Tag Archives: tango strengths

Keep going, keep dancing, keep active… Prepare!

I know everyone is on the web and there is this great big online community being built almost out of nowhere… However, do we move as much as before? Do we take walks in the parks and dance in our living rooms? Have we realized how much we have missed and have we found a way to keep going in a healthy way?

I honestly don’t have any answers for any of the above questions. Judging though from personal experience I have noticed how my mood heavily affects my movement schedule and vice versa during these strange times.

What you were or were not doing before Covid is not relative to the experience really, as there wasn’t really much of a choice in the quarantine. But even now… this is a very strange normality..! We are almost afraid of each other. For me it is not the rules but the unknown…the “what if”…that creates the fear. So how do we battle with that?

Some people have though figured it out

Some people have figured it out. I am not talking about the people appearing on the media pretending to have it all figured out…no…but about others that have spent enough time thinking and preparing for the inevitable. And I think the answer on how to keep going hides somewhere there.

This is Eileen Kramer she is now officially a choreographer but she has never stopped dancing even at the age of 104.

Dancing as she says is “making order out of chaos” and then by the end of the video “good health depends a lot on you, what you eat, what you think, what you have suffered and what you have recovered from. You do have to prepare for age…

How do we think about the situation we are put in, aka Covid? Can we prepare for similar situation where we would have to deal with another kind of isolation and movement restrictions? How we deal with the distance, the required space? Are we preparing for a future similar situation thinking of how we could better feel and fill this void and stay active. Especially the later, staying active… Creating opportunities to move, to experience sensations and emotions that will give birth to new movement. Can this motivate us, make us feel creative and inspired? Are we preparing for that? Can we include more of that in our lives?

Preparing…

I am not sure we are preparing for the future, I think, we are just making our way through this mess. But maybe that is just me… haha

However, if you feel like I do, it is never too late to start!

I started with a tiny habit!
Something I learned from BJ Fogg (https://www.tinyhabits.com).

A tiny habit, something that will take you for example 30secs to do. You attach that after something you do very often like washing your hands and so you do it every time after you wash your hands. At the end you celebrate! You congratulate yourself! And that is it!

So building a habit can actually be fun, simple and almost effortless. Because you don’t dedicate too much time up front instead you start small and then you keep on building gradually!

You can read all about the method in the link above. But this is what I have come up with to bring this into Tango, the Exercise of the Week.
Every week there is one exercise that takes max 2mins to do. Each one of us can decide the action we would like to attach that to and there we have it..! Sparks of moving habits… Any of the exercises can last longer, can become the base of a full Tango practice routine if you would like to build up to that.
But starting off, maybe we can’t or we don’t feel like spending 30mins for Tango practice, so starting tiny with 2mins can be the beginning of longer and longer-lasting practice!

Think about it, 2mins nothing really…Do it though every time after you wash your hands aaaand then we have a different story, right?

That is my suggestion and what I have been exploring. Give it go and let me know how it goes!

Any other thoughts on how to keep going?

Chrisa

P.S: If you have time and motivation for longer practices check out this link: https://bautanz.com/online-tango-practice/

The REAL reason people quit Tango, and how YOU can grow your passion

If you are Tango-ista, going from milonga to milonga, from festival to festival and from workshop to workshop. To quit Tango probably sounds absolutely insane to you… I am sorry you have taken a wrong “click” into this post…
This is a post for quitters really… Yes..!
So let me fast forward you to the part where I am saying how you should be practicing for better and faster results… Here you go:

And if after this you are even more fired up to get started take a look at Intelligent Tango,  the practice course I wish I had when I was building on my Tango passion..!

For the rest of you though… Why do you want to quit?

Why do you want to quit? And actually, why do people quit in general?

I mean I have talked to many different people and they all seem to have a similar problem… the COMMUNITY…

People say things like:

“leaders only want to dance with young and good looking women”
“I feel very nervous, like everyone in judging me…”
“people are too snobbish in Tango, so unwelcoming and rude”
“nobody wants to dance with me… I have been trying  so hard and still none of the good dancers will dance with me” etc etc etc

And let me add a personal note, just in case you are thinking that I am from some other planet… So I used to think that it had to do with the culture..

Yes! Apparently, in my head, the communities in Greece were more welcoming than in Toronto because of a cultural background…

That is not only rude and obnoxious, it is also the lamest excuse, and a bunch of BS, that I used to feed myself instead of putting in the work to actually fit in, meet new people and actually give something to the community.

So with all my love, it is not the community, it is YOU!

It is YOU and your mindset about social dancing, about practicing to become actually better and about sharing an EXPERIENCE with other people.

