Monday, April 26, 2010


So, my work involves sitting at a computer for eight hours most days. This means that for a good portion of my life, currently, I live right behind my eyes. The rest of my body can start to seem ... auxiliary.

Tango is one of the few times each week when I occupy my entire body. I need to use my whole physical self, head to foot--and my mind is engaged simultaneously. I become a whole person.

And not just that. When I'm dancing--definitely not while I'm sitting on the sidelines, comparing myself to other tangueras with brutal criticism (I'm working on this, okay), but while I am dancing--if it is a good dance, it can be one of the few times in my entire life when I lose all self-consciousness about my body.

Maybe someone who doesn't know me and how hard I am on myself in my mind, won't understand what a huge realization this has been for me. In those moments, I don't care who's thinner than me, whose legs are longer, who can get away with a tighter dress, a shorter skirt, who is prettier. I forget the things I don't like about my body; I don't care that my face might be red, I might be sweating, my hair might be messed up.

I forget all of that, and all the countless other things I can find to berate myself with, normally. When I'm dancing, there is only the music, my partner, and me. There is only the dance.

But I don't just forget myself when I'm dancing. As I've said before, when I'm dancing well, I feel beautiful, elegant, powerful. I actually like myself, even love myself--my whole self, however I am.

This is what I'm learning from tango.


  1. I understand - I relate to every word of that. I wish I could keep that frame of mind the rest of my waking hours, but the habit of self-criticism is too hard to break outside of the abrazo.

  2. I'm glad, yet sorry, to hear how much you relate to this--because it's a pretty terrible way to be, with oneself, but it is kind of nice to learn that I'm not alone in feeling this way.

    Self-criticism is indeed a very hard habit to break, but I'm trying to work on it, with conscious effort. We deserve so much better than we're giving ourselves, when we do that.

    Keep trying to take those good feelings off the dance floor. Be good to yourself. :)