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.
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.
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!”
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?
A tango message from Chicho Frumboli translated and shared by Julia Schiptsova.
Hugging releases oxytocin and dopamine, meaning that hugs lower stress levels, blood pressure, and heart rate, and they make us happy. They also make us trust and care for each other more, strengthening our relationships and personal connections. In fact, scientists (who are apparently getting around waaaaay more than I thought) recommend hugging for at least twenty seconds, eight times a day.
If you’re interested in learning how to dance, Argentine Tango should be one of your top choices. Some call it the "dance version of yoga" or the “Tai Chi of dance” but Tango can really be just as athletic as you want it to be – your choice! All that is required to be a great tango dancer is your desire and ability to move as one with a partner, fully present and fully aware.
In addition to a long list of wonderful benefits, here are 4 great reasons why you should take up tango:
leave the rose at home:
If you’re not into flamboyant body gestures, the good news is - you don't have to be flashy in Tango… ever. Musicality, (feeling the music) and connection, (body awareness, presence & attention to your partner) are the most desirable traits in a tango dancer.
Tailored to your brain:
Are you strictly a pragmatist, or is your thinking process more abstract? Do you prefer structure, or are you creative? Are you the type who likes to plan, or are you more spontaneous? Whether you approach tango from an artistic or technical perspective, the dance will intrigue you no matter how your brain is wired. You don’t have to be a certain “type” in order to be good at tango.
Tailored to your body:
Since there are so many aspects to tango, you’ll find that on various occasions, your body type – no matter what it is – will give you an advantage.
free to be you:
If you’re an extravert, you’ll appreciate the social aspect of tango: being around other fun tango aficionados, and getting to meet lots of new people. By contrast, if you’re an introvert, tango gives you a chance to tune out all the background noise, and connect one-on-one with someone. Loud or quiet, the dance suits your personality as is.
To the unfamiliar, Argentine Tango has a reputation for being exotic, difficult, and inaccessible. But in reality, learning to dance Tango is like studying a new language or learning to play a new instrument. It’s an unhurried but intriguing experience that invites you to a deeply personal journey of artistic expression and self discovery.
An important consequence of wearing high heels is a re-distribution of our body weight over the feet. On high heels, with the centre of gravity shifting forward, almost the entire body weight becomes concentrated on the inner side of the ball of the foot, instead of being spread evenly across the entire foot. As a result, the ball of the first and second toes experiences added pressure.
Looking to buy or sell anything Tango? Join Thrift Shop Tanguera on Facebook to sell and buy secondhand and new dance clothes and shoes: It's easy!
Prior to the 1990s, Argentine Tango was taught with a didactic method; teaching tango by having students copy examples shown by the instructor. Emphasis was not given to how or why movement was done a certain way. Starting in the 1990s in Buenos Aires, the Tango Investigation Group (later transformed into the Cosmotango organization) founded by Gustavo Naveira and Fabian Salas applied the principles of dance kinesiology from modern dance to analyze the physics of movement in Argentine tango. Taking what they learned from this analysis they then began to explore all the possibilities of movement within the framework of Argentine Tango. From the work of these founders of the Tango Nuevo movement, there was a shift in all styles of tango away from teaching what to dance toward teaching how to dance.
EL ABRAZO: EMBRACE (AS IN DANCE HOLD)
ABRIR: TO OPEN
AL COSTADO: TO THE SIDE
This special screening will bring awareness and help raise funds for the free, Healing Movement dance classes offered at the Lineage Performing Arts Center for Dancing with Parkinson’s, Stroke Recovery, Dancing Through Cancer and Dancing with Down Syndrome.
"I left the first milonga I attended after—maybe, at my most conservative guess—an entire seven minutes. In those seven bewildered and embarrassed minutes, I quit tango, hated all humanity (well, that’s nothing new), and had an existential crisis."
In a milonga, it's rude to get up and ask someone to dance, “thank you” does not mean “thank you,” and unusually prolonged eye-contact is entirely legitimate.
Balancing our body and maintaining the balance is a prerequisite for beautiful movements, be they simple or complex. Our high heels influence and effect our spine and pelvis, knees, ankles and the feet, but with all the sparkling heels out there, how do we know what shoe is right for us?
Many people think dancing with advanced dancers will make them better dancers. Really? If someone is compensating for all your mistakes, how will you ever learn anything? How will you ever learn how to stay on time, manage your own momentum, hold your own balance or weight, and maintain connection?
Your body is built for motion, not for stillness!
I’m a tanguero. You can enjoy being in my arms, you can enjoy watching me dance or forget about me altogether… but you can’t judge me. If you’re not in my heart, in my mind, in my body… if you can’t feel exactly what I feel with this music, this woman, this movement, you can’t judge me. You don’t have enough information. You don’t know what’s going on in here. Tango is going on in here.