The Delicacy of the Dance Spirit

I want to share a personal story about dance spirit.

This weekend I received an unsolicited, catty remark from a “professional” about my tango dancing. Had I been a total beginner, that remark would have left an ugly slash in my motivation and interest in continuing with tango.

Sadly, the remark had it’s intended impact and left me struggling to find the confidence I have been steadily building. I felt deflated and I questioned whether I truly have what tango requires of me.

Saturday night I was at a milonga and a favorite nuevo song came on. I turned to the first man I saw and anxiously asked, “Do you like nuevo?” to which he wordlessly swept me onto the floor in an embrace that honestly, left me nearly breathless. Apparently, I had asked a lead who was a true rockstar milonguero.

I remember making a stumble during that dance. I immediately apologized for my sloppiness – to which he murmured a warm reassurance that lifted my confidence back into flight.

This man, Mahmoud, exuded class. He slipped away before I could thank him not only for such a lovely tanda, but also for being such a gentleman. This man appeared when my dance spirit was feeling a bit broken. His kindness and willingness to embrace me unconditionally for where I am in my dance journey restored my faith that I am part of a community with a warm heart…. and not just self-righteous egos of superiority.

Tonight, I returned to my weekly practica with Marcos and Ruta, whose support and generous guidance flood me with inspiration every week. I feel them looking at me with excitement, seeing my potential, gently pulling it out of me… these two can see within me. They see butterflies of potential beginning to break from their silky cocoons. They see the birth of magic which I have yet to imagine is possible for me.

Tango, being such a profoundly intense and complex dance, has one inherent weakness. It can create a tremendously vulnerable dance spirit, which can be easily broken. It’s why people commit to and quit tango over and over and over.

The delicacy of one’s dance spirit should not be forgotten. – Karen Leigh Kaye

The scene leaders in our tango community have an unfortunate power that bears great responsibility. They can nurture ones dance spirit – or poison it to an untimely death. Sadly, I see too many cases where dance spirits are broken or mangled by behaviors driven by insecurity, sheer meanness, exclusion, self-righteousness or delusions of superiority.

Perhaps the true masters of tango have conquered the greatest challenge tango confronts us with – the challenge to be true gentleman and women of grace and class – to everyone seeking the heart of tango. 

When beckoned to choose between throwing dirt and judgement – or casting light and love, choose wisely. For this may be where the true future of tango lies.

Portrait of beautiful bride. Wedding dress.

Argentine Tango has the power to unfold every part of me into the rawest vulnerability. Perhaps that’s why some evenings end like this – watching, waiting and wondering.  Wondering if it is truly worth it. And waiting to see if it is.

About Epiphany

epiphanies on life and spiritual living as I chase wisdom - one insight at a time.

Posted on June 7, 2016, in Dance and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Was very happy to see that you go to Marcos and Ruta’s practica. My husband and I would love ton but we don’t live in OC. Privates are definitely the way to go. My husband and I have been taking private lessons with Marcos and Ruta for 8 years. We’ve started over again from the very beginning at least 5 times. But each time was at higher level.

    Like

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