And all of a sudden you learn ...
... in tango – how to hug as in the folk.
When in a marathon I find myself clamped in unfamiliar or not very comfortable hands, I repeat to myself - "Hey. Stop. Embrace like in chakarera ", and – miracle! - my body instantly feels relieved. I remember again how to hug my partner as if I had huge wings, and how to listen carefully to what he is telling to me from his inside.
...in folk – how to upbuild yourself around your inner axis, like in the tango.
The cult of the right posture in tango is so great, and the two idols, the Axis and the Balance, are placed on pedestal to be worshiped day and night. When the people come to folk after such a strictness, they tend to go mad right away inhaling the intoxicating air of the freedom… until the very moment they understand that to control their body in order to get that notorious ease and smoothness of movement they actually need the same steel axis inside. Otherwise, the freedom turns into anarchy, and the dance for some reason looks like marriage games of the squids. Antidote to squid-style? Collecting internal muscles and letting the external ones flowing down loosely. Just like in the tango, right?
... in tango – how to stretch yourself from inside to tie the hands and feet to your center.
As in the folk, yep. I first learned this exercise in a folk class, and stretching the imaginary elastic band from your center to opposite directions helped me a lot to consciously turn on the body and to make it feel wider and bigger.Making the same exercise in the tango, I was amazed how this hands'n'feet connectedness made my response to the lead much much quicker. You feel like wearing kind of magic wingsuit - apparently, to make it easier to fly a few centimeters above the dance floor.
... in folk - how to take energy from the floor and pass it to your partner. How to... well, you got it.
In the tango we are used to hear about grounding and working with the floor, about continuity of the energy flow from the floor and up to the partner, and from the partner back to ourselves, in such a vertical cycle. While in the folk most of the movements are often viewed to be looped horizontally. Forward, to the partner, back to yourself, and so on in a circle. Not up and down, just back and forth. But if you just try to combine these two approaches, the energy hula hoop turns into a huge rotating sphere that breathes and pulsates at every step you take. With the due intensity of attention, even one dance can take you far far away up to pure catharsis.
And so on, and so forth. Every time I encounter such overflows of meanings from the tango to the folk and back, I can't help to scream out desperately: "Damn, why did nobody tell me before it is possible to do so here as well?" - and I watch my teachers laughing at me, each in his/her turn.
Everything is interrelated, it's true. The dance is a body language. And as every language that you begin to learn, improves the knowledge of other languages, in the same way your body develops its inner vocabulary with every new body practice you try. Therefore - salsa, kizomba, lindy hop or folk, whatever - just allow yourself to look a little wider.
Your body will be very grateful, you'll see.