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"Too much walking and you can't just ask someone to dance"

posted Jan 15, 2019, 6:30 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Jan 30, 2019, 12:53 PM ]

Tango vs Salsa


Recently came across a great Blog - Joy in Motion by Karin Norgard.  The Blog explores the intangible qualities shared by improvised partner dances - particularly tango, salsa and swing - all while honouring their unique differences.

About honouring the uniqueness of other dances...
In the tango world  I often hear people dissing other dances. Have been guilty of that too! When a salsa tanda comes on at a milonga (albeit an infrequent occurrence) it's not unusual to hear some groans from those still sitting.

1) "Show some respect when talking about another dancer’s savasana. Don’t insult the form that resonates with their soul." 
“Salsa is so monotonous. It’s just 1-2-3, 1-2-3, over and over,” said the Argentine tango dancer. Number of classes taken: just one.

“Too much walking,” said the swing and blues dancer about Argentine tango. “And you can’t just ask someone to dance.”

“Dancing in a slot all the time was so repetitive and boring,” said another tango dancer. “I couldn’t get past the third class.”

“Swing’s easy. It’s just rock step, triple,” said… I’m losing track.

I hear these stereotypes about “other” dances quite often. A dancer can feel passionately that the seemingly mundane in their own dance is an illusion masking complexity and depth, while simultaneously feeling that the seemingly mundane in another dance really is just mundane.

Swing dancer and teacher Jason Sager has suggested on his blog thinking of the basic as savasana, the corpse pose in yoga described by Yoga Journal as “a pose of total relaxation – making it one of the most challenging asanas.” Sager writes that “as a growing dancer, the swingout, like savasana, becomes a place to deepen practice and feel out both the holes in your dancing and the beauties in it. And as the swingout becomes ingrained, it is something you can always come back to and a place where there is almost an infinite space in which one grow and evolve for as long as you continue to dance/practice.”

Every dance has its own savasana, a core that can seem repetitive, monotonous, and even easy to the uninitiated, but that holds life, energy, power, subtlety, and endless secrets to its devotees. Different savasanas resonate with different people, but each savasana is holy and worthy of wonder for its role as “an infinite space” in the lives of a worldwide community of dancers.

So show some respect when talking about another dancer’s savasana. Don’t insult the form that resonates with their soul."  (Apr 26, 2014) 

2) "When we commit ourselves to a dance form  we are committing ourselves to a very unique world quite unlike any other. When we learn and practice our craft, we are applying our body and mind to re-create this unique world in ourselves, a kind of child to the dance form and our own nature. And in every song we dance to we have the opportunity to create a shared expression of this world with our partner in a way that has never been felt before, that will never been felt again in quite the same way. Every song is both a world in itself and part of a larger world."  (Jan 13, 2017) 

The original post has been edited slightly with reformatting and insertion of hyperlinks.

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