Writer Addicted To Tango

Us writers give ourselves a really tough time about how much writing we get done. We beat ourselves up about whether our characters are convincing enough or if we've used too many clichés or adverbs. We agonise over word count and have endless inner debates about the merits of a word in a sentence or the construction of a sentence to clarify meaning. We worry that we'll befuddle our readers or over egg a description. Writers have indeed turned self flagellation into an art.

So I feel it's crucial that we also do a serious amount of R&R. In my view this should involve indulging in your vice of the moment to the max. We writers live on the edge when it comes to our attempts to deliver a piece of writing worthy of our audience. I feel our readers may think the writing process is all too easy. After all, we only have to sit down and write something. How hard can that be?

So it seems only fair that we should be allowed to be a little extreme when it comes to getting our kicks.

I have several extreme vices:
  • excessive reading (this seems to be eluding me at the moment)
  • massive cooking exploits (this involves taking 3 or 4 raw items out of the freezer and creating as many culinary concoctions as possible in one afternoon. This can be a challenge when your oven doesn't really work and you only have four burners on your cooker but it is doable.)
  • serial DVD watching (this can also become serial video watching as I have a number of old videos hanging around the house) I like to group the DVDs into some kind of order e.g. watch as many Luc Besson films as possible in one evening/afternoon etc.
  • sneak an afternoon off to go to the cinema
  • do more than one day of tango a week

One of these vices is pretty much an ongoing affair and has been for about 7 years now. And I've certainly begun to develop the 7 year itch in that I now crave even more of this vice than ever.

I'm talking about Argentine Tango. I never seem to be able to get quite enough of this particular extreme pass time.

It involves getting togged up in lush clothing. 

This gorgeous dress was designed by Ella Sharp.

Wearing shoes people would kill for. 

Me with Fred at the Fire & Flame ball

Dancing till you're ready to drop. 

Top marks if you can spot me in the picture.

And socialising with a seriously wonderful and diverse bunch of people.

So I'm incredibly lucky that I belong to a club in South London which always has events happening on my door step. I've been a member of Tango South London for about 7 years now and it has been one of the most rewarding and energising experiences I've ever had.

I've always been a dancer. My parents met in a dance hall so the chances of me having dance heavy genes was inevitable.

About 10 years ago I decided I wasn't exercising enough. My gym membership was just that. I wasn't attending, just paying the subscription. What I needed was to do a physical activity I'd always enjoyed. So I opted for Ballroom dancing since Strictly had made a big impact on the public consciousness at the time.

A dancer I met at the ballroom class suggested I try Argentine Tango.

One lesson was all it took. I never returned to ballroom dancing and have been a tango addict ever since.

Well gym membership – I need you no more.

My commitment to tango is no chore and the added benefits are that I get to do all the things I love so much:

  • getting togged up to the nines
  • wearing ridiculously gorgeous shoes which don't kill your feet after 5 minutes
  • giving it what for on the dance floor
  • meeting and talking to people who are well worth knowing

What more could a girl ask for?

Well, even more time to tango please!

I know, us writers are never satisfied. 

Here for your delectation is my favourite tango couple of all time 
(Adrian & Amanda Costa).  Incidentally, this was filmed on the date of my birthday and if you look very carefully you will spot me in the audience.  Enjoy!


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