“This is why I started to dance tango”

In 1997, one of my fellow students from the University of Bonn, who was dancing a bit of Tango, asked me and another friend if we wanted to see The Tango Lesson. I didn’t know anything about the film, which was directed by and starred Sally Potter. It turned out to be an autobiographical dramatization of Sally Potter’s first experience with Tango. After seeing a Tango performance in Paris, she becomes impassioned with the desire to learn how to dance Tango. Needless to say, she also becomes impassioned with the performer, Pablo Verón, who plays himself. She travels to Buenos Aires and immerses herself into learning the Tango. I saw the film and got really hooked by the story, which was incidentally, divided into chapters called, “The First Lesson,” “The Second Lesson,” “The Third Lesson,” etc. Her way of learning-by-just-doing really grabbed me. This was also my way of doing things - focus and go deep. Two days after I saw the film, I attended a Milonga in Bonn. After the intro class, the local Argentine Tango teacher asked me, a total beginner, for a dance- at my first Milonga, ever! Knowing nearly nothing, I had my first Tango dance experience. Or rather, MY “first lesson.” I was sure then and there that I needed to learn this dance.

Bärbel Rücker from Denmark

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