Tango and Yoga

When I first moved to Kansas City, I missed Spain. My heart yearned for the beauty of even a simple Spanish street, and the glow of energy I experienced while living in Valencia for a year. I became connected to tango in Kansas City through a woman I worked with, her story is for another day, it is a rich one, I thank her for the gift of tango. I was joined to their email list, and when I began to attend tango sessions, the essense of Spain came to life for me here in the midwest. Enjoying each tango practice, I met new people, and came to know or at least recognize a few. A dear visiting baker from Switzerland was so nice and funny. I loved the beautiful shoes, luscious dancing, and sparkling auras. Small snacks and wine, a little dancing room, and music from all over the world brought a few strangers together as darkness fell over Westport. The city disappeared completely and I felt myself transported. Everyone was beautiful in a unique way, inside and out. Each person's style appeared in their dance, sometimes even just a temporary mood.
These alluring people joined together to dance, and most importantly, the kindness, and warm energy of the tango bathed us all. It was a gentle energy, with compassion. I was never an expert. One older gentleman with a grip like iron would leave me tripping around, feeling foolish, but we had a nice chat. Another shy person would dance carefully but we were much more in sync. Yet a third would allow me to feel light as a feather and even graceful as we smiled through the dance and felt ourselves to be chums.
Does tango have a connection to yoga? Having experienced both, I would say absolutely yes. In an interview with a woman that teaches yoga especially for dancers, Stella Dettoni gives her opinion of the connection. This is her quote below:

"Apart from the fact that it (yoga) prepares your body to dance, and that it puts back in order all of the disparities that tango does to you, letting you leave walking more or less straight again! Apart from this, it teaches you to be subtle with the sensations in your body. And to connect to very subtle things, that in the (tango) class they tell you ... but you never understand what they’re talking about. For example, they say to you the “connection”, the “energy”... But if you go to a yoga class and you begin to feel, and to awaken, then you begin to wake up a much subtler world in your body. I feel that this is it, to listen to your body, the connection to your body. For dancers, this is very important. Yoga gives you a lot for this."

I have not been to tango for a long time. I am sure it has evolved from those days in the ballroom. I may return sometime, but I know I will always have my memories of those precious evenings when I was learning tango. Absorbing the atmosphere, satiating my need for the beauty of Spain, for its fragility, and for the lessons that it gave to me. I encourage anyone looking for something that is missing in this fast-paced and harried world, seek out tango and you will not be disappointed. Namaste,

Kat

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