Embracing the “now”……..an unfinished entry/a quick thought written down

One of the most difficult things to teach in tango is the concept of the embrace. Through the embrace, we communicate our rhythm, our steps, and even our feelings. As a teacher, I feel that we need to help students achieve a mastery of rhythm and steps…..but what about feelings? Early on, I used to advocate bringing the past into your dance. Any happiness, sadness, or anger that was felt previously felt could be used to add character and shape to your dance. This worked for a while and it has worked for many of my students because these feelings are usually suppressed and tango gives a stage for them to appear on. So, to an extent, I will talk about this in a workshop because it does help some students rediscover and get in touch with these emotions. But the problem lies in the situation where the student is finally in touch with these feelings and relies on them to shape his dance….but then cuts himself off from what is happening in the embrace at the moment. I was guilty of that for many years: I went in to the dance with a plan; a rhythmic, choreographic, and even emotional plan. It wasn’t until I let go of things, and went in to the dance “blank’, that I then felt that my best tango started coming out.

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