I just got out of a session with my body worker. She was telling me about a client who came to her early on, wanting private Pilates sessions. This client had been doing Pilates elsewhere for a while, but when she arrived all she wanted to do was power through a bunch of different moves. The body worker wanted her to slow down—Pilates is all about doing moves very precisely, with control, emphasizing quality over quantity. She wanted the client to learn how to do one move properly, because doing it improperly twenty times doesn’t get you anywhere. It is about how you do each movement, rather than how many you do. The client ended up doing just a few sessions with this body worker and then never came back.
My idea of tango is all about how rather than how many. I don’t care how many steps you can squeeze into the dance, or how many well-known teachers you have studied with, or how many orchestras you can name. I care about how you dance. I want each step you take to have meaning, to have a place in the song we are dancing to. I want you to pay attention to how I move and respond in kind.
I want the quality of your movement to take precedence over the kind of movement you do.
A single walking step, done with feeling and musicality, means more than a fancy move done just because you can. It is surprisingly hard to convince some dancers of this very simple idea. And it goes so much further than tango. How many things do we do in our daily lives that have no meaning? Things we do just because we can, just to say that we have done them? How much better it can be to cut away all the excess, find the simplicity that brings so much joy, and fall deeply into it. Will you help me fall deeply into tango?