Embracing the feeling of tango while pregnant
This is the second edition of the “Tango and Pregnancy” series and also a very special one with our very own Corina Raduta sharing her thoughts on being a tango mom. I consider her taking part in this interview her Christmas present for all of us – the little team behind ‘Gancho’ and its readers. So, read on if you want to find out what it is like to combine being a tango dj, a tango teacher and an author for ‘Gancho’ with motherhood.
Dear Corina, thank you for managing to answer my questions so thoroughly despite all your new duties as a mom.
How did you begin to dance tango? What attracted you to the dance in the first place and how do you think it has changed your life up to now?
Oh! This is a long story! An entire other article… 🙂
But the short version is that I began dancing at a salsa & tango school. At first tango didn’t appeal to me as a dance, but I liked the music. We were learning only figures, not concept, so I didn’t see tango for what it really is.
After almost two years something happened: the instructor showed yet another figure and then came to help me exercise it. But he did something different: I think he tried to see if I can be tricked, so he danced freely, following no pattern 🙂 It was the first time I felt the lead and the feeling of tango. That’s when I fell for it. It was seven years ago 🙂
The changes it brought me… oh, so many and so complex! Another long story… First of all, it brought me very, very good friends. Secondly, I think that this dance has something special that makes you both more mature and more childish 🙂 That’s one amazing, therapeutical even, effect of tango.
So, I guess I’ve changed, on the one hand, into a more understanding, loving, open, sociable, happy person and, on the other hand, into wittier, a little sarcastic, analytic, attentive and picky person. But all these are pretty well balanced, so there’s hardly any danger around me :))
And it changes me every day, sometimes just by listening to a song… I look forward to these changes all the time!
Did your tango experience change during the pregnancy? If so, how did it change?
Sure it changed! In many ways. In the beginning, when there were no significant physical changes, there were the emotional ones. As I was adjusting to the idea and the feeling of the pregnancy, I passed through two stages: the ‘step back stage’, when my implication in the dance decreased. I mean, I felt like running away. I don’t know how this was received by the leaders. It would be interesting for me to find out. 😀 But soon I got to the ‘I want more’ stage. 🙂 It’s when I began to look for the embrace and feeling again, in the detriment of technique. Later, when the physical changes intervened, I was forced to look more into the technique, since my center was constantly moving 🙂
As far as the teaching goes, I felt I was growing (pun intended! 😉 ) along with the growth of the students, as I was adjusting my body to the concepts we were teaching. It was a really nice experience, which went on until the 7th month on the pregnancy. And I have to admit: continuously practising the dissociation – a life saver 😀
Did your musical tastes in tango change while you were pregnant or after giving birth? Some women say that their food preferences are very different while pregnant, in a similar way, did certain tango songs begin to have a different or stronger meaning to you as a result of the pregnancy and motherhood?
Well… I would have said no, but some of the dancers have told me that at one point I began playing more romantic tangos in my dj-ing 🙂
I am a fan of Juan D’Arienzo. But it is true that I realized I was paying a little more attention to orchestras such as Carlos Di Sarli, Alfredo De Angelis, Hector Varela, Emilio Balcarce… I still played Juan D’Arienzo, Osvaldo Pugliese, Juan Polito… but less than before. And, of course, while dj-ing, I did all this considering the dancers and the atmosphere, not only my own taste 🙂
As personal preferences, when I listened to tango alone, I stuck to the valses. But that’s no surprise, since I was a vals addict before, also 🙂
There were a few songs that I preferred all along the nine months (and even now), such as: Juan D’Arienzo – ‘Un vals para mama’ ( 😉 ), Juan D’Arienzo – ‘Dimelo al oido’, Alfredo De Angelis – ‘Se te nota en los ojos’, Angel D’Agostino – ‘Rondando tu esquina’, Carlos Di Sarli – ‘Una fija’, Osvaldo Pugliese – ‘El panuelito’… and a few more 🙂
Did you use tango to alleviate the pain while giving birth?
I did make a list (organized in tandas 😀 ) that played in the background… And it did help! Up to one point… 🙂
How far into the pregnancy did you still feel comfortable dancing?
Well… I danced into my 7th month. And I would have danced more, but I had to move back to my hometown, where there is a little tango, but sort of far from my house. So, I listened to and moved to tango music at home, while cleaning 🙂
How do you think the leaders felt about dancing with you while pregnant and how do you think they feel about dancing with pregnant ladies in general?
🙂 Now… This is an interesting subject. People didn’t know that I was pregnant until I showed. So, until then everything was kind of normal. Aside my adjustments – that were probably perceived by leaders, but stayed unexplained – I danced just as much as before.
When they found out about, and, moreover, when they actually saw the pregnancy… Well, things changed 🙂 Some of them – the majority – stopped inviting me to dance. Some were more careful with their moves and a little distant in the embrace. And very few (like two or three guys) kept dancing normally, as they saw my abilities were not altogether compromised :)) And to those guys I am grateful, since I needed to dance more than ever 🙂
I even had an almost breakdown during an event – the last big event I attended this year in the summer… I was so looking forward to dance, knowing that soon I’ll be missing it! But in the first night at the milonga no one invited me 🙂 I know why and I didn’t judge, but the feeling was not so pleasant.
So, if it had been my choice, I would have danced more… 🙂
Do you think tango is a good way to stay fit during a pregnancy and why?
Well… maybe it’s not a workout in the sport-like kind of way. But tango engages both your body and your soul. Also, it helps you understand and use your body in such a natural way that it really fits a pregnancy – which is another so very natural process. Of course, it is also a good physical exercise, but this is not its main benefit. My opinion is that the body is helped by whatever makes you happy. 🙂 Oxytocin, right? 😀
Did the baby react to tango music while he was still in your belly and did he like any particular songs?
Yes, he did 🙂 I was mostly tired during the week, always feeling like I wanted to sleep… But in a milonga – and especially in Saturday Practica, where I was also dj-ing – that feeling was gone. I was fresh until the morning and the baby was peaceful. 🙂 I also noticed that he was calm when I danced – and I danced milonga more than valses or tangos 🙂
And yes, there is a vals that he reacts to more than to other tango songs: Rodolfo Biagi – ‘Lagrimas y sonrisas’. 🙂
Do you use tango songs to calm him if he doesn’t want to sleep?
When he is agitated or even cries, he calms down if I dance around with him on any tango. So, I still get to practise once in a while.
Do you feel like dancing now and would you take the baby to a milonga?
Actually I miss dancing more than I expected. I’d take a tanda (or more) in a second. 😀 And yes, I’d take us to a milonga. I tried planning to go for New Year’s, but it seems a little difficult now, with the distance and all. So, next year. Although… I am a little nervous to discover how my dancing skills have changed. Again… 🙂