“January is the gyms’ favorite month”. I heard this quote yet again and thought about all those people making New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight or to start something new. Have you decided to do something new?
Dancing usually falls into this category. “I wanted to try something new” is why some begin their journey into Argentine Tango. And I get very excited in the New Year to welcome new people to Argentine Tango and its benefits.
We have all heard of the benefits of dancing or of any exercise for that matter: increase flexibility, movement lubricates the joints, endurance, coordination, strength, burns calories, stimulates the brain, oxygenates the blood, allows for self-expression, increases self-esteem, and helps with social skills. (I really like this chart on the benefits of dancing – http://www.nrde.org/benefitsofdance.html)
I have seen many dancers transform from being very shy people to finally having an outlet for expression in their lives. Some have gone from being not very popular in their work or every day life to very popular in their tango circles.
I think the Argentine Tango community in general is a research project for a “Group Dynamics” seminar but for the sake of this post I wanted to comment on the sense of belonging that I have felt over the years.
I was born with the travel bug. I love to travel and when I couldn’t because I was so focused on my dancer career, I dreamed about it and watched the travel channels and bought travel magazines. I eventually have been able to take many tango vacations – making contacts with tango people in many other countries to connect and share in their community for a visit. I know many people who do this but my world of travel was very different before I found tango. The idea of going anywhere in the world and having people to share tango with was amazing and fantastic to me. Technology has subsequently made this idea even more accessible. We can connect through Facebook or through other “social platforms” with friends we have met and their friends and find milongas all over and people who will be at that milonga when you arrive…. FASCINATING really! And what this has also allowed is a way to connect through others joys and sorrows as well.
In the last few months, since October, Tango has lost 3 young tango dancers who have been a part of my extended tango family. And the news was relayed through the internet through Facebook. And the impact of the loss is felt in waves as people share their stories and their sorrow for all the Facebook world to see.
We are a community – a Tango Tribe, if you will, filled with a diverse group of people. We sometimes connect and other times don’t, we have good dances, like having a great day, and we have not so good dances, like having a bad day. Either way, whatever kind of day it is remember that the community is actually quite small. These 3 young lives remind me of the preciousness of life and of the connections we make every day – on the dance floor and off the dance floor. I am reminded to be a gracious person. And that the benefit of having such a large interconnected tango family is to be able to share what we have in a positive way.
Remember why you love to dance and why you love to share it with others. Be grateful and thankful to the community that shares in your self-expression.
In Memory of Anne Sophie, Pablo, Andrea for all that you shared and gave to our collective community.