Hugs...

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The average length of a hug between two people is 3 seconds. But the researchers have discovered something fantastic. When a hug lasts 20 seconds, there is a therapeutic effect on the body and mind. The reason is that a sincere embrace produces a hormone called "oxytocin", also known as the love hormone. This substance has many benefits in our physical and mental health, helps us, among other things, to relax, to feel safe and calm our fears and anxiety. This wonderful tranquilizer is offered free of charge every time we have a person in our arms, who cradled a child, who cherish a dog or a cat, that we are dancing with our partner, the closer we get to someone or simply hold the Shoulders of a friend.

A famous quote by psychotherapist Virginia Satir goes, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” Whether those exact numbers have been scientifically proven remains to be seen, but there is a great deal of scientific evidence related to the importance of hugs and physical contact. Here are some reasons why we should hug::

1. STIMULATES OXYTOCIN

Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts on the limbic system, the brain’s emotional centre, promoting feelings of contentment, reducing anxiety and stress, and even making mammals monogamous. It is the hormone responsible for us all being here today. You see this little gem is released during childbirth, making our mothers forget about all of the excruciating pain they endured expelling us from their bodies and making them want to still love and spend time with us. New research from the University of California suggests that it has a similarly civilising effect on human males, making them more affectionate and better at forming relationships and social bonding. And it dramatically increased the libido and sexual performance of test subjects. When we hug someone, oxytocin is released into our bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

2. CULTIVATES PATIENCE

Connections are fostered when people take the time to appreciate and acknowledge one another. A hug is one of the easiest ways to show appreciation and acknowledgement of another person. The world is a busy, hustle-bustle place and we’re constantly rushing to the next task. By slowing down and taking a moment to offer sincere hugs throughout the day, we’re benefiting ourselves, others, and cultivating better patience within ourselves.

3. PREVENTS DISEASE

Affection also has a direct response on the reduction of stress which prevents many diseases. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine says it has carried out more than 100 studies into touch and found evidence of significant effects, including faster growth in premature babies, reduced pain, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms, lowered glucose levels in children with diabetes, and improved immune systems in people with cancer.

4. STIMULATES THYMUS GLAND

Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.

5. COMMUNICATION WITHOUT SAYING A WORD

Almost 70 percent of communication is nonverbal. The interpretation of body language can be based on a single gesture and hugging is an excellent method of expressing yourself nonverbally to another human being or animal. Not only can they feel the love and care in your embrace, but they can actually be receptive enough to pay it forward to others based on your initiative alone.

6. SELF-ESTEEM

Hugging boosts self-esteem, especially in children. The tactile sense is all-important in infants. A baby recognizes its parents initially by touch. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.

7. STIMULATES DOPAMINE

Everything everyone does involves protecting and triggering dopamine flow. Low dopamine levels play a role in the neurodegenerative disease Parkinson’s as well as mood disorders such as depression. Dopamine is responsible for giving us that feel-good feeling, and it’s also responsible for motivation! Hugs stimulate brains to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone. Dopamine sensors are the areas that many stimulating drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine target. The presence of a certain kinds of dopamine receptors are also associated with sensation-seeking.

8. STIMULATES SEROTONIN

Reaching out and hugging releases endorphins and serotonin into the blood vessels and the released endorphins and serotonin cause pleasure and negate pain and sadness and decrease the chances of getting heart problems, helps fight excess weight and prolongs life. Even the cuddling of pets has a soothing effect that reduces the stress levels. Hugging for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.

9. PARASYMPATHETIC BALANCE

Hugs balance out the nervous system. The skin contains a network of tiny, egg-shaped pressure centres called Pacinian corpuscles that can sense touch and which are in contact with the brain through the vagus nerve. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.
Embrace, embrace with your heart.~~

art: Dorina Costras

The Holidaylonga!!!

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Friday Dec 22  ||  8.30pm-12.30am

You’re invited!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – join us as we celebrate the end of our third LA Tango Academy year and ring in the season with a very special night loaded with juicy tangos, holiday cortinas & refreshments (...including Glögg & festive desserts!) 

Wear your favorite holiday costume and dance the night away with new and old friends. Doors open at 8:30p.

