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Monday, February 08, 2010

From Conception to Birth

Jan 10/10

The dance floor flies underneath my feet like swirls of rushing water ready to engulf me at any second. Beneath me, the wooden floor boards creak and groan with utter delight at the sound of the fancy footwork being played on them like notes on a keyboard. Above me, music notes dance around my head, weaving a web of magic, mystery and music. With every pulsating beat it slowly reels me and invites me to succumb, an invitation in which I have no choice but to accept gladly. In a flash, past, present and future blend together in mysterious symphony as I begin to lose myself in the embrace of the mesmerizing Milonga beat.

As the enchantment strengthens it's grip on me, the people all around me on the dance floor become nothing more than blurred images. For a second I wonder if my eyes are deceiving me because they seem not unlike moving statues. In one moment, I find them circling all around me on the dance floor full of life and laughter. But in the next moment they seem still as statues, frozen in time completely like they had never lived or breathed. Yet even as statues there seems to be a quality about them that seems rather "life-like", as if any given moment they could burst into peals of laughter and resume their lively movement once again. But my thoughts and attention turn less towards the moving mass of humanity swarming beneath me as the hypnotic harmonies rapture my soul high above the dance floor and the melodies whisk me away into brief but everlasting state of euphoria.

Bit by bit the enchantment loosens it's grip and when I finally come to, I find myself standing on the wooden floorboards of Kikki and Eduardo's brand new studio, having just successfully finished a tango with a gentlemen. He smiles and nods at me as we finish our tango whilst in another room off to the side, peals of laughter can be heard as people got reaquainted with old friends while at the same time making new ones. Once more, I close my eyes and breathe in the positive vibrations in the atmosphere.

It has once been said that the Amazon rainforest the planet's lung. Ridding the atmosphere of the toxins while pumping out good clean air. If the Amazon rainforest was like a lung, then I would say that the studio was more like the chamber of a heart. Taking in all that tired oxygen-deprived blood and not only renewing it and enriching it with full of life giving oxygen but pumping it out to bring life to the rest of the body. The studio is a place that no matter what life has brought your way, the moment you walk through those door you start to become renewed with energy and life so in turn you can go back out into the world bringing positive vibrations with you.

I myself remember my first visit to the studio for a lesson one week after I landed here. My heart was tired, broken, and almost on the verge of collasping. But in the same way that the chamber of a heart enriches blood with oxygen, there was something about being amidst friends and being in that positive environment that began to wash away the negative affects of all I had been through. Life and hope began to pour back into my weary soul and everything started to work backwards......

If there is one thing I LOVE about Kikki and Eduardo is that they always bring their best to the table. Whether you are taking a private lesson with them in the studio or on the dance floor of a tango party (and I hope they will have many), the one thing that is guaranteed is that they give you their finest and their best every second that you are with them. When I visited the studio for the 2nd time, it was clear and obvious that they put special effort to make the studio a place where guests would feel at home. Planning and detail was given to the decorations. Food and drinks were were placed out to welcome all that walked through those doors. The atmosphere was one that was elegant, yet easy going and casual at the same time. But they certainly weren't casual or blasé about preparing and creating a welcoming environment

I have a Chinese friend who I met here named Silvia who asked me if I knew a good instructor that she could take private tango lessons with. I got her connected with Eduardo. And I want to comment here that in the Asian culture, we are taught to just save money and use it on things that are tangible and practical. So private tango lessons aren't something that would be highly thought of as a wise use of money in our culture. For her, it was a big step. After her first lesson, she got back to me and said that she loved it and could not be more pleased. And she told me all the things I already knew, that he listens carefully to your needs and wants and is very detailed in helping you correct and improve your technique. That one lesson led to many more lessons that she has had during her time here which has resulted in significant improvements in her steps. But I believe that Eduardo isn't just a great teacher. He is a great person with a big heart. And really what is happening is that the character that he has in his daily life just flows into everything he does whether he is doing lessons or making party preparations or having a chat with you. In everything he does there he listens carefully, pays attention to detail and make sure he is bringing nothing less than the best.

This country may not have alot financially but they never fail to offer me their best on a silver platter. This is one thing that I love about this culture. No matter what walk of life people are from, they do their very best to bring you their finest. I was reminded of that yesterday when I was having a pizza at one of the most amazing spots in this city for pizza. Literally, each ingrediant of that pizza was doing a tango on my tastebuds. I never thought eating pizza could be an experience in itself. I also see in action people giving their best everytime I go to church at CCNV. This is a church that for many years now, has learned the art of loving people and loving the people in the society around them. They have a good relationship with all levels of society, from the government all the way to the people on the street. Every single time I turn around, it seems like they are starting some new program to bring healing and hope to the people of Argentina.

When I started to attend the church, for many of them it was a new situation to have a friend or church member who was from North America and to whom spanish is a second language. But having practiced the art of loving people for so many years, they didn't miss a beat in welcoming me in. They always made sure I was taken care of and that I understood what was going on. They were (and still are) overly protective and nurturing of me. It is funny because in my life, I have attended churches (and I'm not meaning LOJ) who spoke my native language of english but I've not felt welcome in that church. And here I am attending church in a foreign language and they have created a space for me. There have been some other girls who are local Argentineans who have started to come to this church and initially they felt nervous and shy but the church members as well as myself welcome them right in and make it easy for them to make friends. I can see the church "setting a table" and create space for everyone who walks through our church doors.

They have the most amazing love for people. And they do have one of the biggest networks in Argentina with more than 30 000 members. The only problem is that they cannot translate their love for other people outside the spanish speaking world. This is where I come in. I recently announced to many of them that in my heart, Buenos Aires is my home and North America is only for visits. Not the other way around. And while in north America, everything that I am doing is to help their church down here. Whether I'm in North America one month or 6 months, Argentina is ultimately home.
And one of the visions for my life that have been birthed on my heart is to give them the gift of english. The next time I come back to Argentina, I'm going to be bringing back a ton of things to help them with the english lessons. And maybe setting up a system where they can have lessons with me. It is one thing to touch one persons life with the gift of english. It is another thing to bring english to a whole network of people who already have strength and resources. Together it would be an unbeatable combination :)

Having a vision is important. I think for me that was the best part of being there that night. I loved the food and the company and the dancing. But the greatest pleasures of all was seeing a vision that Kikki and Eduardo had become realized. I remember clearly one day when I logged into facebook. I had not heard or seen Kikki for a number of weeks. she had out of the blue sent me this message asking me now that I've been a few weeks in the city, what was my dream for my life. And I love it that she did that! I love conversations that make me think. I replied that my dream was to teach english. She replied back that she wished the very best for my dreams and dreams are important. Because that is where everything begins.

If you've ever gone to Kikki's website and read her past diaries about Argentina, there is a mention of the studio over and over again. And the vision of the studio wasn't just a place where dance would happen, but also a place where memories get made. But it all began in someone's heart just the way the humble beginnings of a child begin with a microscopic sized egg in the womb of a woman. For them, their vision has gone all the way from conception to birth. For me, my vision may not be realized yet but like a pregnant woman, it is fast growing inside of me. I think I just felt another kick.......

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas