Search beneath all the frenzy of pivoting and kicking and strutting your stuff (what everyone calls the tango). There is a deeper dance, one that no one can see and only two people can feel.
It is as close as your partner’s cheek, as comforting as her breath, as delicate as a whisper, as engaging as an arm wrapped around your neck.
This is the dance within the dance.
It is the conversation between the dance partners. It moves not to the rhythm of the music but to the melding of beating hearts. It is shared in silence, communicated not with words but with an attitude of gentleness, subtle shifts in posture, a tender touch, a reassuring smile, a soft gaze.
The role of the lead is always to create space and invite a response from the follow. This is equally true for this “dance within the dance.”
The lead remains fairly stoic, his/her frame fixed, secure, confident, strong, providing a structure or fence around the partner. The follow, on the other hand, has all the room and opportunity to play within this structure, to fine tune the emotional connection with a slight shift or adjustment in the embrace, a resting of cheek against cheek, a squeeze of the hand, an affirming comment, relaxing the shoulders or lingering a little on some of the close-contact moves.
This is payback.
As a lead, this is juice for me. This is the energetic charge that encourages me to invest myself physically and spiritually into the dance. All these subtleties communicate to me that my partner is enjoying the dance, that I have earned her trust as lead and that she is treasuring this heart connection.
Making it happen.
At last count I came up with close to a dozen things the lead can do to encourage this dynamic. Follow me to the next blog for my suggestions.