TangoSpace with Pablo and Anna is one of my favourite go-to youtube sites for tango. However, since it is an instructional video site, it doesn’t translate readily into blog material.
recently they interviewed Pepa Palazon on the topic of connection. Pepa is the organiser of one of the more popular milongas in Buenos Aires. As well, she also interviews prominent tangueros on youtube and Patreon “Tengo Una Pregunta Para Vos.”
Take time to watch the entire video. Pepa demonstrates some very interesting exercises about connection that cannot be explained in text. However, I have extracted what I believe captures the essence of her insight into and commitment to connection and Tango.
TangoSpace: Do you believe you can work on connection or is it just something that comes natural for some people?
Pepa: Some people are naturally more open to connection because they are more sociable, less shy, etc. Now if I know and embrace how I am and if I decide to make a connection with someone else, then I will be able to develop that skill.
You need two things. You have to know and embrace who you are and you have to make a decision.
Connection begins as a decision. I embrace you but before that I have to decide to embrace you. And that embrace is a commitment.
Embracing is about honesty.
Each person embraces according to his or her own truth. His or her essence. If you make a connection with your essence, you can share it. That definitely can be developed.
TS: Do you have any recommendations for when people are dancing and they feel disconnected?
Pepa: Tango is like life itself.
If you observe the way you are dancing you can understand what is happening to you in life. When you feel you are disconnected to your partner, you just have to reconnect with yourself. You disconnect from your partner when you are disconnected from yourself. So you need to go back to your axis, but not just your physical axis. You need to recover your emotional axis, to feel yourself.
If you feel stressed you need to breathe to get rid of it…. You need to go through your emotions…. You have to go back to honesty, always, always.
TS: Do you have any exercises to recommend for people to address these issues?
Pepa: There is an exercise that is very interesting because it reaches the other person’s inner self. Let’s say you are walking. You look at the other person and invite them to let you go into their personal space. We get close and we look right into each other’s eyes with two goals, trying to see beyond the eyes, trying to connect the person in front of me, and at the same time something that is as important as seeing, allowing the other person to see you. Because this is a very strong intimate space. And at some point when either of you makes that decision, you get a little closer.
There is always an intimacy limit that you set as a protection. This is a communication principle. We always set a boundary to protect us from other people. When I get close, I allow my partner to get in.
TS: What is the best advice to be more connected in the dance?
Pepa: Just to connect with yourself.
For instance, everyone is interested in love. We are all interested in love and tango has a lot to do with love. Even it it only lasts three minutes, it is still love. What happens when you are in a romantic relationship? You can’t share with your partner if you don’t know who you are.
There is a kind of tango that is related to form. And personally, I am not interested in form at all. I am interested in what is happening here inside. There is a story going on, a story of passion there is something, there is life inside.
We have to wake up to that life.
How do we do that? I by being myself and you by being yourself and by agreeing to share that. That is a challenge, no? Because you need to embrace yourself and for that you have to work a lot on self esteem. And then you have to give yourself.
You need to trust.
And you have to stop controlling. When you give yourself, you say “Fuck control.” What does control say about a person? When you want to be completely in control, you are scared. You feel that you lose control, something bad might happen.
When you embrace someone you show your fears. And so you have to start loving yourself more. And say, “If this doesn’t work, it’s fine.” But at least you have to try to embrace with your whole being. I have to take my heart and say here. This is yours for a little while Take care of it. It’s about honesty.
To follow Pepa go to www.patreon.com/tengounapregunta