When the dance becomes a spiritual practice, it transcends every barrier of this earth. It escalates to become something heavenly.
Inspired by Indian yogic teachings, where deep-rooted practice of dance is referred as “sadhna”, my traditional roots have intermingled with my practice of Argentine tango. Indian classical dances, consider “sadhna” as a spiritual practice. They require the practitioner to surrender and have one point of focus that brings mind, body and soul together.
In India, we give a lot of importance to “Guru” - The Teacher. An Indian classical dance teacher, does not only teach you dance, but gives you a philosophy of life. He shows you the right path and leads you from darkness to light through training and knowledge. There is a very strong relationship between Guru and his student. The place of Guru is above parents. In the old days, small children were sent away to stay with Guru in “Gurukul” and study with him, to become knowledgeable. The Guru would teach many things - books, arts and dance, archery, etc.
I hail from this traditional background. My “karma” led me to a teacher, with whom I was fortunate to stay and study Tango with. Daniel Trenner is a very well known teacher of Argentine Tango. He has made a small and cute abode where his students go and stay with him and he gives them not just Tango but a philosophy of life. I was a meek and timid follower. Daniel said,
“What are you waiting for - A lead from the leader? Don’t you know that he is an idiot? One look at him should have been enough to tell you, not to trust him. If you trust him, he will fail you. Dance your own dance. Play chess with me and not checkers. That timid girl might be cute but that confident woman is very attractive. And if your man says, ‘you are wrong’, say ‘yes dear’ and then do exactly what you want to do. But shhh! He cannot know that he is an idiot. Because if he knows, then he will be very upset.”
And then I danced as a leader and he said,
“Be a man. You are the man of the universe. You are the king, who says to his troupe - Charge! Take hold and lead her like you are the man. But shh! She cannot know.”
That is when I realised the truth of not just tango but also of life. My teacher or Guru drilled in me a philosophy of, life through tango or tango through life. I have solved many riddles of life by incorporating tango.
Tango surpasses just being a dance. Tango is a way to live your life.