"The Secret of Tango:" Gavito, pt. 3

We search for the secret of tango, the still point between the steps, the “sweet spot.”

Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
T.S. Eliot.

A quote from our spotlight milonguero, Carlos Gavito: “The secret of tango is in this moment of improvisation that happens between the steps.”

The heart of the dance is not the steps but what happens between the steps, where there is no movement, only stillness.

Is stillness dancing?

The stillness is only external. Internally everything is turning, churning, germinating. There is breathing, feeling, anticipation, excitement, connection, attentiveness, atunement.

And although it isn’t obvious, the body is moving - adjusting, calibrating. You are aware of your axis, your partner’s axis, sensing, positioning, adjusting your embrace, relaxing, breathing into your back, sending energy to the tips of your fingers, drawing energy up from the floor, intensifying the energy ball between yourself and your partner.

In this moment of “stillness,” (maybe a second, maybe two) your body, heart and mind are “loading” for the next step, feeding into the improvisation.

You don’t know what the next step will be. It is born in the stillness.  

The Still Point

The focus of the dance is to nurture/ cultivate/ treasure the still point:

The place where time and space meld into one.

Where the eternal presence infuses the present with the delicious taste of longing and belonging.

Where one loses consciousness of the separate self and surrenders to the music, the flow, the sensuality, the tingling, the Dance.