The Tango embodies the most intense confluence of pleasure, sensuality, physicality, and relational dynamics you are going to come across on the dance floor. Strangely, I come away from a night of dancing not with any feeling of romantic attachment, as one might expect, but rather the sense of having been awakened and nurtured at a soul level.Read More
A smile is worth a thousand glib assurances.
When I read a smile on my partner’s face I relax. I dance better. I trust that I and my partner are equally committed to a pleasant and pleasurable dance.
A smile displaces all the questions of adequacy or judgement: “Am I good enough? Does she want to dance with me? Does she trust my lead/ follow?”
Smiles have a very endearing secondary effect: they make you attractive. No face is so perfect that it is not enhanced by a smile or so disfigured that it is not also beautified by one.Read More
Guest blog: Constance Brissenden
My consciousness of Argentine tango began, not with movement, leaders and followers, grace and close embrace. It began with shoes. At my first tango class, all I could think about was my feet. My feet in black high-heeled shoes, not official dance shoes but good enough.
Slowly my awareness expanded beyond my shoes to posture, shoulders and arms, and mastering steps. Occasionally, everything came together and I could follow with 30 seconds with no mistakes. Then a minute, and then more. My body began to integrate the steps; my ability to follow improved.
Yet I yearned to really feel like I was dancing tango. Not just recall the technical aspects, but feel the essence of tango aligned with the music.
I read Aydan’s blog Double Bubble, about eye contact. And smiles. Now, here was a challenge to experience the deeper essence of tango. I rarely looked into the eyes of the leaders. Early on, when I was first learning, I was obsessed with my feet. Now I had to raise my consciousness to eye contact. More than that, I had to smile.
A few quick sneaky peeks, brief fleeting smiles followed. I was embarrassed, uncomfortable at the intimacy. Combining eye contact and a smile with dancing tango felt like being naked in church.
I can’t do it every time. Yet I admit that there was one perfect dance, that began with shared eye contact and smiles, that took my breath away. I staggered back from the perfection of a complete dance with an unbroken flow, with a blissful connection. The room fell away. I could have quit tango after that dance.
I didn’t quit, of course. I love the question marks of tango. What will the next dance be like? I look at the leader, I smile, I dance on.
(Constance Brissenden is a prolific and well-known author in Edmonton. She began learning tango in October 2018 and frequents Sunday at Parkwood and Monday at Naked. A delight to have in our community.)
It is a stroke of genius that the Tango ritualized eye contact - the cabeceo - as the first and critical element of the dance proposal. This is where it all begins: Eyes connecting from across the room with an affirming nod, raised eyebrows, a look of permission, acceptance, expectation.Read More
Next time you are filling out a job resume, include dancing tango on your resume and list the following personality traits: sensitive, respectful, attentive, a good listener, leader and follower, self-aware, respectful of boundaries, #metoo -proofed, creative, flexible, a good team player, all in addition to being able to pivot on a dime!Read More
Is the abrazo truly the heart and soul of the Tango?
If so, I propose a tribute to those very same arms that both hug and embrace, caress and comfort.Read More
Double Bubble Tango.
Have you ever felt as if you were the only couple on the dance floor, that you and your partner were in a world unto yourselves safely cocooned in your own universe, when all you were aware of, other than the music, was the warm, responsive movement of your partner?
Don’t we all want this feeling, all the time? What is the secret?Read More
In a day when gentlemanly conduct seems to be under attack, the Tango is the perfect venue for practicing close connection in an attentive, gentle, and sensitive manner. Milongueros, consider incorporating some of the approaches below into your dance.Read More
A recent advertisement by Gillette entitled "the best men can be" follows on the tails of the #metoo movement, encouraging men to be conscientious and courageous gentlemen, not only avoiding being crude, sexist, and racist but to intervene in conflict where others who acting out those old scripts. Excellent ad, powerful and timely.Read More
We dance to enjoy it. Not to put on a show but touch people’s hearts. I am not out there to impress people with what a wonderful dancer I am but to model how they can dance. It is a wonderful thing when it is simple. The best Tango dancers are not the ones who have developed this big repertoire of steps. It’s the ones who have developed a better understanding and awareness of their partner. When you can communicate with another person physically and emotionally, you’ve got it. That’s what makes it such a special dance. Michael YoungRead More