarli combo is not great (especially with both being Tango tandas) is because they are considered 2 of the 4 “aces”. There are so many other orchestras to fit in between those. The good DJs have a tendency to avoid playing aces back-to-back, instead they use them wisely to manage the energy and flow of the night/floor.

  • David Turner

    This blog is so good. Any marriage that cannot survive the end of the honeymoon was a delusion anyway. I used to be so frustrated as a teacher when those still in the heady phase of tango new love clearly resented my attempts to steer them towards a healthy sustainable long-term relationship with the full culture that underlies tango. They could not accept any codego it seemed. Nor would they tolerate any notion that long-term satisfaction and personal safety are born of a solid foundation of basic skills.

    Another sign that you have progressed beyond being ‘in love’ with tango is when you engage with the lyrics of tango. I recall the story of the two portenos watching at a milonga in New York. One says, the DJ is playing ‘Garua’ and they are dancing as if auditioning for ‘Oklahoma’!

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