The average length of a hug between two people is 3 seconds. But the researchers have discovered something fantastic. When a hug lasts 20 seconds, there is a therapeutic effect on the body and mind. The reason is that a sincere embrace produces a hormone called "oxytocin", also known as the love hormone. This substance has many benefits in our physical and mental health, helps us, among other things, to relax, to feel safe and calm our fears and anxiety. This wonderful tranquilizer is offered free of charge every time we have a person in our arms, who cradled a child, who cherish a dog or a cat, that we are dancing with our partner, the closer we get to someone or simply hold the Shoulders of a friend.
A famous quote by psychotherapist Virginia Satir goes, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” Whether those exact numbers have been scientifically proven remains to be seen, but there is a great deal of scientific evidence related to the importance of hugs and physical contact. Here are some reasons why we should hug::
1. STIMULATES OXYTOCIN
Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts on the limbic system, the brain’s emotional centre, promoting feelings of contentment, reducing anxiety and stress, and even making mammals monogamous. It is the hormone responsible for us all being here today. You see this little gem is released during childbirth, making our mothers forget about all of the excruciating pain they endured expelling us from their bodies and making them want to still love and spend time with us. New research from the University of California suggests that it has a similarly civilising effect on human males, making them more affectionate and better at forming relationships and social bonding. And it dramatically increased the libido and sexual performance of test subjects. When we hug someone, oxytocin is released into our bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
2. CULTIVATES PATIENCE
Connections are fostered when people take the time to appreciate and acknowledge one another. A hug is one of the easiest ways to show appreciation and acknowledgement of another person. The world is a busy, hustle-bustle place and we’re constantly rushing to the next task. By slowing down and taking a moment to offer sincere hugs throughout the day, we’re benefiting ourselves, others, and cultivating better patience within ourselves.
3. PREVENTS DISEASE
Affection also has a direct response on the reduction of stress which prevents many diseases. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine says it has carried out more than 100 studies into touch and found evidence of significant effects, including faster growth in premature babies, reduced pain, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms, lowered glucose levels in children with diabetes, and improved immune systems in people with cancer.
4. STIMULATES THYMUS GLAND
Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
5. COMMUNICATION WITHOUT SAYING A WORD
Almost 70 percent of communication is nonverbal. The interpretation of body language can be based on a single gesture and hugging is an excellent method of expressing yourself nonverbally to another human being or animal. Not only can they feel the love and care in your embrace, but they can actually be receptive enough to pay it forward to others based on your initiative alone.
Hugging boosts self-esteem, especially in children. The tactile sense is all-important in infants. A baby recognizes its parents initially by touch. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.
7. STIMULATES DOPAMINE
Everything everyone does involves protecting and triggering dopamine flow. Low dopamine levels play a role in the neurodegenerative disease Parkinson’s as well as mood disorders such as depression. Dopamine is responsible for giving us that feel-good feeling, and it’s also responsible for motivation! Hugs stimulate brains to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone. Dopamine sensors are the areas that many stimulating drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine target. The presence of a certain kinds of dopamine receptors are also associated with sensation-seeking.
8. STIMULATES SEROTONIN
Reaching out and hugging releases endorphins and serotonin into the blood vessels and the released endorphins and serotonin cause pleasure and negate pain and sadness and decrease the chances of getting heart problems, helps fight excess weight and prolongs life. Even the cuddling of pets has a soothing effect that reduces the stress levels. Hugging for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
9. PARASYMPATHETIC BALANCE
Hugs balance out the nervous system. The skin contains a network of tiny, egg-shaped pressure centres called Pacinian corpuscles that can sense touch and which are in contact with the brain through the vagus nerve. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic. Embrace, embrace with your heart.~~ art: Dorina Costras
You’re invited! It’s the most wonderful time of the year – join us as we celebrate the end of our third LA Tango Academy year and ring in the season with a very special night loaded with juicy tangos, holiday cortinas & refreshments (...including Glögg & festive desserts!)
Wear your favorite holiday costume and dance the night away with new and old friends. Doors open at 8:30p.
Our most popular gifting item is the 2 h beginner bootcamp($30) which is a great option for new students trying out Tango for the first time. But you can also gift any amount to be applied by the recipient towards any package or membership of choice.
