Friday, February 12, 2010

On My Own

I mean, on my own balance, and not passing off my balance to the leader. On my own, standing alone, dancing tall, two as one but still dancing on my own.

A concept I have come to understand as another peculiarity of dancing. Not every teacher puts it as plainly as that, but every one who has taught me over the last 13 months has emphasized the need for balance. But not as succinctly as the tango teacher has stated.

The context must be stated for the principle to make sense. For dancing tango is never done alone. And the concept thus becomes a contradiction.

Yet it is not. For one can only be as one with your partner, if one can tango to the music, move in response to prods and commands, and dance with full control, steady on one perfectly balanced leg, on your own.

For if not, then the moves are stilted and stymied by one's inability to stand steady and tall, on your own. The ochos that lead to snappy boleos are less than lyrical when I fail to stand, on my own. And the smooth change from abrazo to a free hold is less than easy when i am late half a beat for not being able to close tall, on my own.

Little things that make all the difference in the tango, as in life. Steady through the storms, on my own. That has gotten me through trials and tantrums. Slow but sure, focused on the next step, as I have learned, on my own. Anchored on my center, no matter the challenge, be it a crossroad or a choice of boleo or caress, still always certain to make a choice and land steady, on my own.

Even in the closest of abrazos, it is good to always remember that while two dance as one, that is possible only when I dance on my own. Performances past in my life affirm that indeed, the tango will be conquered, on my own.

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