Where your mind sets, is essential in any sort of hobby you are trying to pick up and today I am going to share with you 3 mindset techniques so you can start building richer experiences on and off the dance floor:

  1. Crush the cliches
  2. Take an honesty bath
  3. Bet on your strengths
  4. Build a clever practice
1.CRUSH the cliches..!

Cliche:is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel” Wikipedia

  • Dance like nobody’s watching
  • Feel the music
  • In Tango there is one body with 4 legs
  • It takes 2 to Tango

What do these phrases mean? They say a lot and nothing at the same time, leaving more confused, and unmotivated!

Replace cliches with REAL words.  Lets give it a try…

  • Dance feeling free and creative. Express yourself through movement with confidence. Don’t give a damn about what other people think
  • LISTEN intently. Spend a lot of time mapping out the song in your mind and body.
    [Check this video out: https://youtu.be/i7YX85leP1Y]
  • Be part of a TRUE partnership, where two partners come together to create something beautiful. Share responsibility!
  • Practice to prepare yourself to be THERE for your partner.

Real words will take you out of the complaining gutter and show you what you need to do next.

Here is a powerful technique that you can use right NOW to replace cliches:

Close your eyes and picture something you consider beautiful–non Tango related.
It can be a follower or a Christmas tree or a beach. Anything you find beautiful.
Focus your mind to its details, at such a level that you can feel as if that thing is right there next to you. Don’t quit before you can see every little details, until you can reach out and grab it.

Share the details either with your partner or with yourself in any form–verbal or written

Close your eyes again and now picture YOUR ideal Tango image, again in every detail.
See yourself in the way you wish to be seen. Feel how you wish to be feeling. Move in the way you wish to be moving.
Don’t judge yourself. Don’t think how you will make there. Only create that Ideal image.

Share those details, without leaving anything out, be REAL!
How did you look, how did you feel?

Examples: “I saw myself in bright red dress, doing a giro. The form wasn’t fully structured, instead it looked like me and my partner where forming the yin and yang. I felt free, able to share and ready to receive, balanced and secure. And having a lot of fun” J

REAL words paint GREATER pictures!

2. Take an honesty bath

Especially when we are at an intermediate level, we have a feeling that we are in fact AWESOME! haha

At this stage your ego is your biggest enemy.
“The ego-dog at it’s own door is like a lion” Rumi

The best way to win over ego is to take a reality bath… A video… Of yourself…  Practicing or dancing…

Sit back… Aaaaaand let reality hit you!

Look at the video as if it wasn’t your own. Look at yourself as if it was a stranger dancing. See how you really are, and don’t offer any excuses to yourself.

Now don’t take action right away. Instead, sit down consider your flaws and acknowledge your strengths.

You don’t want to be like one of those people who rush into action and then get discouraged with the first hiccup.
You see people like that all the time… Every January for example they rush to the gym only to give up on February..! haha

Don’t be like those people, this is what you do instead:

  1. Indentify what the problem ACTUALLY is
  2. Find the source of the problem
  3. Build a sustainable AND enjoyable practice to fix it

Sources to help out with this task:
How you have made your Tango struggles worse
And
Build your ideal dance mindset

3. Bet on your Strengths

So many people will tell you the opposite: practice to correct and fix your flaws…

But I will ask you this: How would you know you are going in the right direction if you have no point of reference?

via GIPHY

That is you right now, right? hahaha

Enough walking in the dark, START FROM YOUR STRENGTHS!

Start working on things you are actually good at. Things you KNOW you are doing correctly. From things that make you feel GOOD! Quadriple on them, and then address your flaws… this way you have an experience to compare your correcting actions to.

For example: Say your walks are great. You feel in control but not tensed, you have a nice steady flow to your walk and you really feel connected while doing them. On the other hand, when you are doing your ochos, you feel stuck, tensed and unbalanced.

This is how you should structure your practice:

  1. 3 quarters of your time you work on your walks( so from 1 hour: 45mins you do walks)
  2. Pay attention and grab all the details that make your walks so GREAT
  3. 1 quarter of your time, you work on your ochos
  4. After you start noticing a shift in how your ochos are feeling ADD on some more practice time to ochos.

This way you enhance your strengths and you use them to correct your flaws.
You have measurables; How many great ochos, can I do today
And you can control your practice, so you can STOP before your technique fails you

4. Build a smart practice

If you are ready to become the dancer you know you can be…
JOIN US!
Subscribe to bautanz.com and lets practice together!
I don’t just share exercises and drills but also mindset technique, tips on social skills and much much more

I hope to talk to you soon!

Chrisa

Special thanks for the guidance to: Tim Ferriss Michael Gervais Eric Ripert Terry Laughlin