Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Debbi, in her blog, An Ever Fixed Mark, made a very interesting post on practice and Tango. It made me think a lot, and I had thought about some of the things she talks about there before, and I take this opportunity, to express them here. Lovely post, Debbi. Thanks.

Take tango out of Debbi’s post, and it is the recipe for better communication not only on the dance floor, but in life. Tango arrived at a time in my life when I was exploring these issues, trying to understand human communication and relationships in general:
What do I want?
Why do I want it?
How do I want it?
How do I express it?
How am I perceived?
How do I perceive the response?
What goes wrong, how does it go wrong, and why does it go wrong?
And sometimes,
What goes right? Why did I succeed? Was it successful communication or dumb luck?

Maybe this is why I fell in love with Tango, because it essentially deals with these questions, on the dance floor. And I think tango really had a huge impact on me in answering these questions off the dance floor as well.

Just to clarify, I do not think about these questions when I dance. Most of my learning happens off the dance floor, just like I do not think about these when I am communicating. But through internal reflection, and talking with friends, and observations of life, I reflect, absorb, internalize, learn and I realize at some point that it becomes second nature. This is a very reflective process, just like tango is, to me.

So when I am on the dance floor, I am there because I want to be, and I dance. And when I am communicating in a relationship, whether it is friendship, or family, or love, I do not have time to ask these questions during the communication, I just have to trust that what I have learned through this process of learning, if you might call it, practice, will come to my aid, and guide my actions as naturally adaptive, accommodating and flexible as possible.

Everyone is different, this is my approach, and I can happily say that it has worked quite wonderfully for my relationships and for my dance.:)

The funny thing is, you know, they say, practice makes perfect, it really does not.:)
You have to keep working at it,
and you will enjoy it more,
and it will feel less like practice,
less like a chore,
and more like life it self.
Just like in tango, there is no perfect in life.
In my opinion, you cannot be perfect, alone. And if you are lucky, you can help create perfect little moments with others, that will stay still in the continuum of time as an unforgettable memory.

Solitary perfection, not only is a futile concept, but also would be a dreadful thing to behold…

But for us, there is the embrace, the hug, the silence, the understanding, the a- ha, and there are the blissful and ephemeral moments....

I am not
You are not
we are not
and yet, under certain stars,
when the moon is out
when that song is playing
when you hold me that way
when I trust you
when you listen to me
dare I say


  1. Thank you so much for the link! I am so pleased that you felt moved with what I wrote. I absolutely agree that everything I wrote about communicating in tango can just simply be communicating.
    Lovely post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful post (yours too Debbi).

    As I see Tango, there are no "mistakes". Just different or new ways of doing things. There is no perfect tango. Just perfect tango moments.

  3. Beautiful post- and so true. I especially love the ending- finding moments of "perfection" between two imperfect people. I think that is a big part of why many of us are drawn to Tango and stay with it, even through the inevitable frustrations.

  4. As someone new to Tango (less than a year), I have experienced dancing just about all the dances from ballroom to ballet and country. Tango is the only dance I fell in love with. What you wrote is what I feel each time I dance. I truly believe that tango is the dance of life and you have captured it brilliantly by our post. I thank you Greatly for your writing. Warmest Regards Ken