Not Just "Moving Your Partner"
The pivot at the cruzada is where it is all about moving together. These steps don't happen because we choreograph them, they happen because we allow and insist that our bodies move together from our feet, to our hips, up our spine and all the way to our chest and head! As I turn she comes off of her axis, then we share an axis then it becomes about her axis again.
Our dancing is always changing, we are truly “not minding what happens” as we dance, but more often than not we are just "being what happens". Which is a big relief for both of us - and as a byproduct our joy for tango is growing, and our spirits are growing into being more peaceful and loving creatures. Nowadays when we dance we are more present and that brings wonderfully positive rewards:
- Less thinking more dancing - less worry of mistakes or being perfect.
- Releasing our attachment to the outcome of the dance.
- Less emotional or physical reaction to mistakes.
- Rolling with the flow thus diminishing as opposed to amplifying mistakes.
- Less jumping out of the moment to analyze a mistake - what's past is past.
- Awareness of subtle movements in our bodies as they happen - a deeper and richer moment.
- Awareness of our juxtaposition changes by being more fully present.
- Accept the moment as it truly is - mistakes and all - means less mistakes to deal with and accept.
I have been reading Eckhart Tolle’s book: A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. This well thought out book has spawned some interesting observations of us all as dancers. There is a small section entitled: “Not Minding What Happens” it is exactly where Jo and I are in our tango as it stands today. This next paragraph is slight re-wording of Eckhart’s writing so as to apply this passage to tango (his words are in italics mine are in standard type face):
When I don’t mind what happens, what does that imply? It implies that internally I am in alignment with the dance I am dancing. “What happens” of course, refers to the suchness of this moment, which always already is as it is. It refers to content, the form that this moment (the only moment there ever is) takes. To be in alignment with what is means to be in a relationship of inner nonresistance with what happens as I dance. It means not to label it mentally as good or bad, but to let it be. Does this mean you can no longer take action to bring about change in your dancing? On the contrary. When the basis for your dancing is inner alignment with the present moment, your dancing becomes empowered by the intelligence of Life itself. *
There has also been a shift in our teaching from feeling like we have to know everything to actually being able to help each of you find your own answers. Every time someone has told me that a step should work like this and this (your foot goes here and her foot goes there)I would get out on th emilonga floor and it would fall apart as the floor around me kept moving and changing it's shapes and opportunity - our goal is to get you to be able to mold your steping with the real world in the real moment.
I had a college professor by the name of John McLain - God bless him! - he took extra pains with me to help me learn not only to learn, but to become my own teacher. My goal with you all is not to make myself indispensable, because "I have all the steps" but rather to build in each of you a peer base of tango so we can all go out and become teachers and instructors - even if only in small ways - of this remarkable way of moving and growing together.
In tango there is an ever present need to set aside our egos and not to judge one another but instead take a good look at ourselves and how we move across the floor with everyone else on the floor. Can you imagine even for a second what our city, state, country and planet would look like if we would all take a good look at how we move with one another? Perhaps we could stop playing a global version of king of the hill, and find more time to dance some good tango!
That would be my wish for the planet :)
Practice, practice, practice!
Love & Light,
Rusty Cline & Joanne Canalli
* If you haven’t read the book: Eckhart Tolle’s book: A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, put it on your preferred reading list. It is quite insightful!