Workshops with Sara Grdan & Ivan Terrazzas

As instructors, Sara & Ivan have developed a modern systemic approach to teaching traditional tango. Their goal as teachers is to instill strong fundamentals by emphasizing technique, analytical thinking, logic, naturalness and comfort in both the close and open embrace. We are excited to have them in LA for an intensive 2 day progressive workshop series on December 2-3 (Sat/Sun). The workshops are progressive to give an in-depth study of connection, movement and energy management. Learn more...

Why tango changes your life

Why tango changes your life

Your growth in tango, in a broader sense, is about learning what you like, what makes you happy, what gives you pleasure but also a sense of becoming more you - or a better you. Tango is not only about learning how to dance and how to successfully interact with other people, it is also about giving priority to what you personally like. Tango is an extremely free environment that does not oblige you to anything, not even to follow its own loosely defined rules. It is not an institution. It is not a religion. It is not an organisation. And therefore everything about tango is only about your own choice: from teachers and dance partners to the way you look, where you go to dance, which music you dance to and so on. This freedom is also what makes tango so attractive and so rich in its various expressions. For me, all attempts to limit tango to one specific style or one particular type of movement go against the very spirit of tango.

Why we believe that dancing with better dancers makes us dance better

Why we believe that dancing with better dancers makes us dance better

There exists a belief in tango community that sounds something like this: “If I get to dance with better dancers, my dancing will improve much faster than if I only dance with people of my own level.” Or like this: “Experienced dancers should dance more with beginners. How are these poor souls supposed to learn if they are stuck with other beginners?” A female student leaving a class with the words: “Every new follower should be given a very good leader from the start! If we wait for these men here to become decent dancers, we will be waiting forever!”

Why leading is not more difficult than following

Why leading is not more difficult than following

I hear this statement all the time: “Leading is more difficult than following.” Sometimes apologetically, sometimes with the qualifier, “but just in the beginning and intermediate stages,” but always with the bottom line that leading intrinsically requires more skill, more thought, and more attention than following.

This might be okay if it were true, but it isn’t true, and this mistaken belief distorts the true nature of leading and following and leads to negative effects in our dance partnerships and in our communities.

So why is leading actually not more difficult? If leading is not more difficult, why does it seem to be? And what can we do to restore the balance?

La Practilonga

PRACTICA, milonga

Join us on Friday the 28th for a fun, casual night of practice & dancing. Our mission is to create a monthly event for people that are excited about growing, sharing and encouraging each other. 

♥ 2 hours of Practice
♥ 2 hours of Milonga

DJ VILLANO will keep you dancing non-stop. 
$12 at the door.

 

LOCATION:
10852 Burbank Blvd
NoHo, CA 91601

TIME:
8.30pm-12.30am


The Caltech Anniversary Milonga

For this once a year event, dancing will extend essentially all night long, with the milonga running from 9pm in the evening until 5am the following morning.  

DJ Sabah from 9 pm - 1 am
DJ Vincent from 1 am - 5 am

As always, the event is held in beautiful Dabney Hall at Caltech. 
Regular/Caltech Affiliate/Full time student with ID: $20/$15/$10

directions

If you’re driving to Caltech, it’s best to park in one of the parking structures on campus (see map) -- DO NOT PARK ON THE STREET! (if you're staying past midnight) Otherwise, you will get ticketed at 2AM.  The Caltech parking structures are free to park in for the entire marathon.  The nominal address for Caltech is 1200 E California Blvd, which will take you to the southern edge of Caltech, and from there you can follow the map below.  It’s about a 5 min walk from the parking structure to Dabney Hall.

Tango 101 Intensive Workshop

Something about this 19th-century immigrant dance seems to flip people's worlds upside-down; the beauty of improvising one of the world’s most complex dances with another human being is a beautiful and extraordinary experience that has earned its reputation for being notoriously addictive.

TANGO 101 INTENSIVE WORKSHOP:

In this workshop you will learn the essentials to get started leading, following and connecting to the music and your partner. It's a summary of the first 2 months of the Tango 100 curriculum for anyone who's never danced Tango before, but also for the experienced Tango dancer to go back and clean up their basics.