Posts Tagged: connection

A Letter

A few years ago I started blogging and dedicated that first blog to my father, Carlos Borgialli. Recently we were in discussion about tango and my travels, isolation, loneliness, why do people want to learn tango, etc. Shortly after he crafted a letter to a doctor friend and he cc’d me on it. I am sharing the letter with you today. (I edited it for grammar and spelling and I took out the parts that weren’t relevant.)

Welcome 2017!

January 5, 2017

Dear Dr. M,

Happy New Year to you!
As you well know, I am not a psychologist or a sociologist but I do have over 40 years of experience managing technical teams and the most challenging experience of being a father.

During the last few weeks I was attracted and intrigued by the US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, in his 2016 commencement at the University of Arizona in which, among other things he stated:

 … We have stronger internet connections but weaker personal connections… I learned early on in medicine that isolation was the most common challenge my patients faced. It has real consequences. Isolation and weakening social connections are associated with increased risk of heart disease, declining brain function and shorter life spans.

Dad and I in Mar del Plata

Dad and I in Mar del Plata

I thought that these were issues facing retirees or old people but at the same time my daughter forwarded me a video interview of Simon Sinek regarding the millennials. Among the key points of his presentation there is one passage that caught my attention:

Friendships are superficial they will admit to their friends that they don’t count on their friends, they don’t rely on their friends. They have fun with their friends but they also know that their friends will cancel on them if something better comes along. Deep meaningful relationships are not there because they never practice the skill.

Every generation has its challenges and each generation has found ways to overcome them. However, in all of them, it required interacting with a human being. So social skills were paramount to find a job, a wife, partner, friends, etc. etc. in short, to live in a society.

I drive by a school bus stop every morning and I see the kids waiting and no one is talking, all of them are hooked to their phone. Is this the new norm? They are becoming handicapped because by the time they enter the “workforce” they will need to interact with other humans. However, I am finding that his problem is also affecting the older generations. Watch the mall, lonely people walking alone. Maybe it is an epidemic and we, me, are in denial.

As Mother Teresa said, “loneliness (and the feeling of being unwanted) is the most terrible of poverty”. Are we becoming the richest, most technologically advanced but individually “poor” society?

Technology should be a resource to assist humans and not a vice or addiction just as Simon Sinek stated.

The reality is that technology will continue to evolve and perhaps will make isolation more prevalent. Social media and the likes of Facebook do not create friends, nor do dating sites.

My daughter has a masters in dance and teaches tango, travels all over and she confirmed that loneliness and isolation is one of the reasons why she has so many participants in her classes. Some of them have stated time and again that “tango” has changed their lives. I do not think that tango changed their lives, I think that the mere act of socializing, interacting with others is what Dad and I as toddlermade the difference, a new world for many, perhaps.

And by the way, learning tango is not an easy task but it does promote nonverbal communication and interactions that are not technically assisted. You have to leave your phones, connect with people!!!!

It could be the cheapest medicine for isolation, although insurance does not cover it, but the results could be a longer life.

All the best,

Carlos G. Borgialli

 

 

Read more

Embracing Connection

Embracing is your connection!

A Chilean living in Amsterdam, A Norwegian, an Argentine living in Nice, A Portuguese and me, an American living in Berlin all dancing tango in the same place! This is only one of my European experiences …..and it reminded me of this email message from a dear student who asks:

Would you consider discussing strategies for facilitating forming connection with tango partners within the short span of a typical tanda? I was dancing recently with a leader who made this observation: “You’re like me, it takes a while for you to relax and connect with your partner.”
Often, I feel like I’m just figuring it out when the tanda ends and I have to start the process all over! Is this normal? Does it improve over time, or?

I love this email. And here’s my answer:

I bring all my tools with me that I have learned up until now on how to be a follower. And I think the most important one is to embrace honestly and really embrace. I immediately hear my dear Maestra, Graciela Gonzalez’s voice in my head, ENTREGARSE. The woman has to give herself over to the leader, by really placing trust from that first embrace.

During my recent visit to Budapest I was conversing with one of their lovely local teachers, Bela Barabas, and he said, I like how you really fit into my embrace. The idea that he embraces me and I situate myself with him. Versus, a static idea of how I will embrace him. (or entering into the embrace the same way with everyone.)

I have some physical things I do to attempt to find that connection from the very first moment. I start inside my body first – I imagine my legs deeply rooted into the floor and from the floor I create an imaginary circle up to my arms that are reaching into the embrace and both sides of my back in the embrace reach, as if they could reach completely around my partner, and they connect into the embrace with him, I continue my circle of energy above and around him as I grow a little taller diagonally but still maintain my grounded-ness into the floor. My circle is transmitting information to my partner about where my legs are and that I am ready. I might inhale into my back space, as I call it – I inhale and allow my back to fill his embrace, his container that he has provided for me. I am meeting my partner where he is. And I give him opportunity to find me where I am.

