What does loneliness feel like?
When you are lonely, how is your body feeling?
I think it feels like extreme hunger…
After not having eaten for hours, after your stomach has stopped gurgling and your hands have stopped shaking, after you’ve gotten used to feeling weak, and you are just feeling empty
You can still carry on with your day, but at the same time you feel empty, and you are hoping to find some kind of support.
If and when you get the opportunity to eat you grab anything offered to you, anything placed in front of you!
After having filled your stomach though you can be feeling anything from relief and happiness to fear, sadness and desperation, depending on how you got to experience extreme hunger.
That is what loneliness feels like, to me; like emotional hunger.
Tango to meet new people Vs Tango to feel closer to people.
Notice the difference….
Tango being a social dance is indeed a great place for meeting new people.
We start with classes where usually we find a group of people that we get closer with. Then we start going to milongas and there slowly but surely we get to meet more and more people.
It is a good and healthy way to expand our circle of friends and acquaintances
Going to Tango though because we want to feel closer to another human being, to feel connected; because we are lonely, is something completely different.
Empty and deprived of human connection, when the opportunity to feel connected presents itself we just grab it. We take any dance we can get, no questions asked…
Best case scenario; our dances are just ok, not terrible, not great, just ok. This way they fill some part of the gap, leaving us asking for more… Under the sweetness of having been emotionally fed, it is possible that we will feel confident enough to take this further, and connected with our partner after the tanda ends. It is likely that we will actually make a new friend..!
If the dance is bad then it will make us absolutely miserable.
Not only because we hate the dance or the partner or both but mostly because we expected to hate, we knew we would probably them but we couldn’t refuse them. Proven right, we step off the dance floor, more disappointed with ourselves than ever!
This though is NOT the worst case scenario…
In fact, the dances that are great are the WORST!
I am referring to the dances that a bit of magic happens… Where you feel that you and your partner are the perfect match… And the whole tanda is just an endless flow, that unfortunately is bound to end..! You finish the tanda and you are in a dreamy state… Feeling so full with emotion, you almost feel….shhhh…in L.O.V.E.
You leave the dance floor and reality starts to kick-in. And again you might anything from relief and happiness to fear, sadness and desperation depending on what got you so emotionally deprived.
See…we can’t win on the dance floor… but we might be able to win off it!
It is unfair to treat loneliness with Tango!
Meeting people through Tango is a good idea. Making Tango the medium through which we experience closeness and connection is unfair!
It is unfair to us. But also unfair to Tango, to Art and to our community.
No dance form on its own can defeat loneliness. But it can empower us to reach out to other people. It can inspire us and give us the confidence boost we need to start expressing ourselves more and connecting to people who are in tune with what we have to say.
Free your dances from that burden…
You only know how to do that because you know the root of the problem.
Accepting there is a problem is step one.
Identifying where the real problem lies is step two Exploring different ways of solving it is step three
And there Tango can help… by being Tango… By being JUST a dance!
Is it easy? NO
Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
P.S.: There is one person I haven’t gotten the chance to thank enough for this, my teacher Ramit Sethi, who taught me the strategy behind finding a way out and gave me the tools to start expressing myself and effectively reaching loads of other people. He gave me the opportunity to create Bautanz. Now I can say “WE” and not “I”