Dancing Hate


Trudi Schoop’s stories in Won’t you join the dance? had me fascinated with her approach and understanding of the human body. I felt that her lessons of reading the body and mimicking someone’s body language and movements to learn why they move that way are incredibly useful even beyond dancing. Yet, her book felt unfinished; it left me asking, “and…?” I wanted more. I wanted to know where this led for her. I wanted her to go deeper. What more did she, and can we, learn from observing, mimicking, and addressing movement in another? What more can we learn about ourselves?

That being said, I enjoyed many pieces of her narrative. They left me asking questions, wondering why something worked or why an emotion manifested in that way.

“Hate was clarified by the rhythm of a tango.” (p. 146)

I’m taking that sentence quite out of context, and of course my personal feelings are irrelevant to why someone else chooses to manifest their hate through tango rhythm. But that sentence stayed with me long after I finished reading the book. I couldn’t let it go, because I don’t relate to it at all. To dance an emotion through a certain rhythm or dance style, I need that emotion to resonate within that dance, and for the rhythm or the music to provoke that emotion. I need to be able to find that emotion within the dance. So what about hate?

I’ve never found hate in my tango, not in the Argentine or the ballroom style. I’ve found intimacy. I’ve fulfilled a need for connection I didn’t know I had. I’ve found power and balance and freedom. I’ve felt accomplished. I’ve felt like I was flying. But never hate or anger. Those feelings prevent me from dancing tango; they block my connection to the dance and my partner.

But that sentence still makes me think. How would I dance hate? I don’t have answer for that. Perhaps without feeling true hatred I can’t really know.




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