Reflections on the night before the morning after ...
I took time to revisit the previous night’s dancing. What stuck with me, what have I kept, what opened me up emotionally and stretched my my heart, was quite surprising:
- pausing amidst the fancy flourishes and maneuvers to rest in each other’s arms, relishing in the stillness, the warmth and comfort of body against body.
- a few magical moments when the music and our motion melding so exquisitely.
- taking the risk - after the dance, around the coffee table - to look directly into my dance partner’s eyes for the first time.
- synchronizing my breathing with my partner.
- the brush of hair against my cheek.
- an encouraging comment shared in conversation around the table.
- being goofy.
- having the opportunity to share concepts like “aligning the heart.”
- gratitude to everyone who braved the elements to join together on a wintery evening.
- relishing in the fine selection of music for the evening.
These are the intricate, delicately embroidered moments of intimacy that nourish me. And they come in so many varied ways, on or off the dance floor, irrespective of the proficiency of my partner’s or my dancing.
The common thread is the shared space, the connection, the melding of creative energy. It has surprisingly little to do with “fancy dancing,” stumbling through those elaborate, complicated maneuvers that sell The Tango on youtube or at performance venues, (the steps that we spend all our practice time attempting to imitate and never quite getting).
Sure there is the delicious albeit fleeting, satisfaction that comes when I finally manage to contort my body in the defined way with a modicum of elegance. But this does not identify the critical ingredient about tango that draws me back to the dance floor rather than, say, the hockey rink or the gym. (Let’s be honest. Give me another twenty years of tango and I will still not be as good a dancer as I was once a hockey player.)
So what is the appeal, the pull, that keeps me plugging away, long after the delusion of proficiency has been ground under the excruciatingly pinpoint honesty of my partner’s stiletto heels?
My answer is also my quest:
It is the mystical sense that bubble-wraps my partner and me.
It is the conviction that, as I invest myself fully in this ever precious present moment with someone equally as vulnerable, fragile and questing as I, I am not alone.