Pauses in speech
A few months ago I was writing about the pause and how I discovered its power through the pause forced on all of us from covid. It is true that my dance has changed a bit from some years ago when I used to be kind of hyperactive. Recently, I realized one more reason why the pause is not only powerful but also very very important.
Let’s say you have a dialog with another person. What usually happens, at any given moment, is that one person speaks and the other listens. There is one transmitter and one receiver. But what happens if both of them speak at the same time? Most probably you end up having two parallel monologues. Like what happens on talk shows in Greece before elections. Where does this lead us?… Well… if you want to have a dialog there must be two distinct roles that are constantly exchanged between the two partners. What is also very important is that the one listening… should be silent in order to clearly receive and understand the message. Any kind of interference even from reasons outside the couple can cause misunderstandings and problems in communication. Have you ever tried to talk to someone in a noisy place? Therefore… silence is really important if you really care to listen to your partner.
At the beginning of our Tango journeys, the ones taking up the man/leader role are trained usually to speak. On the other hand, the ones in the woman/follower role are usually taught to listen. Sometimes, people are dancing on a role and never even realized that they can do what the opposite role does. I was always baffled by this. I still am… but a bit less than before. How could my partner talk to me?… and how could I receive and understand her message? Well… in some of the recent workshops with Natalia and Agustin and with Horacio and Maricel, I finally got some answers to this. I will not explain in detail… I don’t know if I can… but do you know what was the common denominator in both answers? When is the best time to listen to your partner as a leader who usually speaks?
Let the discussion start
Well… given the dialog paradigm, it is easy to understand why. During a pause, you silence your body. You (meaning mainly the leaders) are not creating any noise and therefore it is the ideal time for the follower to express their wishes… ideas… moods. It is only during these times that the message can be crystal clear. Because in silence even a whisper can be heard. Then, it’s up to you to decide if you want to listen and build on top of it when you start moving or just ignore it and continue your endless monologue.
Sometimes, you may agree to what your partner says and expand on it, some others, you may disagree but nevertheless express their idea on your dance, and some others you might not be convinced at all and continue on your own path. In any case… allowing the time for your partner to express herself… silencing yourself and listening to her is one of the best ways to make your dance a really amazing experience for both of you. Therefore, even in Tango silence is golden!
Tonight’s Goodnight Tango
Tonight’s Goodnight Tango has gold in its title and is really golden in terms of the opportunities it provides for silencing yourself and listening to your partner!