I was writing the other day about why is it hard to dance to Pugliese and I recently had some of my best-ever tandas under his music. As I wrote his music requires you to express your emotions to the maximum in order to enjoy it. Pugliese aside, in general, expressing emotions in dancing is a difficulty we have because as I also wrote there is a tendency from society to undervalue it and maybe sometimes see it as a weakness. However, it’s the only way (IMHO) to enjoy your dance.
The more I have such tandas the more I also realize another thing. They are always a bit messy! I mean… if someone sees us dancing they will maybe think… they just lost their steps… or they are out of sync… or they don’t keep their lines… or their bodies are not in the correct posture… and a ton of other things. They will certainly find hundreds of technical flaws.
Sometimes the dancers themselves also know these “problems”… like I didn’t lead perfectly correct this ocho… or I missed one of the steps he led… or I messed up my technique in this giro… and my posture is not perfect.
All these technical details are indeed important but they have to do with the mind… the thinking. When the heart comes into play… the mind is losing all kinds of logical abilities. It’s like running in safe mode. Reacting and executing the basic functions. When the heart takes over… the mind tries to fight back… it tells you… you are doing it wrong… you are messing it up…. shouts at you trying to get back your attention.
So, there are two options for a dancer. The first one is to let the mind win and distract yourself from your emotions when you dance, in order to make your dance look and feel as perfect as possible. The other is just ignore your brain… let it shout all kinds of stupid things… and focus on your feelings… on your emotions while dancing. This means one thing. Your dance will be messy… that’s for sure… but… it will be totally worth it!
Tonight’s Goodnight Tango
Tonight’s Goodnight Tango is a well-known song in a version that demands you to get really messy to enjoy it. Actually… there is no other way to dance it… because if you think about it… even the sound of the harmonica is not a crystal clear one. You can feel Hugo Diaz breathing and blowing and that’s what makes it so emotional… so beautiful… so messy!
How about you? Have you noticed your technique getting messy when you dance with emotion? Does this play a significant role in your experience? What matters most to you? Let me know with a comment below, an email, or a PM on Facebook.
PS. If you can… run back to your memory and try to remember what was it that your mind was shouting as mistakes… you can focus and improve them in practice, lessons, or even alone at home… but in the milonga… let your heart be the leader.