|A moment of stillness before the International Dance Concourse in Vienna|
Many want to know which path to take in life. Well, perhaps that is the wrong question. Ask instead: "What is my internal concourse for life?" Tango has helped me see this very clearly. If you have a passion for tango, I think that we probably have very similar places that converge.
The following are some of the many paths leading to the open space of my external concourse, and although they are mine, I think that many reading this post might have similar experiences:
- Dance. Dance is just one path leading to the "open space" where other paths meet. My love of dance as a child is merely a common human experience. I dance other dances too but tango's stronger connection to the other paths make it my "concourse."
- Music. Music is more than a path for me. Maybe it's an avenue? The joy of music is pretty much a universal experience leading to the concourse of our souls. Although I was a professional musician for 14 years, I feel more like a musician than ever when dancing tango.
- Emotion. It has taken time for me as a man to fully embrace emotion. Music, combined with dance, has brought it out in me in full fruition. Joy or sorrow has always helped me to best be a musician, a dancer, a writer. These are all paths that converge into the "main room," called tango for me.
- The embrace. The power of physical touch is a path that is an essential need as babies. But does it ever really go away in spite of our being "weaned" from this life nutrient? The embrace represents the need for personal contact for me, which started with a hugging family. It is a powerful statement of the need for connection without words. The embrace in tango is all about tandem harmony with another person. No wonder my favorite dance partner is my wife.
- Social engagement. My human desire and need for social engagement is an important path to the Big Room.
- Mindfulness is more than just a path; it's more like the waymarker on each of our paths, roads, and avenues. In the hustle and bustle of a huge concourse, mindfulness creates a still, timeless place I can share with my partner.
- Healing. Life is tough. It doesn't take long on earth for a person to be in search of the path healing. Like mindfulness, it accompanies me on all paths. I feel better after hearing and dancing to inspiring music, and being physically and socially engaged. I have especially learned about these healing paths as I have watched them bring healing to others. As a therapist, I have witnessed the efficacy of tango therapy. I have seen its transformative power with those suffering from PTSD from childhood tragedies. I know this healing is not just tango. Maybe it is dance itself? Or music? Or an embrace? Or perhaps it is mindfulness that brings healing? But then let me ask you this: What happens when they all come together into the concourse? Tango therapy brings all of these together.
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