It all is in the embrace 🙂 So Embrace!

See you at the FALL WORKSHOPS in SCOTTSDALE

To sign up for a private lesson please go to this google doc link click here

 

Read more

Connection and “Where are you”?

Boston Commons 2013

Saying Cool Beantown Style

Hello Tango Friends from the humidity of the northeast!

“But it’s not the humidity, it’s the heat”. No wait, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity that kills ya'”. Anyway, either way, not moving is producing puddles around me as I type. I am in air conditioning but it doesn’t seem to matter! But really, I am not complaining, I am enjoying my vacation in Boston, visiting old friends, favorite restaurants, discovering new ones, walking all over the place, listening to live music, it’s great! I even dropped in on a milonga.

It was a 3 tanda night for me (in a 1.5 hour window). It was nice to dance with new people. There was 1 particular tanda that made me want to write this blog. As I was describing my evening to another tango dancer (not in the same city) their first reaction was, “if the embrace isn’t clear, the connection can’t be and then neither one of you know where the other is. He can’t find you, you can’t find him”. Yep! it’s true! Now mind you, it wasn’t a bad tanda. The music was great, the AC was cranked, he was sweet, but it felt as if I was having a first date with a guy with a heavy brogue.

As I stood in front of him waiting for the music to start the scenario in my head went like this:
Ok he’s coming towards me to embrace me, no wait. Ok I put my right hand in his. O wait. Maybe he didn’t want that ‘cuz he just looked at it dramatically. Gee. I’m getting nervous. I’ll just put my left arm around his back. Oh, no,  yes, no. Ok. we are embracing. NO he moved his right arm from around my back to my shoulder blade. So we’re not ready. He starts to move at the same time but wait, I moved my left arm because he moved his right arm. Then he stops moving mid step. Are we readjusting? Why are we stopped. The music is still playing.
I think most of the tanda was like this. Every time he readjusted his arm I took that as a message that he wanted to do something that might require me to readjust myself in his arms.

I think by the 3rd song we started to be able to speak the same dialect! Mind you, it wasn’t unpleasant. It just reminded me that we do our best, to focus on the dance at hand, in the moment, being present, connecting with that person. Being responsible for my part in the outcome of that tanda….

So fun!

So go practice your connection and your embrace tonight at Practicando!
Rommel is teaching class from 7 – 8:30pm and then practice is until 10pmish. All happens at SNAP at 4425 N Granite Reef Road Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Raffle for wine at 9:30pm.

See you in a few weeks!!

Read more

What Tango do you do? Bag the Labels and Make it Delicious!

The labels conversation is back again!
It appears that my tango class to modern music brought up some good questions from experienced dancers and newbies.
I want to start this blog by saying Frazzled femalethere is ONE tango that will be heavily influenced by your community(ies); those you dance with most; the teachers you study with; the music you enjoy (rhythmic vs melodic); and if you travel to other festivals or communities.
The labels you might hear or see are marketing labels for students. In Buenos Aires the labels are used to capture tourists. The older milongueros are not hung up on labels they merely do what they do, dance tango! And the way they share information is through demonstration not necessarily through explanation! You just dance!
Even the new Argentines learning in Buenos Aires become tourists.  If they grew up with the music, if they are just learning, they too become a tourist to find a teacher to teach them tango. As I have said before the labels don’t get you far. In reality in the US they don’t bring in new dancers and the ones who have been dancing merely seek those teachers and dancers who they most like or identify with, to dance with or take classes from.
I have to say from my years of teaching at the University and growing new tango babies every year, I do believe that there is a fundamental ground work that has to be laid for a tanguero/a to find their way, regardless of the style, label conversation. I believe, as Graciela Gonzalez says, that there is technique that is fundamental to all tango dancing.
I remember a famous Argentine tango dancer sharing a story that a student had asked her to dance in a milonga and he started by asking her what style she danced. Surprised, she responded that she danced Tango. I suppose what doesn’t quite come across in this recount is that she didn’t understand what else they could possibly be doing at a milonga. Style was not the question for her. It never is, really. We must remember that tango is about the connection you have with your partner; that partner in that moment to that music.
So before you worry about what style you may or may not be doing, go for the connection and BE present with your partner, you only have that moment, those 3 minutes, so make them delicious.

See previous blogs here Labels Labels Everywhere Part 1 and Part 2.

Read more