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Biography 1 2 3  My Teachers  Why Tango & Salsa
 

Why Salsa & Tango?
I began dancing these two dances nearly at the same time. I was looking for Tango and I found Salsa first. In fact the same dance partner taught me both in 1986. Since then I have never felt I enjoyed one more than the other. I find the two dances quite different in technique and of course music, but in their essence, I always found the two to have profound similarities.

In the music styles I favour in Salsa, I have always heard a sadness underlying the outward joy of the music. In tango I have found a joy which underlies that sadness we hear. It celebrates life's experiences expressed also in its hardships.

Expressions such as "Azucar" (in Spanish means sugar) which we hear yelled out during salsa pieces, have become expressions of joy. Yet they seem also to have been expressions of freedom, celebrations of identity despite slavery in the sugar cane fields of Cuba and Puerto Rico.

In the rest of Latin America it hasn't been difficult to embrace such sentiment. Colonialism and the migration experience hasn't been unique to African slaves in Cuba and Puerto Rico. Colonialism hasn't been it's only impetus. The political difficulties throughout Latin America have made the migration experience a real part of their recent history. Some say the essense of the migration experience formed the impetus for Tango's beginnings. (Tango was said to be born during an influx of immigrants from many cultures, African-Uruguayan slaves included, around 1870.) I do believe it is these common threads existent in both dances, which I am drawn to.
    "Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter."      Kahlil Gibran