Elena Sergienko

One Magic Question

About comfort that is going to change your tango
- If you don't have enough dissociation, please use your brain!
Discussion at one of the seminars
There is an opinion that "one can not think" while dancing. Frankly, I do not think this is such a good idea. I generally think that thinking in any situation is good. The real question is - how.

What are those very thoughts that do not make it difficult but rather help us dance. To almost everyone who comes to my lesson for the first time, I suggest asking one simple question that could completely change the dance.
This question is "Am I comfortable now?"
I do not mean the comfort of something familiar. If you have a light toothache for a week you will probably stop paying attention and will feel surprised when it stops. What I talk about is a fundamentally different comfort which we often lack both in our daily life and in our dancing. But we do not notice it, because we "don't think". Do I sit comfortably or could I lean back on the chair and relax my back and abdomen? Do I hold the pen (or mouse) right or could I do it with no extra tension in hands and shoulders? What happens to my face when I have been staring at the monitor for three hours? Have I really done everything I could for myself in this situation?
Have I really done everything I could for myself?
In short, am I comfortable now? From this magical question I started a really exciting road of observation in the dance – observation of myself, partner and movement. Following this road is not always pleasant and easy, especially in the beginning. Sometimes it comes with physical and mental discomfort which is normal when we experience something unusual and strange. But eventually, it gives freedom and brings new profundity and possibilities of body, hence of your and your partner's mutual dance.

And this is by no means the same as controlling the movement. Control means to stop, to capture and to dissect. But stopping is incompatible and contradictory to dancing. Observation means evenly following what happens and changing the situation on time when you are not happy about it. Only while being conscious of the movement process, you are able to realize when and where a possibility of change appears.

When you start observing, you may see many excessive things. Here I can relax. And here, for some reason, I made this stupid movement I dislike so much in others. And here I could avoid rushing.
Why can't I stop doing it?!
It would be good if at these moments you were accompanied by a like-minded person or a mentor who could help you live through the crisis and put into perspective what is happening to you. It should not necessarily be a teacher, but rather a person of trust with whom you share same visions and values in dancing.

Recently, I often see situations when a person one step away from a change stops, because this is something unlike what he/she has experienced or expected to experience. And then it is very helpful to have someone who would say "Hey, this is exactly what you were looking for! There is no harm if you let yourself do something irregular and strange for a few moments. Try it and decide if you like it better this way."
While I was writing this, I got a message from a beautiful and smart girl who came to my class recently: "This magic works! It is hard for my head, scary for me but it is very easy for my feet!"

I am glad to share her happiness. Join us and ask yourself right away:
"Am I comfortable"?
Author: Елена Сергиенко. Translation: Valentina Mitrieva.
Opinions expressed in articles within this blog may not coincide with those of the editor.
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