Ricardo Vidort — Is tango dance a therapy?
This is a question that makes us think. Yes, in certain moments, we do ask ourselves this question.
When we try to dance it is sometimes a challenge to prove we can do it, and most of the time we are in competition with ourselves; the sensation of having or being in the caress of a person we like makes our heart enjoy the movements that music makes us do and then we try to do it better next time. That is the moment we choose to learn more, because we are feeling the enjoyment of the tango music.
This learning will never end, with teachers or without them. Every moment we can, every day we shall go to dance tango, to dance with different people, in different places and suddenly we are an addict of tango, what a beautiful sensation!
You see that while we are in a milonga we don’t have headaches, pains or anything like that, instead we are laughing, smiling and talking about everything, and the time runs by so fast — it is already midnight!
Today tango dance has become the biggest club of people all over the world. Two or three hundred or even more cities in the world have tango places where hundreds of people go to enjoy the music and company. Today’s ballrooms have a lot of professional people, both men and women, enjoying themselves; doctors, dentists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists and others, they all go to places for tango music.
It is really a therapy! It is something that liberates your soul, and the choice of a moment for all your life, because more than a dance, it’s a feeling that you dance. You begin listening and suddenly you are on your legs and feet, moving and walking with the rhythm of the music. It is something like you were with a friend with whom you dance as yourself.
The biggest importance of this feeling is that there are no two of a kind, I mean you can share it or give it away, but it’s impossible to explain, because there are no two persons in the world who could feel in the same way; you need not plan what or how you are going to dance, because to have this feeling your body feels instead of only hearing the music, your mind should not be in there, only the feeling of the body, and only then can you improvise movements, steps and many more things that your soul feels and transmits to your partner in rhythm, walking (with elegance and style) and cadence, you don’t shake, you balance your body with hers in a close embrace, moving and rocking inside of the music, and that is like a mantra producing the sensuality and charm of the dance.
And this is what certain master of meditation wrote in The Tao of Tango: you liberate your soul in meditation and in tango.
Published September 2004 (Issue 44) in El Once Tango News (London) and republished here with the permission of Paul Lange and Michiko Okazaki, Joint Editors
Dr. Federico Trossero, a psychiatrist who dances tango in Rosario, Santa Fe, published his book Tango Therapy in 2006.
The Tao of Tango by Johanna Siegmann (2000).