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por Manuel Gonzalez

For those who dance, the tango’s embrace, is a wonder that allows us to meet people who do not know.

Tango allows us to find partners to dance in the milongas, at the dance classes, at the parties, in street performances, including family reunions, concerts, restaurants, anywhere in the world people play the sounds of tango.

The adventure of meeting someone we do not know, always create doubts and fears, especially because the other is or is not compatible with us and with the way we dance.

So, how to understand, guide or follow someone who does not have the same technique, style, character or idea of the dance? Why can we not understand the dance of the other, even though are experts dancers? Who should take charge of the direction of the dance, if we fail to understand each other? Is the man who must decide how to dance, beyond leading the dance? Or it is for those who have more experience? There are many questions and the answers are neither easy nor certain, but as far as possible, I would like to give some ideas on how we might get to understand each other better.

It is true that sometimes when you dance the first tango with someone for the first time, this may seem disastrous, the second bad and the third and fourth maybe we can say that you begin to understand a little more, ultimately improving communication. These situations can always be enhanced, if we improve our senses and we try to consciously feel each other from the beginning and even before the embrace.

With this, I do not mean to start looking and visually stare at our future partners before beginning to dance with us. Instead, I propose something similar to what they do the blind people when they want to recognize a face. With an approach very sensitive and perceptive they approach using touch, touching each other with gentle and slow movements. I suggest something similar, but from the body, approaching the embrace as if we did not see each other, strengthening all the other senses and feeling with all the attention to the smallest gestures and body movements of those approaching.

The signs tell us the truth: the speed with which others come to us, how and where to put their hands, arms and feet, how transfer the weight or where the head looks; if he touches you, if during the hug he/her put on tiptoe; if he/her bend, curve, hit the body; if is gentle, not anxious, distant, rigid or got by passion; if it starts to get up on time or go strong and direct to the time or if doesn’t meet the time at all (horrors!).

To be able to have this perception, first of all, we understand that it is very easy to find different styles of dance compared to ours and that learning from different schools or teachers, allows us to have skills that are not always those of others. You should also accept, without fear, that the different bodies do not always achieve a comfortable and easy embrace.

This note is a proposal for those who fear or prejudice to give dancing with strangers, and when I say, unknown, I mean people who do not know, or you've never seen before. For this I propose an exercise, a slow and patient recognition of one of the most important situations of the dance: the structure of the embrace.

The timing of the meeting, the first embrace, hides a mysterious and fascinating moment. Something unique, something that will show us if we can recognize as a certainty, as a prophecy of what will be the next 12 minutes. It is as if in two or three seconds, we could already see pass the lives of these four tangos.

Reaching this goal is not easy, almost bordering on meditation because in those first few seconds, you have to cut oneself mentally, take off all the fears, tensions, thoughts, and "listen only with the body", focus all our attention to this person who is embracing, what signals gives us his body, trying to adapt our hug on the basis of these signals and not what you are used to or that you would like it to be. Only after this recognition, you can try to communicate with the music. This is why it is not necessary, mark the time of the dance in the moment of the embrace.

I believe the best thing sometimes is, let from four to eight times, hearing the other, before beginning to dance and make this expectation, a dialogue of bodies, of recognition. The wisdom of a hug is not forcing the other to embrace, but intelligently trying to understand the language of dance, even if he can speak several languages, or techniques and not by imposing our. When this "feel" is achieved, the results are very good, but when we find men and women who seek to understand each other in unison in a mutual embrace, the results are exquisite and this, in my opinion, is the most important principle of the magic of dance. When all our senses are on our partner, and when all his/her are upon us, beyond all the differences or difficulties stop to exist.

The adventure of the first embrace with someone, tells us many things, like the first kiss of a lover. We can provide a favorable or destroy any illusion. A terrible start (like a bad first kiss) would, for example, that while he begins his lateral move, the woman begins to walk (true story) or while she awaits the signal to check the time and his relationship with his feet, the man starts walking on his right foot without notice horror! (Another true story).

The best thing is to take the time to build the embrace. No one should be in a hurry and the music will bring us better if we dip into it slowly, instead of rushing like a rocket. Approaching the first hug in slow motion, so sensitive, gentle and cautious, looking, feeling and not imposing anything, this should be the way to meet. And after reaching an agreement, only then begin the process of change in weight evenly and slowly, trying to lead us by the gentle flow of music and rhythm.

Maybe because neither of us would let go of the music trapped in our embrace.The beginning of the hug should feel deeply, as the end of the tango, and if the dance was something beautiful, we must not let it go now, but stay to listen to the silence embraced. Yes, you read that right, listen to the silence.

It may be my imagination, but many times, when you stop dancing the tango, I feel that it does not die with the last note, sometimes it seems to me that there is something that still rings, or continues to play inside me.

Manuel González

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