I have wanted to learn to dance the tango for ages. I must admit, I’m really too independent for ballroom dancing and I don’t do well on high heels. But the passion and intimacy of the tango has always fascinated me.
It takes two to tango. And I don’t have a dancing partner. But last weekend I was in luck: a tango workshop for singles! I didn’t have to think twice. The set-up was perfect: three women and three men. Our instructors, Sabina and Wim, led us through the basics of the Argentinian Tango step-by-step. At the end of the evening, I was floating across the floor, with my eyes closed, in the arms of my partner. Fantastic! I could have danced all night…
The special thing about the tango is that you learn a great deal about yourself. The dance requires two very clear roles: the leader (the ‘man’) leads with conviction and confidence. The follower (the ‘woman’) follows in trust and surrender. Are you a natural leader? Do you know where you’re going? Can you take the lead in the dance and trust that the woman will follow your lead without hesitation? Can you follow? Can you let lose all your ideas about how you think it should go? Can you trust the man to lead you well?
The tango requires a great deal from us: both partners need to be totally connected, so that you move as one without thinking. At the same time, you need to hold your own space, be responsible for your own balance.
We kept exchanging partners, each one felt different. The less the man hesitated, the easier it was to follow him blindly. With the one, I felt totally connected and needed to concentrate on holding my own space. With the other, I had to struggle for the connection. In the dance, I recognized patterns in my own relationships. In a relationship, it is also about leading and following, merging together and holding your own space.
Tango is a wonderful way to understand your own role in relationships. As far as I’m concerned, I’m hooked. Now to find a good dancing partner…
Are you more of a follower or a leader?