January 18, 2012
I love to dance, but I’m terrified of Tango.
Really, I’m terrified of any partner dancing. Over the course of my life, aside from sleeping and eating, the thing I’ve spent the most amount of time doing is reading. The second is probably dancing.
But I’ve always danced alone. When I was younger I thought I simply wanted the freedom to dance without having to think about matching someone else’s movements. I was also afraid of not being good at dancing with someone, and of looking like an idiot. I later realized I had unacknowledged, deeply hidden fears of intimacy and vulnerability that kept me closed off. And, JUST NOW, I realized I was also afraid of having to set boundaries with men! Much easier to not deal with them at all than to go through the discomfort of having to express my feelings/wants/needs/don’t-wants (as in, I don’t want your hand on my ass).
So, despite having taken a few swing dancing and salsa lessons in my college days, and having one singularly fantastic night swing dancing with a man who was a master at leading, I became the queen of rejection. Among my friends I was legendary for ‘The Look,” a sizzling, emasculting, medusa-like laser beam that I would turn on any man who approached me. Eventually I reached a point where I just exuded a stone wall energy, which is what I did here in Argentina the first night I went out dancing at a soul and funk club with my friend, an Argentine who warned me that men would be all over me. I knew they wouldn’t, but I didn’t say anything, and he was surprised at the end of the night that I’d been able to dance for hours without having to shake off a single drunken man.
After that night, I decided I wanted to change. I wanted to begin lowering my stone wall. I’ve always secretly dreamed of experiencing the thrill of perfectly synchronized rhythmic joy on a dance floor. I know it’s going to take practice, willingness to be crappy at it, and a letting go of my need to control, protect and defend.
For the past few weeks I’ve been planning to go to a milonga to learn to Tango. Tuesday nights at La Catedral here in Buenos Aires, or to the outdoor milonga La Glorieta de Barrancas in a park in Belgrano. But the time hadn’t felt right yet. I’ve been invited by friends at least five times, backed out of a commitment twice.
Today, as often happens to me, what I wanted came to me. Call it synchronicity, call it manifestation, call it magic. I love it.
I was treating myself to some café con leche y medialunas at my favorite café, Bardepán, and chatting with my regular waiter, Roberto. Out of the blue he asked if I knew how to Tango. I said no, not yet, but I’d been planning to learn. His Russian husband is a professional Tango dancer, and it sounds like Roberto sometimes needs someone to Tango with while his hubby is entertaining some other pro-Tango dancers who are visiting them.
So, now I’ve got a partner and a teacher!
1. Change my story; don’t go into it with my usual storyline of “I suck at partner dancing. I love to dance but I always dance alone.” Instead: “I love dancing and I’m so excited to learn how to Tango.”
2. Let go of my fear, perfectionism and vanity; be prepared to look stupid and not be immediately good.
3. Laugh. A lot.
Here’s to dancing through fear!
“When you dance tango with someone, you don’t need to know their entire history in order to get a glimpse of their more ‘raw’ self, their human warmth or lack thereof, their ability to listen and participate in a dialogue, their ability to enjoy the music, open themselves emotionally and show their vulnerable side. It’s harder to hide our ‘raw self’ if we are not able to use words to conceal.” – Bora’s Tango Journey
June 7, 2010
Lots of great music this past weekend! Between shows I was thinking about how I prefer yoga and dancing to any church or service because there’s no separation of spirituality & physicality. When it comes to dancing at house clubs, I’ve pretty much decided I don’t want to drink anymore. Not only is it cheaper & I feel better in the morning (and don’t look glazed in pictures or lose chunks of time during night) but for me dancing is exercise AND spiritual… if you think about it, no one has a drink before going to yoga… at least no one I know. Which, actually, is a bit surprising.
Here are a few pics from the weekend:
Miike Snow at the Fox Theater in Pomona on Friday:
then the xx at the Wiltern on Sunday (love the deco-ness of the Wiltern):
Between those shows I squeezed in yoga at Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica, a trip to the Farmer’s Market where a guy was playing the sax and I bought some Dahlias:
and a gorgeous hike in the Palisades, with a stop off at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine.
Still doing my Consumer Fast as far as not buying STUFF…but experiences are a different thing. Thoroughly enjoying life and I am so grateful for all of the wonderful, positive, joyful, fun, caring people that surround me. I’m a lucky, lucky biotch!
I’m also a lucky biotch because, despite accidentally anointing my laptop keyboard with an alarming amount of safflower oil, my laptop continues to function. Praise the computer gods!!!!!!!!
Here’s one of my fav Tortured Soul tracks to help the Monday go by faster:
May 31, 2010
Went to Agape International Spiritual Center yesterday. It’s nice and all, but while there my friend and I realized why we don’t need Church in our lives – we’ve got House Clubs! During the service the choir sang a rousing hymnal. It lasted 5-10 minutes. I can get more joy, connection and spiritual inspiration from an awesome night dancing at a house club, and that can last for up to 6 hours.
We danced last night for about 5 hours; and we’re off to dance the day away at the Standard Downtown. Have a lovely gorgeous fabulous Memorial Day!