Thursday, November 26, 2015

Dance! "For by grace are ye saved..."

It was a strange coincidence.

I just had been putting a lot of reflection on the cultural belief that dance is a "sin," or it's historical correlative modern word, "addictive." That week I had posted the second of two reflections when I got into a discussion with a chaplain where I work with wounded soldiers.
In a discussion with the chaplain assigned to our soldiers, I found out that he grew up in Africa and had been converted to Christianity by European missionaries. At the start of our discussion, he was in full agreement that “secular” dance was something he had to give up for Christ, although he was a passionate dancer during his pre-Christian life.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Music Workshop: The marimba's finest moment in tango

I hope this post will tickle your ears with a new way to listen to a vals* you probably know well.   The marimba makes a tasty cameo appearances in a vals you will surely recognize immediately.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pulling out a knife at the Milonga

For me listening to the music, the true leader in tango, and actively guiding a woman at a milonga is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever experienced in my life. Dancing can create this sense of safety and peace that is indescribable. But that sense of safety, that moment of Nirvana can quickly be changed by some "warring elements." Will there be a fight? Will someone pull out a knife at the milonga because of safety violations?  All the distractions!  So many things to think about!  The woman in my arms is helping me negotiate these many distracting "warring elements."

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Homage to Veterans: Tango Therapy

As I write this post, years ago at this time, on November 11, 1918 at 11:11 am,  the Armistice of the "End of the War of all Wars" went into effect.  But, of course, wars continue and warriors continue to die for some noble or ignoble cause.  It was naive to believe that all wars would end in 1918, but it still the hope of many.

My Ultimate Mission
My highest calling--outside of taking care of my family--is to serve veterans with a therapy that works.  As an EMDR trauma therapist with combat veterans, I discovered while dancing with a few friends in distress that if I danced with a warm embrace, musically and simply that a huge relief came over them. The concept of bi-lateral stimulation to the brain from EMDR's research, the power of music (music therapy) and a warm embrace to help in facing fears seems to combine to a powerful effect.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Why Women Dance with the God of War

A cabeceo from Mars, being accepted by a humble tanguera's mirada
Why dance with Mars, the God of War, when you can dance in the warm embrace with a mortal from Venus or Mr. Down-to-Earth?  Why?  Because Mars is a god, that's why!  But there is a problem here.  If the man (or woman dancing the rol masculino) is running into people all the time, why not just stop dancing with him or her?   Let me guess:  The God of War is a good dancer, and dancing is better than sitting.  I really do not want to judge anyone for this decision, but let me suggest Plan B:  Simply be nice and say, "I love dancing with you, Mars.  I love to close my eyes in your embrace.  I love it that you protect me from the evil men who might run into us."* 

If Mars keeps hearing from some of the women who cannot resist dancing with him that they enjoy the feeling of being safe and protected, he might slowly be molded by the mortals with whom he dances.  Mars might slowly start to understand that everyone can dance better if we all feel physically safe.  Remember that the God of War thinks others are running into him!  He needs lots of gentle feedback.  Trust me, you do not want to anger him about this:  He's a god with an anger problem, and the rainbow of his cabeceo will never beam down upon your shoulders again if you piss him off.   So make everyone else to blame, and make it clear that only his divine protection will allow you to melt into his embrace.

Plan A is to no longer feed the ego of the God of War by dancing with him at all.  Many women will not dance with him.  But many will!  So Plan B is to assent to a dance but give him feedback about needing a feeling of safety.  Feeding his ego by being silent about the danger he creates a bigger and bigger monster.  It is likely that he is OMG-good and is fun, but the adrenaline rush he or she provides you on this divine chariot ride is not good for the community of dancers. 

The injury you prevent may be your own.