I love the following commercial clip of a British drugstore chain. It's the stuff of which common stress dreams are created: Everyone is watching. Click on the video below:
Here's the description if your Internet is slow:
A woman shows up at a very crowded beach, and as she is about to take off her shirt to tan herself in her bikini. Everyone stops to watch -- babies, mothers, fathers, the young, the old. Everyone in the world, it seems, is watching. After she faces the awkwardness of this moment and takes off her shirt, everyone goes back to what they were doing.
I like how the woman faces her fears.
Although it may be a human tendency to imagine that everyone is watching, it is just not the case no matter how good or bad you are at dancing, or how attractive or unattractive you are.
In part two of "Dancing in your Safe Place," I will suggest more on the psychology (study of the soul), but for now, here is the advice I give myself:
Dance and being yourself is soul-work
- First: Being present with whom you are dancing is something your partner will feel at some level. It is bizarre to dance with someone who is skilled, but not present: Watching the mirror, who came in, who is leaving, who is sitting down, who is drinking a glass of wine.
- Second: Dance who you are as best as you can, no matter your skill level. The greatest lesson I have learned is that when I dance who I am, then I are truly doing my authentic best. My partner will feel and appreciate me best when I am comfortable with my own center. Skill can help me to eliminate worries, but not guarantee that I are present in our dance, that I am soul-centered. Skill can also allow any artist (and dance is art) to hide from themselves.
- Third: Probably no one really truly is watching, though you may feel they are. If you are sure they are watching (going by their eyes), what do they see of your soul? Isn't it nice that your soul is outside the spectrum of visible light?
- Fourth: So what if people watch out of awe or disdain? You have a right to be in your psychological space for two. Dancing as if no one is watching is an act of courage and discipline. Psychological shelter (your safe place) is where you can dance and create in a way that your soul applauds. The crowd just doesn't know you outside your mask.
Querido Tanguero, querida Tanguera: Nourish your safe inner space as often as you can. I cannot think of a better place than a milonga to practice finding and staying in one's psychological safe place in spite of a public setting.
Trailer for Dancing in your Safe Place, Part II:
"Tango, for many people, is a place to build psychological safe-place experiences. Many of my posts are about creating a safe place by using tango etiquette to create a safe place to dance in the community. However, there is something that no one but you can do to create a safe place:
Are you nourishing your soul and allowing it to develop?
Are you entering and developing you center of safety in your inner world, the center of who your are?"