I discovered tango around 15 years ago and I immediately knew, “this is it for me”. I felt “good at it” before I was actually good at it. Tango has been for me, as much as anything, a soul journey. It has been simultaneously solace and catharsis for my deepest pain as well as a vehicle to express my deepest joy. Where I need to grow is reflected back to me on the dance floor and within the embrace and how I can fly is also shown to me. No matter how swept up in joy or lost in grief I may be in life, I can always find myself again in tango.
When Greg asked me to join his team, teaching tango, my initial thought was that I am not a tango teacher. I am a long-time dancer who is absolutely in love with this dance in a very personal way, but I have never had an interest in breaking things down in order to teach them and I have certainly never wanted to learn how to lead (and I still don’t). Tango for me is about the in-the-moment experience. It was one area in my life I could completely embrace surrendering and experience a deeper power within myself by doing so. I thought, to be a tango teacher, you really need to be able to teach people how to lead. So why on earth was I called to say yes to this? And why was he asking me? Hell, I haven’t even taken that many classes or sought instruction from many others. Any skillfulness I have has come by dancing and watching and evolving and listening and allowing. So, the answer to “why” is the same as the answer to what I bring and offer. As a therapist and yoga teacher, I guide others in connecting with their deeper selves to heal and grow. It is that very connection with our center that I believe makes someone a great dancer rather than merely a competent dance technician. Of course, you can’t do one without the other, so I humbly defer development of skills and techniques to the dance teachers.
What I offer is support and guidance to refine skills and reconnect with the soul and essence of this dance and with yourself through this dance. Much of this can be learned incidentally through the experience of simply dancing. It can also be helped along through body awareness, attention to breath, cultivating mindfulness and how to stay present. It can also be supported through awareness of what gets in the way such as habits or rigidity and too much control. My hope is that in whatever way I contribute, I am helping make the dance a richer, deeper and more authentic expression for others in the same way it has been that for me.