Amanda Koster

thoughts and experiences of an international documentarian

my tango lesson on love, really

with 3 comments

on my way out of the yoga today i peeked into a neighboring dance studio and quietly watched.  there was a tango lesson going on. well, i thought it was tango by the shoes anyway.

one spanish speaking man was speaking… spanish, and a women was translating to english, teaching what i thought was tango. we’ll call it tango.

the teachers were in an embrace, teaching ‘how to embrace.’ they clearly knew what they were doing while the students were clearly uncomfortable though eager to learn. i was equally eager to see some sultry, spicy tango on a friday night!

… however, the reason i am not totally sure it was a tango class is because they never ‘danced.’ instead, in that moment they were being taught how to embrace one and other.

and how to breathe together.

i had no idea how important this was in tango, but i got it. the man was going on in spanish and she translated.

‘you have to breathe together. you have to get very close like this, very still and learn each others breath, learn each others body. listen for it, feel it and learn it. learn how they breath, start to understand it and begin to breathe with them.’

1. learn to breathe together.

so literally there were 4  couples, in an embrace, breathing together. their eyes were closed, arms around each other and they were so still. some slow tango (i guessed) music was playing and they just… were breathing. amazing to see right after a yoga pranayama class (practicing breathing exercises for 1 hour). i sat back and breathed with them. this was beautiful to watch and needless to say i became intrigued by these teachers.

the next lesson was about axis. the students were then to move together. once they became familiar with each others breathing it was time to move. so they began to move. the teachers brought up the next point:

2. ‘stay on your own axis. don’t fall or merge into your partners. stay on your own axis and move together.’ amazing. interdependence.

next. the male teacher was watching and correcting a few students. he turned down the music, interrupted and was then translated.

3. ‘when you make a mistake let it go. forget about that move and move into another one. don’t think about it anymore.’

and finally, as if i hadn’t realized tango was truly my life lesson on love (and other things) for the day, lesson four comes along.

some students were making more mistakes, mostly men due to the nature of the dance (leader/follower).  this time the woman teacher stepped in.

4. ‘move from your whole body. some of you men are leading and moving from just your shoulders, your upper body. you have to breathe, move and lead with your entire body so that your partner can trust you, understand you, respect your lead.’


Written by amandakoster

November 14, 2009 at 6:59 am

Posted in lessons, yoga

Tagged with , , , ,

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. *


    November 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm

  2. Beautiful post. That’s exactly why I got so involved in salsa dancing. All the lessons learned while dancing can translate to life. It’s nice to let your body learn the lessons instead of just your head.


    November 15, 2009 at 12:31 am

  3. You were a very lucky person to have the opportunity to see this lesson in progress. True Argentinian tango is a walking dance done in close embrace. My wife and I have been dancing tango for more than three years – we are still beginners. With your yoga experience you may be interested in this site


    November 16, 2009 at 12:05 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: