The Tango Experience

Today as Faith and I were leading one of our MOA training sessions, she surprised me by asking me to show the group a few Tango steps. I jumped on this opportunity thinking what a great idea. Yet, I wasn’t actually sure how to present it. I asked Katya to be the follower and I was the leader. Katya has very little Tango experience so I knew I had to be very clear in my directions.

I had such a huge ‘Aha!’ moment during this simple exercise. I realized a few things:

•     I had to really tune into her and feel what leg she was standing on at the present moment. Only then could I know which step, which and direction to lead her to.
•     I had to have a very clear idea of where I would invite her to step.
•     I had to really think about the best way to communicate the direction of the step and the length of the step. Did I need to use one arm more than the other to communicate the step or did I need to use both arms at the same time to guide her to shift her weight from one leg to the other? How much strength did I need to use in my arms when giving her the cue to move in a certain direction? How fast or slow was I inviting her to move?
•     I had to present my invitation sensitively so that she didn’t feel disoriented and lose her balance, and ultimately not enjoy the experience. If she is not enjoying the process, why would she want to dance again? Why would she want to learn more?
•     I invited her to dance but I didn’t cause her to move. She always had a choice to refuse and create her own move.
•     I felt as if I was nurturing her whole being as I was holding her. I really cared about her getting the step and having fun.
During all this, I had my attention fully on her. This felt wonderful!