Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 25th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

More Tango, Please

AE2_mariaMemoir explains how one woman used tango to transform her life
As anyone that has ever experienced the pain of heartbreak as the result of a shattered relationship knows, it can take months or even years to put the pieces of your life back together again. Memories as sharp and pointed as shards of glass litter the landscape of your life, cutting deep into your emotions. If you are not careful, such shards can slice into your psyche and cause permanent damage. But how does one begin the process of picking up the jagged pieces without cutting oneself on the excruciatingly serrated edges? For Maria Finn, a writer from New York City, the answer was tango.

Finn’s new memoir, “Hold Me Tight & Tango Me Home” perfectly captures the emotional devastation she experienced upon discovering her husband’s infidelity. But despite her painful divorce, Finn shows why the experience of learning how to dance the tango was able to piece her heart slowly back together again like an elaborate jigsaw puzzle. By learning about the art, history and AE2_bookpassion encapsulated in this Argentine dance, Finn found herself stronger, more confident and able to make it through a terribly agonizing time in her life. This poignant memoir alternates between stories about the aftermath of Finn’s incontrovertible realization that her marriage was over, her experiences while learning to tango, and the history of the intrepid dance itself.

Finn finds a motley crew of kindred spirits amongst the fellow dancers that she meets at tango classes in New York City. It seems everyone she encounters at the practices and at milongas (tango dance parties) has a past to hide, and everyone—including Finn— does so by using the language of tango to mask their true emotions.

Tango is a sultry, steamy dance that is said to have originated on the docks and in the brothels of working class Argentina in the late 19th century. Although certain aspects of the dance are said to have been introduced by immigrants from Europe and even Africa, it eventually emerged as a product of Argentine culture and remains a prominent symbol of the second largest country in South America to this day.

This beautifully exotic dance involves two partners locked together and moving in a close embrace, virtually two hearts beating as one. Although tango has ridden the ebb and flow of popularity around the globe throughout the years (the high point being 1913 where, according to Finn, it was all the rage in Paris and New York City to have tango tea parties), Buenos Aires remains the world’s true tango capital. It is in this city, known as “The Paris of South America,” where the book culminates. Finn not only immerses herself in the local tango culture (including shopping for dazzling shoes at the famed tango shoe boutique Comme Il Faut—and let me tell you, once you’ve been there, shoe shopping will never be the same again), but meets a handsome man in the most unlikely (or shall we say likely) of places.

Intricate descriptions of the tango combined with the graceful prose and intriguing story of Finn’s life experience coalesce to make “Hold Me Tight & Tango Me Home” a compelling tome. Readers will cringe right along with Finn as she dances with lecherous old men and ear licking creeps, and will be equally joyful when she finally learns that although it does take two to tango, she doesn’t need another person’s validation in order to realize her true self worth.

Maria Finn will talk about her book, “Hold Me Tight & Tango Me,” at 7 p.m. Friday, March 26 at the Capitola Book Café, 1475 41st Ave., Capitola. Local tango dancers will be on hand to demonstrate the dance, and Malbec by Familia Zuccardi winery in Mendoza Argentina will be served to enhance the Argentine tango ambiance. For more information, call Capitola Book Café at 462-4415 or visit
Comments (1)Add Comment
come tango with us!
written by lgarza, March 30, 2010
come learn tango on Wednesday nights. it's only 2 bucks!

It starts at 7pm and goes until 10:00 or so. If you just want to check out the scene come at around 9pm so that you can see what the dance form looks like.

meeting place:

calvary episcopal church downtown, the red church near jacks and the farmers market

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Simplicity Preparing for Thanksgiving

When we study and apply astrology in our daily lives, we are anchoring new Aquarian thinking. Study, application and use of astrology, understanding its language, builds the new world, the new culture and civilization. Astrologers are able to plan right timing and right action. Next week is Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 26). It’s good to understand the energies influencing us in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. When we know these things we are able to make Right Choices, have Right Action. We link heaven and Earth, our minds with the starry energies that influence us. Let us consider the following influences. The North Node (point in space where sun and moon meet, representing humanity’s present/future pathway) has just entered Virgo. Virgo is about food, purity, cleanliness, service, detail, order and organization. What can we learn from this? Because these energies are available to us we, too, can have intentions and a rhythm of order and organization, purity and cleanliness. Sunday, the sun enters Sag, joining Mercury (we have high ideals, many goals). Tuesday, Mercury/Saturn (structured disciplined thinking) squares Neptune (thoughts, ideas, goals dissolve away). Wednesday is 3 degree Sagittarius solar festival (full moon). Sag’s keynote is, “We see a goal, we achieve that goal, and then we see another.” We might have many plans and goals for Thanksgiving. However, on Thanksgiving those goals may be dashed. Saturn (structure) squares Neptune. All structures and plans dissolve and fall away. What is our response to this? We simplify all that we do. We plan on everything changing. We don’t fret. We adapt instead. Adaptation is the behavior of the Disciple. Sagittarius is the sign of the Disciple. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of November 20

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


If you could be someone else for one month, who would it be?

President Obama, so I could change a lot of laws that pertain to people in jail for drug possession and other minor crimes. Raouf Ben Farhat, Petaluma, Self-Employed



Blanc De Blanc Sparkling Wine is best shared with the one you love


Rainy Refuge

Kelly’s offers killer sliders and pumpkin pie, plus dining pet peeves and wine of the week


If you won the lottery, what would be the first three things you did?

Build a restaurant, buy a house for my mom and donate a quarter of the money to the Boys and Girls Club. Jevon Martin, Santa Cruz, Chef