Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What are you afraid of? - Part 1

A few months ago, one of my Coaching Club members  reported some wonderful progress in his tango, including slowing down and applying the magical pauses that he learned about in the first section of our Tango Improvisation Mastery home study program. In one module, I dedicated significant time to the concept of "lingering in the cross".   (Try it.  It's pure magic.)

But more recently, this same tanguero confided to me that he's rushing again.  His regular partner tells him he's rushing her out of the cross.  It's as if the rubber band had stretched and then returned to close to its original shape. Probing a little futher, he revealed that he's a man who likes to keep busy.

I asked him to ponder the questions, "What will happen if you really slow down, and create an interval of silence? . . .  

. . . What are you afraid of?"

Another intermediate-level tanguero, who studied with me extensively in my town and of whom I'm so proud, knows how to make any woman feel wonderful on the dance floor.  At one point, however, I was surprised to see that he had resumed the habit of rushing in spots of almost every tango.  Using the example of the cross again:  he slowed down beautifully to bring his partner to the cross with much feeling for the music and respect to her well-being, but as soon as he heard the next beat of music he would rush into the next step.

I asked, "Why aren't you lingering in the cross anymore?"   He said he's afraid of messing up the phrasing in the music.  He had invested several months in studying my musicality system, which helped bring his lifelong love of music to his tango in an "informed" way.  Most partners find his musicality delightful.  But now he was rushing again, because of some anxiety.

If you're rushing any part of your tango, it tells me that you're avoiding (or don't know about) the interval of silence, the micro-pause between steps, that I call "The Split Second Difference in Your Tango" *
(see note below).  In this split-second interval, both partners anchor themselves, finding their perfect verticality.  It is a brief moment in which you ground yourself and can feel "who-you-really-are".  As I explain in my article, "The Power in Your Gap", employing this interval is not only essential to connecting with your partner throughout your tango, but for you it is also extremely empowering.

The element of rush always breaks the magic in tango.  Always!  Heed my words.

Here's a rule that will never fail you:  There is no rush in tango.  Period. 

In our next issue, we'll talk about the problem of the tanguera's rushing, and I'll give everyone a provocative assignment!

* * * * * *

* Note: "The Split Second Difference in Your Tango" is both a skill and an awareness without which an average tango dancer can never become outstanding!  It is one of the 6 top priority skills that I teach every beginner and every advanced dancer who comes to learn with me.  I dedicate a week-long module to it in my 6-week "Advanced Tango Fundamentals" online home study program for men and women.  ("Advanced Tango Fundamentals" is also the first section of Tango Improvisation Mastery.)  And we'll work in depth with the concept of "The Split Second Difference" in a brand new, virtual program that I'll be announcing this week!

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