Heart to heart: tango as a catalyst for reigniting love
“In its purest expression, tango is an embrace in motion.” These words might well have been penned by a poet. Yet they are attributed to one Dr. Ceccoli, a psychology specialist and lifelong dancer. She is firmly convinced that movement is a potent emotional vehicle; hence, her fervent passion for tango.
Like her, many therapists believe that tango is a useful tool for revving up a relationship in crisis. Indeed, some go so far as to claim that tango is a form of language more evolved than speech. Everything is expressed through non-verbal cues between the two protagonists, who, leaning into one another so as to bring their chests together, essentially fuse into one body. Stripped of their individual balance, the two halves of the pair must communicate through motion. To guide their movements, they rely on a shared intuition.
Sound familiar? As with a duo of dancers, two lovers rely on one another; they form a union that benefits both of them, a partnership in which each one holds some degree of responsibility.
For Amelia Borofsky, another doctor of psychology, this analogy became evident during a trip to Buenos Aires with her significant other. When their tango instructor, a practitioner of so-called “queer” tango, asked who of the two would be leading, Dr. Borofsky and her partner both replied that it did not matter to them either way. That is when they realized that, in their couple, neither one of them truly wanted to be in control. After her partner finally decided to lead, Ms. Borofsky reacted to their very first steps: “You are putting all your weight on me,” she said. Dr. Borofsky then had another epiphany of self-awareness: in her couple, she constantly fluctuated between wanting to do everything herself and being utterly subservient to her partner’s wishes. In the end, a single session was all it took for the two women to grasp that tango is a metaphor for their life as a couple. In subsequent sessions, they repeated the experience and took turns leading, and their relationship was the better for it.
Perhaps tango can be a tonic for your couple as well.