July 14, 2011
Tango is an intimate experience. It allows your partner to touch you, enjoy your body, your comfortable embrace, complete surrender, tender leading, obedient following, loving protection, sensitive accommodation, and supportive complements. It also allows your partner to access, listen and feel the inner voice, feelings, emotions, expressions and personality of you. In fact, your partner can learn a lot about you in the dance. How you connect, move, communicate, respond and adapt tells a lot about the somatic, psychological, ethical, artistic and aesthetic qualities in you. The way you behave unreservedly reveals who you are: refined or crude, musical or dull, passionate or indifferent, calm or irascible, graceful or clumsy, adaptive or inflexible, yielding or controlling, cooperative or egocentric, respectful or arrogant… all are exposed in the dance.
Tango is a relationship. Just like in any relationship where the well beings of the two are mutually related and dependent on each other, you have to be and do your best in order to bring out the best of your partner. In tango, as in any relationship, your ego is your worst enemy. It’s the ego that makes you self-centered, arrogant, controlling, inflexible, irascible, rude, and counteractive. Tango is fully enjoyed only when the two partners act as one in complete unison and harmony. You need to let go your ego, submit yourself to your partner, listen to his/her inner voice, follow his/her intention, accommodate yourself to him/her, tacitly complement him/her to make up his/her weakness and bring out his/her strength, and let him/her feel totally comfortable and enjoyable dancing with you. If you only concentrate on yourself and neglect your partner, you will fail the dance even if you can do all the fancy steps and embellishments in the world. After all, tango is a social activity that requires good manner. Learning tango is much more than learning steps. It is, among other things, such as acquiring a taste, attitude, and culture, learning to be one with another person. Unfortunately, this very important perspective is often being neglected.
Posted by Paul Yang