26 April, 2016

Tango addict

Tango is very addictive. Although the consequences of this addiction are primarily positive, many dancers have reported experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they don’t dance. The symptoms include being sad and feeling uncomfortable. 
Tango comes as a package. It is highly volatile and full of emotions that are not fake. One feels and experiences love, anger, frustration, guilt, sadness, everything and one keeps going back to it with venegeance. Relationships are made and broken in tango. Break ups happen but tango continues.
There are self-confessed tango addicts, whose addiction is not limited to tango. Tango takes over their life, lifestyle, choices, sleep, etc.
One travels for tango, to attend festivals or workshops with their favorite maestros or let me put it more clearly, in search of that one magical and blissful tanda, that one magical embrace that transports you to heaven. Tangueros shop keeping tango and milongas in mind. The whole wardrobe undergoes a change. Shoes and dresses get piled up. We have tango friends and non-tango friends clearly demarcated and slowly non-tango friends are pushed away somewhere far in horizon and tango friends rule. Normal regular music ceases to please tangueros and only tango music heard around them.
Having bad nights are part of tango. Be prepared to accept this because we all have them. Sometimes the music sucks, or none of your favorite partners came. Sometimes everyone comes with a partner, or perhaps it’s just the full moon. There is always tomorrow night. Remember this and it will be easier to pick yourself up again and put on your tango shoes.
Whenever you invest in anything, you become more addicted to that. Today people are very addicted to facebook because they have invested a lot of their time, shared pictures, moments and their life on it. Freebies might sound very catchy but at the end of the day, they cause more harm than benefit. To reap greater benefits from anything, you need to invest in it.
What makes Tango very addictive? The amount of investment you put in an art form is directly proportional to the level of addiction and to your enhanced skills. This investment can be in terms of time spent in taking lessons, attending workshops and festivals, going to milongas, etc. 
You reap plethora of rewards that range from learning to pleasure, freedom, feeling exhilarated and stress free always. The sea is so vast that every time you go to a milonga, your happiness level goes up just thinking of what you will explore today. The steps are countless. Few people ever got bored of tango (who learnt it the right way) because they knew "all the steps"." At the age of 60, after having danced for decades, Pablo Veron, in his own words, "had still more to learn about tango".
Tango experience is often referred as “Bliss”. It is no coincidence that tango connection makes a person reach sublime pinnacle. Amongst all other dance forms, tango seems to unique in its experience. It is often called addictive and alluring. What is it about tango that two individuals with different mindsets, two strong personalities, come together and merge as one? They seem to have same mindsets, they communicate silently, they share the axis, their heartbeats become one, intention of one partner is clearly understood and responded by the other. They move together like one animal with four legs in a close embrace, improvising, embellishing, imagining, smiling and becoming lost in exalted encounter. They become two bodies with one mind, one heart and one soul. There seems to be this paranormal, mystic and occult fusion of two bodies, the dynamics of which is beyond human comprehension. Most of the tango dancers are addicted to this feeling of unexplainable bliss, the connection, the musicality, and the meditative mode that they experience during each dance. This is the moment when time and space dissolve. Tango is seductive, flirtatious, graceful, artistic and exquisite.

Lot of scientific research has been done on tango experience that remains a puzzle for many. Human mind has an unlimited prospective to learn. There is scientific evidence that proves that to develop skills for social dancing, the kinesthetic awareness is heightened. It is the sensory skill that body uses to know where it is in space. The nerve receptors, which send specific information to the brain, are definitely functioning better in a tango dancer, as compared to a normal individual, which makes tango dancers more aware of their space. The brain of a tango dancer has inadvertently learned to move backward without knocking down things, to identify the edges. There is heightened awareness about impetus and extra senses in action.

Human minds and bodies adapt and respond pretty quickly. Whenever you work with a particular object continuously, it becomes an augmentation of your own self. For a pianist, a piano feels like second skin, a violinist knows his violin like a back of his hand. Similarly, there is scientific evidence that shows that for tango dancers, another body is like an augmentation of their own self. Here two bodies, four feet move simultaneously on the same beat. Tango is not just a dance form. It transcends beyond. It is meditation in motion; it is connection and relationship between two individuals and embodies time and space. It is romantic, spiritual and profound.
Tango is expensive, exclusive, elite and sophisticated passion to pursue. Like golf, it is an activity, which requires that you have lot of money in your pocket. The Tango lessons, world over are expensive. Tango privates are even more so. Practicas, milongas, etc. do cost money and also your time. There are no free lunches. The more qualified and experienced, the teacher is, the more expensive, he/she is. You have to invest in classes, practicas, milongas, Tango clothes, Tango shoes, etc. Tango is very social. There is a lot of entertaining, going out, expensive wines; constant travels to attend Tango festivals for Tango addicts. Every Tango addict, dreams of traveling and spending big chunk of time in Buenos Aires. No one earns in Buenos Aires. There, everyone pays from their pockets constantly for every Tango lessons.
Yet, people of all ages, gender, nationalities join Tango and get addicted. Because it is fun, it is social; it is good for the mind, body and soul.

