Not so different after all.

I had an amazing realization at belly dance tonight. Previously, I had thought that belly dance and tango were incredibly different, that the posture for one was entirely unlike the other, that I could not have both work for me at the same time.

I take it all back.

A few nights ago, I had a conversation with a fellow tanguera about posture. She had just taken a class that talked about using the lower ab to lift the pelvis and support the lower back, to focus on doing just this and not engaging the glutes. Engaging your glutes will limit your range of motion and make you unnecessarily tense. This sounded incredibly familiar – a basic piece of belly dance posture is engaging the lower abs but relaxing the glutes.

Tonight, we spent part of the class drilling chest lifts. Basically, the idea is to lift your chest (essentially the whole rib cage) while keeping the rest of the body still. As I stood there with lifted chest, I thought about the idea in tango of having “floating ribs” and lifting your rib cage to elongate the rest of your torso. I am fairly sure that these ideas are one and the same.

In fact, I think that if you take the ideas from belly dance posture and implement them in a partnership … you have good tango posture. Also present are the ideas of staying relaxed but strong, and wanting to avoid bouncing up and down with each movement. The more I get into belly dance, the more I see the similarities. Not to mention the more fun I have shimmying my hips!

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