Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance

Today’s #Tango Thought 082: Couple (Part 1).

Couples, as a pair, develop their own shorthand for communicating with each other. They remark on events in their time together as ‘that time we did that thing when that thing happened, remember ?’. They invest their emotional time in each other as caring, loving (hopefully), partners that genuinely are invested in each other’s successes (hopefully). In one respect they are to each other intimates, while at the same time they see each other as support mechanisms, and so much more.

Enter Argentine Tango.

Unlike other social dances where you’re learning steps, patterns, figures that comprise the dance, usually from a ballroom, swing, or salsa based perspective. Tango boils itself down to a movement study of intricate complexities and minutae. Yes there are the 7 base ideas that one has to learn (forward, side, back, embrace, ochos, turns, and crosses), but that just scratches the surface. It’s far more than that as most people discover. There are the ‘moves’ of Tango and then there is dancing Tango and one very rarely matches the other. It is the never ending onion of layer after layer after layer of further, deeper levels of technique, music, and history, all rolled into one. It’s intellectual, while at the same time, very personal. It’s kinesthetic, while at the same time, insanely musical. It’s intimate while at the same time being very social. Those first few steps that most people take is the realization that their not going to look elegant, at all, and most certainly not like what their teachers look like. Those people eventually succeed with the dance because of that perspective, it allows for lots of honesty and growth potential. Now add to the fact that Tango brings up someone’s issues, personal and physical in a myriad of different ways that is wholly unexpected. Tango magnifies those issues, and brings them to the forefront, as it mirrors life in so many ways. You can not hide anything on a social dance floor, it’s all there for anyone to see. And that’s just on a personal or individual level.

Enter The Couple That Studies Together.

You can see where this is going, right ? You have two people that have spent oodles of time together. They eat together, sleep together, watch TV together. One snores while the other tries not to pay attention. One chews too loud while the other puts on music to mask the annoyance. One has their head buried in their phone, while the other wonders who they fell for to begin with at times. They come to understand each other (hopefully). Their way of talking with each other is at once direct, and then again, not direct. This is the ‘short hand’ communication referenced above. And then ‘BAM’, Tango happens.

If there were/are areas of concern in the relationship, insecurities, grievances, issues, behaviors that weren’t resolved by the time that they found Tango, all of those things will come out in the educational process, and they’ll certainly come out in the Social Dancing process. They’ll be magnified. And sometimes, not always, but sometimes that magnification process, of feeling the pressure to have fun, while at the same time trying to succeed with the dance can be very stressful on the relationship. Stressful to a breaking point, where one, not both, will eventually give up Tango for the sake of the relationship. It’s just too much.

The proverbial ‘Pink’ Elephant in the room. At the heart of any romantic relationship, especially the monogamous ones, is the belief, and really the trust that your romantic partner is going to be ‘faithful’ to you. Now add Argentine Tango into the equation and you can connect the dots on this one. Seeing a romantic partner in the arms of someone else, and then watching their face enjoying someone else that is not their intended, is hard for some people, not all, but some. Some people can detach from it and see Tango as just what it is, a movement. Some people place real, or imagined, but definitely projected insecurities into what might be very harmless fun. The ‘Pink’ Elephant in the room is the insecurity that has occurred. It’s there. You honestly can’t get away from it. You wouldn’t be human if you did. The insecurity is a fleeting thought that not only is like relatives that come for a Saturday afternoon bbq and end up staying for a week or so, but is right there in their face: Someone else is with your romantic partner in a, seemingly, intimate embrace. That’s the ‘Pink’ Elephant in the room.

To be fair, this particular Tango Thought is not indicative of every romantic partnership that comes to Tango. It only covers a slice of the spectrum. Like for instance, it doesn’t talk about those romantic relationships that develop because of Tango or the opposite, in spite of Tango. Nor does it take into account those romantic partnerships that have succeeded in Tango without any of the ‘Pink’ Elephants. Nor does it talk about same gendered couples, or opposite aged and opposite gendered couples, nor teacher/student couple dynamics, all of which have their own very specific issues. This is particular thought only covers one slice of the full spectrum.  #SocialDance #ArgentineTango #TangoDancing

081: Berlin | 083: Improvement 

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