Here are signs of a tango addict

1.   You have a tango blog or spend a lot of time in reading tango blogs, watching tango videos, etc.
2.   You keep a pair of tango shoes in the boot of your car and even at work. Who knows when you might want to practice?
3.   You are practicing your boleos and lapiz even at a bus stop or while buying groceries.
4.   You would choose to go to a milonga over any other social do and engagement.
5.   You have created space in your house and rearranged your furniture so that you can practice.
6.   You social activities (i.e if you still have any) revolve around your tango calendar.
7.   You always have deodorants and breath mints in your bag.
8.   You consciously collect your feet when you walk. Your weight is always on one foot when you pose for pictures.
9.   Your travels must include tango, classes, festivals, milongas, etc.
10.             Your phone has a list of friends and names, which have tango in front of them.
11.             Your facebook friend list has many tango friends from all over the world that you met during your tango journeys.
12.             When you shop for dress or shoes, you think if you can wear it to a milonga or a class.
13.             No other dance form appeals you as much as tango.
14.             Tango conversations surely light up your face.
15.             You have hosted a milonga.
16.             You enrolled in Spanish class.
17.             Red and black are your colors.
18.             You know that sandwich is not just something you eat.

Did you agree to most of the above? Then you know you are a tango addict or a tango junkie but the good news is that it is a good addiction to have that has more benefits. Tango is therapeutic, meditative and mood enhancer. It uplifts you and certainly keeps you stress free.

Are you hooked on Tango?  I know just how you feel.  In fact, many others have felt the same way!  After extensive research I have found that, although Tango is not incurable (like crack or heroin) most Tango dancers just don’t want to be cured! And most of us are likewise not willing to toss out all those gorgeous shoes!
Tango dancers get strung out on the endorphins produced by dancing. But I’m not talking about just any kind of dancing. Jumping up and down by yourself in a crowded room full of people jumping up and down may be a great cardio workout but it’s not going to make your body produce endorphins. No, for that you need the close physical touch and embrace of Tango.
Dance, surrender, reciprocate to the leader’s moves, send him silent messages, take advantage of this tango to say the impossible, to speak words that no man will ever understand, a message that no woman can say with words.  Pass secrets to him, … allow him to feel the mysteries of your body wrapped in diligent giros, in tiny steps… Do what comes naturally, don’t think about what others will say.  Play tranquilly, surrender to each other, that’s what tango’s all about, this celebration that puts your heart in your legs and your head in heaven.
It occurs to me that  Right/Left brain concept just might embody the very essential nature of our universe.  I don’t think I want to mess with that!  That would be like cracking the cosmic yin/yang. Seas would part, we might all be walking on water with no water wings. Maybe these contradictions are what Dark Matter is made of, you know, the invisible ruling force of our universe. The Chinese figured this out a long time ago. The I Ching describes this delicate balance of opposites.  I’m beginning to think that it may also explain the addictive power of Tango, despite (or because of?) its stunning, mind-wrenching contradictions!  Without our very own Tanguero duality there would be no Pugliese, no Piazzolla, no bandoneĆ³n, no tango shoes! What a sad dark silent universe it would be!

Geez, do I sound like a Right-brainer?  No kidding!  Glad you finally figured it out!
Alright, end of discussion.  You’re addicted and you know it.  You’re secretly quite pleased with yourself. In fact, you wouldn’t trade places with anyone. Tango is the illness and the cure. This quote you can print out and pin on the fridge, dangle it recklessly on top of your work computer, wear it in a locket close to your heart:
1:  you keep doing it
2:  every time you do it you feel happy
3:  it turns your life upside down but you don’t care.

How is NDTS- New Delhi Tango school different from others?
In the words of my partner Naman, "In Tango we have 2 parts- First part is structure, shape form, posture. The second part is creativity. To be able to dance tango and to be a good tango dancer, you need to have both. In most of the tango classes, maestros focus on the first part a lot but not on the second part at all. Nobody talks about creativity. Everyone says learn the step and do it right. No one teaches how you will be able to do and create your own things and have right posture and right technique. Having right posture and good embrace is the right thing to do. But doing the step that a teacher tells you to do is not the right thing to do. In our classes, we combine both the things- structure and creativity. Structure gives you sense of belonging to the tango community and creativity gives you your individualism. So we NDTS-New Delhi Tango school want to focus on both. So that you are able to stand out and create your own tango".

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