Dancing, be it Tango or another type of dance, opens up more doors and friendships than I could have imagined. Being from a small town, learning Tango has opened up friendships not only in the US, but also around the globe. Those connections might not be as close knit as others that are local, but they are just as important and fulfilling. Paths do cross months or years later, and those friendships are still strong, and bring such joy and excitement since there is constant growth and improvement between meetings.

Those you meet…

From festivals, to locals, to random dance events as you pass through town, dance communities are some of the most welcoming and accommodating to each other. With Tango, the communities and connections are quite close and people know many others in different areas, so if you do know you’re going somewhere, you can find connections before your trips. I remember asking my community if there was anyone to reach out to in the Chicago area, and was referred to an amazing person and friend who spent quite a bit of time over the few weeks I was there for work, showing me around the Tango scene. After that excursion, is when I really started to dance three times a week, when before it was once a week.

Those connections and communities really drive a sense of welcome, especially getting connections through your community, or from others you’ve met in your own travels. I’m also blessed to be able to give back, offer suggestions, and just keep that feeling going. Now that I’m photographing more, glad to spend time and photograph the people I’ve met and who’ve made an impact in my life and give back.

Photo from my LG G5 at Burning Tango 2017

My local friends who keep me excited to dance with, even if it is only once every month or so that I see them, or even those away who I see at festivals only are cherished. Every so often though, those friends and connections may be dropping by, driving through, and I get a chance to see someone outside of the usual festival grind. Just spend a day, some hours hiking, a good meal, being able to offer a bed to, and more brings the sense of friendship and community to it’s heights. It’s all thanks to getting into the bigger community that dance allows. There are few things in this world that will bring so many strangers to built such bonds.

Photo from my D5600 at Portland Tangofest 2017

You can travel and not dance, which can be great with company or without, but I see so many friends or family who’ve traveled just talk about what they saw, yet very little about who they have met. While I’ve found talking about friends and the people you’ve met and you connected with to be more fulfilling to me, especially to hear the stories on how amazing the people are.

To Give and to Take

Because the people are so amazing and those connections mean so much to be, the places and views are secondary. If there is a great community of people I’d rather go there and forgo seeing other things to experience others. If I can get both, even better, and if there is enough time to do both, that’s the dream. Why did I spend most of my time in Argentina in Buenos Aires was because I wanted to get to know people, build those connections.  Sure I missed out on seeing the falls, visit great wineries, explore Patagonia, and more, but felt happier building connections than seeing things.

Those connections have given so much, I’ve been offered a place to stay anytime I visit many number of places, haven’t made it to many, but it’s amazing that those people and communities and connections really do give such a welcoming feeling. I sometimes wish I was in a place to give back in the same way, as lodging is one of the crutches of those who travel and I’d love to give that back the same people have given to me.

Photo from my D5600 at Connect 2017

It is such a giving community, and I’ve felt I take more than I have given, so I’m so happy now to really offer a great skill and something back to those I meet.  To take pictures not only at events, but really to spend time with those friends, and offer to give them great pictures and something to hold those memories in a more tangible form. Also skilled in some origami, I love leaving behind something to be remembered by in that way, but happy to be able to bring out more to everyone.

How do you give to those in your communities, those who travel, festivals, dancers, and what are you feelings in that regard? Let me know!