2015-06-18 Dancing connection

One experience I want to share, is about the beauty of dancing a couple dance with certain complete beginners, – putting it on paper sounds strange, but it is sometimes possible to create a connection between your mind and the other persons body, such you can ask your partners body to move and dance in a way that was not known by the partners mind. Then when we dance: it is amazing to feel the curiosity, surprise, and exploration of moving in a way they did not know. With some people this is easy, and with other it is difficult or next to impossible. The more you think, the more difficult it will be.

The core for doing this, is the dance connection. The connection is most prominent in Argentine Tango, and probably easiest learned there, – though it is the same in other social dances, and I do exactly the same in Swing. It is a way of touching where you can easily exchange informations with each other. This is not about gripping each other, – the touch can be light as a feather, and the can connection still strong, – it is a question of bringing a presence or awareness into the touch and melting together in the point of connection, meeting each other, such that the two bodies move together. A good way to feel this, is just to practice simple weight shifts, and walking together, closed eyes, maybe only the palms of the hands touching, with one person leading, and the other following.

If you know Contact Improvisation, I should note that the connection in social dances are usually very different from the feeling of the “point of contact”. The connection is much more calm, and a steady point of information exchange between the bodies.

When the connection is created, the most basic communication is to ask the partners body to shift their weight to the music. It is possible to put enough playfulness into this, that you can have a very enjoyable entire dance like that. Next comes the impulses that starts the movement of the feet, and the actual steps. With this you can dance the rhythmical signatures of the different dances, and also communicate, learn, and teach without words. This also opens up for play, and exploring most of the dance. You have reduced connection during turns, and other movements where you are not in synchronosity with your dance partner, so in dances with these elements, it is good to wordlessly talk about, and agree upon, the rhytmical signatures.

Another beautiful aspect of the dance connection is that it is bidirectional, and a way of seeing the other. Also the leader follows the followers interpretation and following of the leading. When you are just walking, you can focus on the connection, and through the connection almost feel how each of the trillions of cells of your partner is moving in respect to each other. Using this connection to connect core to core, even in a very open embrace and simple walk, can be an incredibly beautiful and enlightening experience. And with experienced dancers this opens up for even more fine grained and detailed discoveries and experiences.