The following comes from a newsletter sent by my wonderful tango teachers, Mark and Ina. Mark and Ina are not just phenomenal dancers; they are also of that rare ilk of performer and teacher that brings inspiring awareness and mindfulness to each moment of the dance. What I love about this piece is that he’s talking about tango, but he’s offering a rich invitation into every moment, not just dance.
I know there are many reasons for people embracing Tango and for wanting to dance it. I began with one idea of it and over the years this has changed and deepened as I have come to realise that I am seeking a wonderful connection with another on the dance floor. However, in private sessions and often in our group classes too, I am always puzzled by the effort and energy people spend on trying to ‘make this dance work’, rather than allowing oneself to relax, breathe and settle into it and the music with simplicity.
One of my TREASURED MOMENTS IN TANGO, and I do have many, was the night I danced with a friend of mine at a grand birthday party of hers. She had been fighting terminal cancer for years and had been in remission for quite some time. But just before the party, it had returned and she had decided to stop the treatments and allow herself to die gracefully and joyfully. At this evening, I took her in my arms and held her while we danced to magical Tango music and we did very little in the step or moves department, but we connected with love and care and concern, regret about what was likely to happen and acceptance of the ‘now’ flowed between us and we spoke without words. It felt like there was a light around us and I felt transformed and held by this experience.
That is more WHAT I SEEK WHEN I DANCE TANGO. That quiet and tender moment, that fun and dramatic pause and an energy exchange between me and a partner. How often does that occur? For me too little, as followers are very often concerned with what to do and what are you doing and what must I do, rather than just being and letting the music carry us and the space and time invite whatever comes for both of us. Now, I do understand that this is not easy, but that is what I search for when I dance with someone and that is why it is difficult for me to just amble around the floor and ‘do the Tango’ because it feels like a waste. One needs to treat these magical possibilities with care and respect so that they do not get ground away by thoughtlessness and mindlessness.