I want to transform my tango to be like the Green Movement in Germany. Everyone recycles in Germany. You can get a fine for not recycling. There is a Green Party (die Grünen) in Politics, which has been around for about 40 years. They are an important party, no just a fringe group.
When I lived in Deutschland, I loved living in a community/country that thought about the environment and sustainability. The last place I lived in the US before I left for Germany made me pay to recycle all the cans I had flattened! I liked GREEN. At certain lights in Frankfurt, the signs told you when to turn off your engines. A yellow light ALWAYS precedes a green light to prepare you to leave in Germany. Letting your engine warm up your car can be fined, and your neighbors will complain to you if you force them to breathe the pollutants from your car every morning.
So "green" means being thoughtful of one's environment and especially what is good for the body. The ultimate GREEN question is: "Can we keep doing this? Is it sustainable?"
Is your tango sustainable?
"Green-Tango," then, is taking care of yourself and having a tango community that will last. "Red-Tango" is for the moment and just for yourself at that moment.
Shoes for Green-Tango
Das Thema Tangoschue reminds me of female circumcision, ladies. The stanch supporters of this barbaric act against women in Muslim countries are -- that's right -- women. I cannot talk to women out of their shoes that are damaging their feet. They don't want to hear it. Both men and women, but especially, women flip out when I wonder out loud if that shoe will cripple the woman wearing it. Green-Tango is devoted to comfortable shoes for women, who presently are harming their feet and bodies (with the shoes I so adore) but are harming them.
Green tango communities have at least some milongas that are early. Just sometimes we need to get a good sleep, necessary for healthy bodies which we need to dance tango in our 90's and beyond. A person who does not sleep enough is hurting many things, but the most important is their immune system.
Safety as a new culture in Tango
Few accidents (floor craft) is a philosophic pillar of Green-Tango. A code of ethics of safe dancing is a necessary part of a green tango community. Sorry, most esteemed Argentine tango instructors, but all that energy spent on teaching volcadas, and ever other kind of "-ada" needs at least a 10% tithe to the danger of such thing -- especially to the most common victims: Women, their backs, their bare legs and their exposed feet.
Music that is not at ear level to blast in one's ear on one side of the room. I always wore hearing protection as a professional drummer. Always. Many of my musician friends now have serious hearing loss. Yes, there is Green Music and Red Music. The Red Musicians eventually become the No Music musicians.
More Outdoors in Nature Tango
How about an outdoor portable floor that puzzle-pieces together? Each person brings a piece and we then can have a milonga. We can call it "Stone Soup Milonga" when everyone brings a piece of the outdoor floor. A quick look at the Internet reveals a little known fact: There are companies that make floors that easily piece together in small portable tiles.
Green Tango is Warm Tango
Warm up the heart and other important muscles: Tai Ji, or stretching, or yoga (even zumba) warm-ups before the dance. A healthy heart is a green heart.
Above are just a few ideas that have come across my thought out on my tango walks. Green tango will eventually be what the next generation will start thinking about when everything in their world by necessity will be thought of in terms of sustainability.
Maybe your Niece Nancy one day will say to her 3rd grade class:
"Today class we will talk about a dark time in human history. Here is a picture of my Aunt Amy. She is only 70 years old and can no longer dance tango, her most passionate past time. My Aunt Amy lived at a time when they threw out a plastic something every time they ate food."
A little boy says, "No!" A little girl says, "Shhh!"
"Yes class, and here are the shoes that damaged her feet!" She holds up some well-worn tango shoes. The children listening gasp in disbelief. The little Shhh-girl, says, "But Miss Nancy, that is not possible to dance in those shoes!" Solemnly the teacher says, "Oh, yes it is possible, but not sustainable."
Sustainable tango is the dance you dance all of your life because you can.