Tango Argentino > Feeling that "Argentine Tango Connection"

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Ampster, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    A lot of us here have mentioned, "Connection" when we dance Argentine Tango.

    What is it really to you? How would you describe it? What happens to you when that magical AT "Connection" happens?

    My take on connection is this:

    I have had previous experience in many other dances, but as I have experienced, it is much more unique and intense in AT than in any other dance—Hands down! (IMHO)

    When I speak of connection, there is no one else that matters other than myself and my partner, who is usually a stranger. I feel her breathing and she feels mine. I think of what I want to lead, and it just happens without effort or prodding. There is a feeling of "One body, four legs."

    Everything flows... The music, the movement, syncopation, footwork, intuition, improvisation, etc., all comes together to be one unique experience where one is transported into a very special place for the duration of the tanda.

    It's addicting, it's intoxicating, It makes people get that look of being in a trance, it's blissful, it's magical...
  2. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    You know you've experienced when you have.
  3. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    You answered it well, however, connection is much more. One employs/encounters a connection w/ the partner, the music, the floor, the surroundings...of course, to varying degrees.

    In order to properly dance AT we must be totally connected to the music. The music reaches inside of us and creates the interpreted emotion of the dance.

    In order to properly execute AT we must be totally connected to the dance. As you wrote....
    In order to properly communicate AT, we must be totally connected to the partner. We musy be correct and comfortable in the embrace; share, lead and follow w/ precisioned perfection both of the connections mentioned previously.

    In order to properly enjoy AT, we must be connected to our surroundings. This is often a problem w/ dancers who are more interested in displaying their latest fancy move than performing a meaningful tango.

    At the risk of dissidence, atheism, or worse, I have maintained that all of these things can be felt/acheived in all forms of dance. Dance is an external expression of an innate emotion. When one feels connected to; the music, the dance, the partner, the surroundings (time/space/physicality), the same high is acheived. Though I love and have specialized in AT for many years, I feel the same from a well danced International Slow Fox. [​IMG]
  4. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    To me it would be pretty much like the connection you have when dancing a slow number.
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I have experienced the same sort connection in Contact Improvisation long before I knew anything about tango. I would say in Contact the intensity of connection can be far higher because you are exploring: oneself, one's partner, and the music and the space.

    I give less importance to the surroundings (other than the floor) than Angel Hi because it can be distracting; when I demonstrate I shut out my awareness of being watched and focus in on the other things- partner, music, emotion. My dancing should have the same quality in a crowded room as an empty room (aside from navigation issues).

    " dance as though no-one is watching" holds particularly true for me and the codigos say not to wave or nod to others when you are dancing
  6. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Ah. My reference had nothing to do w/ those whom might be watching. My reference to surroundings is w/ regard to time and space...so simply as to not interfere or be interfered w/ by other persons/objects whom/that might be obstacles to the movement/dance.
  7. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Hmm..wonderfully described Amps.

    For me, "that connection" (of which I speak) if I feel it, it tends to happen before the commencement of the dance. At the point when he receives me into his arms and I drape my arm acoss his back and both hands touch. Soulful. Like two lost halves finding each other again. It's very rare but when it happens, it's pretty much well worth the wait. :-D
  8. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    The connection part is interesting because I was just reading about "tango partner jealousy" and I was thinking about how one can connect with a partner, but that partner may not necessarily be one's life partner! Yikes. There didn't seem to be a clear answer on what to do. Whether to separate the dance from the feelings, or to separate that particular dance from the person, or just to go with the feelings because it's part of the dance. Anyways, being a mere beginner in argentine tango, and enjoying it immensely with my love, I have currently rationalized it thusly: when I'm at a milonga, there are a set of dance steps that I try to competently lead and make the dance pleasurable for any partner; however, there are a whole other set of dance steps that I will reserve for my special partner, who reads the subtle language that we've built together. Call it a more intimate dance just for her.
  9. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    This is interesting. A friend of mine that has been doing salsa for many many years has discussed the common mistake a lot of dancers do by confusing love with great dance connection/affairs/flairs.

    It is a very different thing he says but very often confused by younger dancers or, might I add, hopeless romantics? :)

    I must say I've danced with women that either felt much better to me than her (and vice-versa) or when it just feels great to dance. It's a very personal thing as you all know, what we perceive as a great connection or the feeling of an above average dance.

    A lot of times there's a couple of nice dances when you're discovering each other but then it kind of fades a bit. Other times it lingers and you always think about what if. Tricky stuff.

    I must say that more often than not I see couples that dance a lot together arguing about the dance, but that happens if you spend so much time w/ the same person ;-)
  10. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    Connection is about reducing the mental separation between dancers. In Angel's more broad definition, that extends out many dancers around you, but can most clearly be felt and identified by physical contact. I personally get a heightened awareness of every aspect of my partner, the space around me, and a sense of almost total freedom to lead and step where I wish. Also the urge to give my partner a big hug after the dance!

    When you connect with someone, it's a very powerful feeling. Why not treasure it wherever it is found? It only has meaning if you choose to make it so. Are we not able to have close friends without marrying them or sleeping with them? There is no need for jealousy.

    I can see that it must be somewhat tortuous if you connect more effectively on the dance floor with someone other than your life partner, but that's wrong thinking. It is attempting to control something beyond control, attempting to compensate for years of dancing experience with desire, and fearing that we do not have other qualities that make us valuable beyond our ability to conjure sublime moments at a milonga.

