So I’ve been dancing for most of my life. A lot of what I’ve learned seemed to inhibit my learning in tango. If you have never danced a day in your life, I think tango is the easiest place for you to start….because if you can walk, you can tango. It’s that simple. But the reason that I have really loved the tango more, in comparison to all of the other dance forms I have learned and performed, is because I don’t have to pretend I am feeling any other emotion than what I am feeling in that moment. If I’m tired, I can express that. If I’m angry, I can feel that rage. If I’m feeling a bit melancholy, I can mourn. Some dances are so serious or so energetic and cheerful that it’s extra exhausting to exhibit that emotion when you’re not actually feeling it. I’ve realized that when I let myself dance as I am, I am relieved. I can leave the floor feeling like I did have a good day despite everything. I feel good. I feel healthy. I feel like a weight has been lifted, a stress has been released, a tension eased. Ya know, people pay some big bucks for therapy…but I’m going argue that maybe everyone should try tango first. Talking can be scary. Movement can be scary. But imagine experiencing all those scary emotions while you’re being held?
I also learned how to be a good learner this week. It’s really easy for me to be frustrated when I don’t get what is being taught as fast as I thought I would. And it’s easy to say to myself, “Geez Bridget, what’s taking so long?! Why can’t you get this down? It’s so SIMPLE in your head!” And would you be surprised that it takes me even longer to get it right? Imagine if instead I said to myself, “Okay, you’re doing well. It’s not about how fast you get it. It’s a process. And it’s always in progress. There’s no rush. Take your time.” Whew! No pressure there, huh? If we only tell ourselves positive things as we’re learning, what a great experience we will have! What a difference it would make in our learning! What you tell yourself in your own head can change your behavior. I just blew your mind, didn’t I? You can be a rock star. You can be the master of your fate, the captain of your soul. (Ok, I’ll stop with the cheesy affirmations. But points to you if you got the reference to William Ernest Henley!)