A State of Balance

Since I started dancing, my relation to Tango has been ever changing. It changed as I myself evolved and grew and it changed with the places I lived. And It surely will keep changing in unforeseen ways. But in my present, I have found  a surprising Balance, an equilibrium that reshaped my whole approach to tango.

The way I felt about the dance itself was consistent, in the past until now. It always had the potential of bringing feelings of bliss,  renewed all through a night, with every songs. But that’s in theory. In practice, dancing was always entangled with all those other aspect of social dancing, the ones that surround the pure moment of a beautiful dance. It’s the Milongas, the other dancers, the social interactions, it’s the progress, the absence of progress, my self esteem, the way I looked, it’s how tonight I can’t do anything right, how tonight He can’t do anything right, it’s the wait, the small talk. Things that made me feel ambivalent about the context that accompanied the dance. Some came from the way I felt about my own self at that moment in time. Some were less personal but impacted me all the same. I was frustrated with the social in tango. I started hating Milongas. So I cut them out and decided I would only go to classes. I had found a young teaching couple that I loved and I took a class every week, stayed for a practica and called it a tango day. It was comfortable. I didn’t have to deal with the way a night at a Milonga could seriously affect my self esteem or the way it sometimes made me feel very lonely. I didn’t have to deal with my frustration at the fact that all my tango acquaintances felt so superficial how it seemed impossible to deepen any of it.

Skipping to a time when I didn’t dance at all, simply because there was nowhere to dance for a while. A  time when I still regularly watched videos of dancers. Skipping  to a time when I started dancing again. In a new place, with new people. But in a different way – in two different ways : I started to learn how to lead, and I started doing it more – a lot more. Dancing, practicing, learning, sharing, thinking about it a lot more. Trying to understand it in details. To look at the other side, inverting my embrace, offering my left hand made me realize how much I needed the possibility of dancing differently. I never realized I needed both, to be a leader and a follower. And then, somehow going back to being a beginner in one role brought back the desire to evolve in the other role. Here’s the balance. The desire for detail on one side feeds on the sense of discovery on the other. Receiving, listening feels better because I know I am building my own way of offering suggesting, leading.

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