I stole this title from a lovely and beautiful tango friend of mine. I've meant to write something about this for a long time. Words had escaped me.
A few months ago, I was in my worst tango slump. My favorite music didn't inspire me. I was on auto pilot most of the time, doing just steps. I felt I was repeating the same steps/sequences over and over again, and with the same partner. The energy was flat and I rushed to chase the music. I felt bored of myself for not being creative. I thought I didn't know how to dance any more. Some told me that I'd reached a plateau. I felt I was regressing.
I went for a private lesson with my first tango teacher.
"There is nothing wrong with your dance. Your technique is good, walk is nice, embrace is comfortable, and very musical..." She said to me, after danced a song or two. " What's wrong is up here. " She pointed to my head, jokingly.
"I had been there before. I understand. You need to forget about having the perfect technique, posture and steps. Try to find the tango within when you dance..." Break the mode. "and take your time, like tasting wine, sip it...like tasting chocolate, let it melting in your mouth."
Find the tango within...I chewed on it.
The next few weeks, every time I stepped onto the piso, I took a moment and looked inside. It was like a self meditation (or inner gaze). What moved me? Was it the woman whom I was about to embrace, the music or the energy of the place? I tried to find my own presence before I embraced the woman.
Then something magical and powerful happened. The connection was amazing. When I danced with beginner/intermediate level women, I felt that they were calm and following well. With good dancers, I felt like I was into their minds (hypnotized them) and their feet doing what I suggested. When I had the pleasure to dance with great women, I felt completely free, like they say, one body four feet.
I didn't think about how to move or what steps to take any more. Like Pedro said, just listen to the music, it tells you how to dance. I let the music and the woman inspire me. From time to time, I was pleasantly surprised by myself from the move or steps I did with music, sometimes things that I had never done before...
These days, I dance much less, two or three tandas a night, once or twice a week. If I don't find an inspiring partner in the milonga, I just sit and listen to the music. When I do dance, I rarely feel unsatisfied afterward.
"I am more interested in what moves people, than how they move." Pina Bausch
(posted by my first teacher when Ms.Bausch passed away not long ago)