People are natural-born liars. There are many reasons why we do this but that is not the point of my essay; what happens to those lies when we come to tango is. Dancing is like writing and the writer’s creed is “to thine own self be true.” If you bring your lies to tango, they will be exposed and this is not necessarily a bad thing; it is how tango makes you better.
Here is a good example: “I can’t dance because I am fat.”
This is the falsehood that prevents many people from getting out on the dance floor. Your physical appearance is not as important as balance and emotion. You can’t be a slob and good hygiene is extremely important but how much you weigh should not be a factor in your decision to dance.
Tango is for adventurous spirits, those persons who get great satisfaction from getting to know the true person inside the skin. I like to call them soul-seekers. They are tourists in other people’s psyches. It is not enough for them to engage another person in conversation, they need to touch you, feel your emotions and experience how you move to the music.
Our passion is something we often try to hide from others. Those of us who do this have learned that expressing our passion is unacceptable; maybe we were taught this in school, at work or at home during childhood. Whatever the source, it needs to be let out and tango gives us that outlet. We may not realize it when it first happens but eventually it becomes clear that it was necessary.
There are many other lies but the one I’d like most to expose is this one: “It’s her.”
It’s never her. The woman cannot make a mistake in tango. I’m sure you’ve all heard that this dance is all about the woman, well, it’s true. If you are the leader and the follower fails to respond in a way you had expected then you did not give her enough information.
Maybe you gave her too much information. Maybe she sensed that you were too demanding and this caused her to become nervous which then caused her to miss your cue.
This is not her fault, it is the leader’s. As the lead, it is your responsibility to keep your lady on her own balance, to figure out what moves she is comfortable with and not to lead anything that is beyond her ability......and yours!
This scenario often encompasses another lie and it is the one the woman tells to herself: “It’s me.”
I often tell women when they apologize during the dance that they cannot make a mistake. They usually laugh and deny it. That is because they think I am lying. They firmly believe they are at fault and I think it is a long journey for these ladies before they realize that it is not true.
There are no mistakes in tango. To dance tango is to attempt to choreograph a song spontaneously with a partner. It is an ATTEMPT! It is not a commandment written in stone. There is no grade or score. Success is measured by how you feel afterwards.
To err is human. It is not a sin to be human. When you come to tango, cut yourself a break and forgive yourself ahead of time. You are here to enjoy yourself so don’t be an obstacle to your own happiness.
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