Vals

I have concluded that valses are my favorite music.

This has nothing to do with my enjoyment of other kinds of music, because goodness knows that I love certain tangos and milongas and contemporary music. It has to do with the music that gets me off my chair, no matter what.

One evening, a leader and I were sitting and talking. The music was not getting us terribly excited to dance, and we were content to just sit there. He started to get up to get a glass of water, when he stopped and asked if I would like to dance the next Di Sarli tanda. He said that when Di Sarli is playing, he itches to get up and dance. He said that he feels pain if there is no one to dance with.

I may not feel that way about a particular orchestra, but I fly to the dance floor when a vals tanda begins. I can be in the most rotten mood, utterly uninspired, wrapped in a sweater and slumped in a chair in the corner of the room. But then a vals tanda comes on, and one of my favorite vals leaders catches my eye, and I simply can’t resist. Within seconds, almost without fail, I have forgotten my woes and am wrapped up in the moment.

Maybe it is the upbeat tempo, the swirly time signature. Maybe it is the mixture of graceful sweeping around the room with fun rhythms. (I adore playing with the 1 … &-3 rhythm – if you are counting 1 & 2 & 3 &. That pause builds up the fun of the quick steps, especially when used wisely.) Maybe it is something particular to my favorite vals leaders. Or to my own vals style. Who knows? All I know is that it gets me off my chair and back into the moment, no matter what.

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5 thoughts on “Vals

  1. Hello fellow tango dancer!I think you would be interested in KnowTango.com — the world’s first wiki-tango map where anyone can add or edit events.If you see an event that has wrong information or is missing, make sure to fix it. The site is totally free with no ads, so hopefully it’s something the worldwide (and your local) community can use and enjoy :-).Take a look and let me know what you think!-Henry

  2. Hi, I used to feel the same about vals – it was clearly my favourite of the three. After I finally “got it” with milonga, I find that I prefer tango and milonga, and in retrospect I have a theory why I preferred vals before.I think it may be because the music and rhythm is more familiar, and thus more easy to relate to, being a non-argentine. I still like vals, but it is no longer my favorite.It could be something entirely different for you, of course, this is just my experience. I was planning on writing a post about it, but you beat me to it 🙂 Maybe I still will, though..

  3. I seldom dance vals these days. I wrote about it not long ago on my blog. Vals to me, in general, is too plain, too smooth and too sweet. There isn’t enough in the music for me to play with. The few exceptions are: biagi con Ibanez (viejo porton, la loca de amor, lejos de ti) and se fue by Demare or D’Arienzo and some D’Arienzo songs. I jump up whenever I hear Viejo Porton. Love the way the energy building up throughout this relatively short song. About performance of vals, nobody does it better than Julio and Corina.

  4. Vals makes me very happy too. But like milonga, I really enjoy it only with a great lead. Otherwise it just gets boring.I find that in Tango, even with a less advanced lead, there are more opportunities to keep myself entertained, if things aren’t going “well”…

  5. Hi, Henry! That’s a neat site–It could be a very useful tool. I’ll have to look at it more in depth when I get a chance.Simba, I know what you mean. When I finally starting understanding milonga I began to LOVE its rhythms. I still tend to say that whatever I am dancing at any given moment is my very favorite music. 😉 I think my current reaction to vals may be due to something different, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.Pilgrim, I need to start paying attention to particular songs and orchestras that pull me out of my seat. I bet I would notice some neat trends. As for having enough to play with in the vals, I have to credit my favorite leaders for making it incredibly enjoyable! 😀Johanna, I agree! Our very tall friend is one leader who somehow always manages to make it interesting without needing to throw in too much extra “stuff”. Good point about tango, too. I definitely see that.

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