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Thoughts of Tango en Punta inspired by Mikayla

posted Oct 28, 2014, 7:31 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Oct 28, 2014, 7:34 PM ]
Here's a link to an article and video about a talented ballet dancer who has Down Syndrome:

north sydney tango lessons
Mikayla Holmgren - source: kmsp.images.worldnow.com

When I saw this article it brought back fond memories of the Tango en Punta Festival in Bregenz, Austria. I recently attended this Festival and one of the highlights (and the reason why I included this festival in my European tango travels) was attending the festival's Inclusive Milonga

Preceding and complementary to the milonga was an introductory tango lesson for people with Down Syndrome.  At the milonga the workshop participants had the opportunity to dance with their friends and aficionados from all over the world. It was a heart-warming experience and confirmed how powerful dance (especially Tango) is - as a means of connecting people with each other.

I love what the organisers Andrea and Mathias of Tango en Punta say about the inclusive element of their festivals:

“In our classes with people with Down syndrome we got to know the essence of tango. Tango is for us the source of contact improvisation. The idea is to perceive the spirit of the partner and to find each other in the rhythm of the music. This touching experience finally motivated us to create Tango en Punta...The in-Milonga is very precious for us. Together we will leave familiar terrain and meet people we don’t know. This is very exciting, because in the dance, in the embrace, we can feel the other. Tango is a conversation without words. All grow together.
The “in-Milonga”, is a place where all people, no matter their tango- level, their culture or their capacities, will meet each other in an embrace..."

I particularly like their definition of the essence of tango:
"to perceive the spirit of the partner and to find each other in the rhythm of the music."