    Tango-ne, I hope you find peace with your partner and yourself before your dancing skills truly begin to blossom and the world of AT throws you a curve-ball, possibly in young and nubile form...
  11. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    Oh, so there it is. Another reference to couples arguing. I read about that elsewhere and <gulp> experienced it recently at a milonga. I admit that I was in the wrong, completely. I was frustrated with my lack of getting into the milonga and the music, and instead of just relaxing, I went and blamed my sweetie in the worst way! I accused her of making a bigger effort to dance with others than she was making with me! Egad! What a fool I was to go and stick both my left feet in my mouth like that! It was a valuable lesson for me though. And it made me reflect on two things: I am leading so it is none of her fault if she can't hear what I'm trying to say, I should never say "you're not listening"; second, she's the only one who will speak up and give me feedback (verbally) on what might work better, so shame on me for telling her to try harder. Sorry dear! And thanks for bearing with my moods!
  12. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    Yes, yes thank you. I had this conversation with my sweetie just as we were starting out in tango. "I hope you find peace with your partner and yourself before your dancing skills truly begin to blossom " You are right, of course! It is dancing, and the point is to connect. What I really realized, and what helped me get over my initial jealousy, was that the reality was that I was intimidated by the skill of the other men at the milonga and I felt confused having to sit there on the sidelines armed only with my basic step and a sloppy little lead into a back ocho...while I could but watch in envy as partner after partner lead my girl effortlessly and beautifully into the world of tango. But THAT'S when it hit me that THAT'S what leading tango was all about. To lead your partner to this other worldly place called tango. It was not at all about mating, but all about meeting! If only I listened to my sweetie as she patiently tried to explain all this to my deaf newbie ears!

    So, yes, now I am prepared for whatever the milonga throws at me. And with nothing but the basic steps and the back ocho, I am ready to lead any partner to somewhere closer to that place called tango. Ne?
  13. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member


    Here's a couple of threads I started that MAY help you along:


  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I guess, for me, that connection truly happens when I've lost my sense of absolutely everything except music and emotion--other dancers at the milonga, following, my partner, my body, and my self. (Yeah, I know I'm directly contradicting others here, but oh well.)

    When I can close my eyes and zone out/"zone in" to nothing other than the music and the feeling it evokes, I feel connected.

    I mentioned losing my sense of my partner and following. I don't mean going off into my own little world and not following...it's more a sense of never really feeling a distinct lead, but just moving together. I've only felt it a few times, and each time it's preceded by a brief moment of panic when I realize I don't know what he's leading and I can't feel a distinct lead...and then it dawns on me that I'm following just fine anyhow...and that following has ceased to be a specific thing to think about but, instead, it's just happening. Together. It's not my leader + me + following...it's just dancing.

    When the song ends, and we haven't broken the embrace, and I have to open my eyes and re-orient myself to the room and the here-and-now and come back to reality, I feel connected.
  15. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Firstly, welcome to the DF, Tango-ne. Secondly, you and the others have to get past the notion that "connection" in dance means 'partner". You must understand/come to know that, in order to encompass the dance in its entirety, there are other factors, as mentioned before, that must be acknowledged. You might love the partner w/ all your heart, and really not like the way she places her weight. Or, your best dances might be w/ your one true love, except for that one where you erally couldn't feel...internalize the music. Understand?

    One simple truth...if you are arguing, you can't possibly be truly dancing.

    Actually, Peaches, your entire post is spot on.

  16. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I think I need a side link to the enlightenment thread here. If you go looking for a connection then it is less likely to happen.

    I taught tango to about 20 young people in a youth group; they were great fun and as there were unequal male female numbers the boys had no problems leading following each other and they got in two hours what would take adults about six classes to learn.
    They had known each other for perhaps as much as four or five years so I think their connection with each other as friends made the class go so well. No teen awkwardness, they were attentive to each other, and having a laugh without being disruptive.

    I hadn't expected that I would enjoy it as much as i did, as I have only once taught one other group of teenagers.

    Connection, schmection just go with the flow.
  17. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    No. Because....

    ...what you've just so wonderfully described is: "it".
  18. Tango-ne

    Tango-ne New Member

    Okay, I think I'm starting to get it. It's a little complicated for me because I am new to both ballroom dance/ argentine tango/ dance etiquette. The more I practice, the more I enjoy the connection, and the further away I get from the non-dance "chatter" in my brain.

    Thanks for the tip about getting "in the zone"...I understand that completely now. And you have helped to relate that to my TKD (er, taekwondo) training, as an adult, I had to stop the chatter in my brain because in the time it takes to think "block", it's too late, and I've taken a young whippersnapper's kick to my chest. Then in the time it takes to think "counter attack" I find myself staring down at his fist and then looking up along his extended arm, I invariably see a toothy grin as I know my internal chatter has resulted in my unfocused external performance!

    How similar this is to a bad dance, wherein my chatter keeps me half a step behind the beat on the lead and makes me constantly try to realign with my partner whislt I mutter embrassed apologies...when I dance next I will try to keep my internal chatter back on the sidelines!
  19. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Great! One word of caution. In a step oriented BR world, take lightly the pattern-based, slow-quick technique of popular BR teaching/dancing, and find the same "zone" when dancing BR. You will feel/acheive things that others who have been dancing for years are still seeking.

    There have been several threads re how the martial arts help dance, and vis-a-vis (self included).
  20. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    To have blissful connection, my partner and I have to completely relaxed, without any tension in our bodies. Our embrace is like a hug where you can feel the other person's presence not stiff where you feel squeezed.

    Sometimes, I've felt my heartbeat. Other times, I've felt her heartbeat. And when it happens, I don't want to do any figures that could cause the connection to break. The best way to impress is NOT TO IMPRESS.

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