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Embracing Tango: Age, Harmony, Roles, 07/27/2023

Updated: Oct 5, 2023


Embracing Tango: Age, Harmony, Roles


Today, July 27, is the date of my birthday on all my official documents, but it's not the day I was born 63 years ago. In Korea, we have three birthdays each year due to customs. If I were still in Korea, I would be considered 64 years old. A bit confusing, right?


I embarked on a new chapter at 22, leaving Korea for academic and professional pursuits in the States. I experienced marriage, and divorce, and raised two children, now in their 30s. Throughout it all, my heart remains youthful, eager to learn and embrace life's ever-changing adventures as I did at 22


But lately, a tango friend, let's call them B, told me my tango ideology is "antiquated." Ouch! After a 12-year break, my message remains the same: Focus on the music, embrace, and walk to enjoy the beauty of the dance.


B is into "non-gender" dancing, breaking traditional roles. And hey, kudos to their success! But I'm puzzled why the leader/follower concept is gender-related. In tango, it's all about harmonious surrender, regardless of role.


Can we focus on maturity as dancers, not labels? I believe that regardless of how many years we've danced or the role we play, whether leader or follower, it's irrelevant. What truly matters is the energy we invest in growing as dancers and connecting with our partners on the dance floor.


During my visit to Buenos Aires in March, B claimed to witness my transformation into a more open and modern persona.


Now, back in Buenos Aires, I find renewed inspiration to grow as a tango dancer. The ultimate inspiration lies in the dance itself—music, embrace, and the art of walking. Immersed in the music, connected with our partner, and guided by rhythmic steps, the magic of tango comes alive, bringing joy and fulfillment to each move. It's a journey of continuous learning and self-expression that elevates every move and pause, making each moment on the dance floor a true delight.


Chan Park

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