1 Connection to Self
In tango, we talk a lot about being “on your axis”. This means knowing where your center is and being able to maintain your own balance even in the midst of dynamic forces. This takes core strength, groundedness, and a lot of practice!
Whether a person is actively in partnership or not, it is so important to know how to come back to center. We cultivate self-awareness, an understanding of our needs, our strengths, and when to seek support.
If I am whole and balanced, I am ready to partner. Until that time, I am always looking for another to complete me. When I am connected to my Self, my partner has the freedom to dance and play with me, and the possibilities are endless!
2 Connection to Partner
This is what we came for. It takes two to tango, and it takes two (or more) to do anything truly remarkable.
There is stage tango and social tango. For social dancers, tango is a conversation. It is totally improvised, with the leader suggesting and the follower responding, and the leader answering back. It is created anew every time, a very alive and fleeting work of art. This takes a refined level of awareness, mindfulness, and willingness to negotiate and collaborate.
What does it take to be a great leader or follower in tango? These are skills and qualities that allow us to dance in harmony in any great partnership or team.
3 Connection to Community
In social tango, we dance in community, responding to the flow of other couples on the dance floor. We also learn in community, and we improve by going to “practicas” where we help each other and change partners. This cross-pollination is necessary to adapt to different styles and learn from others with more experience. Teaching others also helps us master what we know.
Feeling a sense of belonging in a community is an irreducible human need. Who is your tribe? We need to be seen, heard, and valued for who we really are. We have to show up– and while we’re here, we should dance. This takes courage, but it is the beginning of our true aliveness.
“Connection is why we’re here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”
– Brené Brown, Social Psychologist
4 Connection to Music
The music is where it all starts and ends. The dancers embody the music; we become the sound current, the rhythm, the melody, the love and the longing that is expressed in the song. It is the essence of art to allow this beauty to flow through us and create something divine.
The music in our lives is that animating force that breathes life into our bodies and allows us to experience joy, love, and peace. It is the energy that turns a seed into a tree and turns the earth on its axis. Every person deeply craves a feeling of connection to this unseen force of nature. Finding connection with this unifying force: this is the universal human quest, the Hero’s journey, and we are all somewhere on that path.
“You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.”
– Robin Williams in August Rush (2007)