Yin is the unsung hero of tango's magic.
What people often watch and praise, however, is the Yang-action in tango.
Even in life, Yin is the unnoticed hero, in my opinion. I wrote the majority of this post about six months ago. When rediscovering the draft, I took away about half of it and now, I'll add something my wife told me about one of her favorite dance partners: She said he had a way of building a feeling of preparation for the next move. Isn't this an example of Yin? That night the added description changed the way I dance. (Yes, I listen to her descriptions of tango magic.) My wife noticed my change right away.
It is worth a moment or two to consider what this Yin energy is. Instead of thinking in male/female terms, here are two analogies of the Yin energy which promotes balancing these energies in oneself:
- Breathing: Each person needs to breathe in (the action of Yin) in order that a person can breathe out or talk (the action of Yang). Yin is powerful! One cannot just breath in or just breath out. But for those who are singers, swimmers or practice breathing meditation, balanced breathing takes effort to fully breath out and then fully breathe in.
- Throwing a ball: Yin as behavior is winding up gracefully. Yang is throwing with grace and also with power. The often unrecognized power, however, is in the graceful, relaxed winding up before throwing the ball!
People notice movement, not stillness.
But stillness is the power that brings effective movement.
At tango performances watch how people tend to notice leading or ornamentos, but then fail to see stillness (which precedes, not "follows"). Women who so wonderfully embody Yin Power, which precedes everything I do, too often deny their important role. They say, "I was just following what you led" after I say how wonderfully she empowered the dance. How can Yang do anything without Yin? Yes, and so in remains: Yin is the unsung hero of tango's magic.
Photo Credit: Alan Thornton --Getty Photos