Thursday, October 31, 2019
Tango itself is a wonderful activity that has no dark properties that are any different than other wonderful things in life, such as holding a child, surfing a wave, watching a sunset, listening to an inspiring live concert, or simply "dancing for joy." Tango is not an addiction. If you agree then there is no reason to read farther! However, if you are not so sure, then read on.
Why your tango may seem like an addiction
When tango is paired with behaviors that color it in the dark, smokey hues of a private cigar and brandy club, then it may seem like an addiction. Late-night venues with alcohol are the last vestige of tango-as-an-addiction. There used to be more unhealthy things tied to tango, such as fights, knives, prostitutes, thick clouds of secondary smoke filling your lungs, fierce competition for competition's sake, men and women looking for love or a night of pleasure. These things are still possible; however, tango itself is slowly distilling down to its primal essence as a healthy avocation that focuses on the dance and the music.
So if you feel that you are "addicted" to tango, then look at the things you have paired it with. Is your tango community toxic or your dance partner or tango teacher? Are you obsessed with buying tango clothes? Are you spending impulsively on endless lessons that have made tango the most expensive hobby in your life? Is there an obsessive drive to be acclaimed in your tango performance skills that cannot be quenched, leading to a very dark dead-end street of getting older and unable to keep up? Even then, these are obsessions and compulsions, not "addictions."
The dark side of tango is not the dance called tango. Even the dark side (obsessions and compulsions) are not usually addictions unless you are snorting coke or drinking excessively with your tango. Yet to have the full joy of tango, these must be "surgically removed," which means to stop pairing stimuli (tango and smoking or tango and drinking or tango and sleep deprivation, or tango and toxic relationships). Dissect your tango and leave the good part and eschew that which is not good for you.
And what is left?
Musicality, a great embrace, the joy of movement, and mindful-flow. This is not an addiction. This is the pure joy of tango.
Photo credit and article on addiction