As instructors, Sara & Ivan have developed a modern systemic approach to teaching traditional tango. Their goal as teachers is to instill strong fundamentals by emphasizing technique, analytical thinking, logic, naturalness and comfort in both the close and open embrace. We are excited to have them in LA for an intensive 2 day progressive workshop series on December 2-3 (Sat/Sun). The workshops are progressive to give an in-depth study of connection, movement and energy management. Learn more...
Tango changes your life, whether you notice it or not. Those changes are not necessarily dramatic, actually most of these changes are so small and gradual that they go unnoticed. However, I don't know anyone in tango whose life this dance did not change in some way or another, some way that goes beyond tango itself.
Tango is about your love for it, and love always changes your life in some way.
Of course, what I am writing here is inevitably a generalization and every case is unique. Nevertheless, I see certain trends in many lives around me that allow me to make these generalizations. In my daily life I am surrounded by people touched by tango in various degrees. I know people who, like me, fell into it completely and forever from the very first moment they heard this music and embraced a partner. People who, like me, thought "This is what I have been looking for my whole life so far." I also know people who are not necessarily this passionate or involved, but who still devote quite some time to tango among other things they do. We can safely say, I think, that no matter the degree of your dedication, tango has a way of affecting your life quite profoundly.
First, it is the time you start devoting to learning and dancing it. And in this you can go as far as you allow yourself. But even if you don't go dancing every day, or take classes every week or travel to events, tango has a way of occupying your life that is special. You listen to its music when doing other things. You start a new "tango" category in your wardrobe. You now look at wooden floors in a different way. You pack your tango shoes with you on business trips, and instead of going to dinner with colleagues you go looking for some obscure place you have seen on the internet, where it said there would be a milonga. And when you enter this place in some unknown city, in some unknown country, and you hear that familiar music, you immediately feel as if you have finally arrived where you needed to be.
The courage to give priority in life to what you love is one of the fundamental signs of maturity.
Tango, no matter your involvement in it, becomes a kind of a world separate from the rest, with its own particular joys, sorrows, difficulties, rules, goals and pleasures. And it is never a solitary world: in tango you will always find someone who loves it in exactly the same way you do, whichever way that is.
Tango is often compared to a drug. And indeed it seems highly addictive: the more you do it, the more you want to continue doing it. You often miss it when you stop (although not always) and you are usually happy to do it again after a break. Like a drug, tango seems to give you an opportunity to escape your life. If you truly want to escape it, tango will provide ample possibilities to occupy yourself with something that has nothing to do with your life, your work or your relationships. Yet, a drug usually ruins your health and ends up also ruining your relationships with other people. Tango, on the contrary, often helps you to become healthier, physically and mentally, and it actually helps to improve your relationships with other people. A drug makes you turn away from yourself while tango makes you turn toward yourself. This is because tango is about your love for it and love always changes your life in some way. You cannot love a drug, not really, you can only crave it. Yet, you would not dance tango if you did not love it at least a bit.
Turning toward yourself, in most cases, is not an immediately pleasant experience. It means understanding what you like and dislike, but also what internal conflicts you are carrying inside.
Of course, by itself tango does not do anything to change your life, it is you who changes your life if you choose to do so. Tango is only a catalyst for change. Turning toward yourself, in most cases, is not an immediately pleasant experience. It means understanding what you like and dislike, but also what internal conflicts you are carrying inside. As I wrote in my article on tango and love relationships, you most probably found tango because it is a productive environment to resolve some of your internal conflicts: conflicts that are specifically yours. If in your life you are in some way imbalanced, this imbalance will be exposed also in tango. Sometimes tango is exactly what you need to expose this imbalance and therefore to find a way of dealing with it. Tango will allow you both to play out your imbalances and to heal those imbalances if you so wish. To give you a simple example: if you are someone who needs a lot of powerful positive emotions in order to forget your fears and insecurities, then in tango you will find what you need: a festive, busy environment oriented towards pleasure and pleasant human interaction. Yet, at the same time, you will feel your imbalance even stronger when leaving the tango world, and go into a depression after a particularly happy tango event. The moment you learn not to “sway” so strongly from the positive into negative feelings you find more balance in yourself. You still enjoy tango, but you don’t crave it like a drug.
However, tango as a catalyst for change is not only about unearthing painful emotions. It is an even stronger catalyst for something else: namely, finding your JOY.
Your growth in tango, in a broader sense, is about learning what you like, what makes you happy, what gives you pleasure but also a sense of becoming more you - or a better you. Tango is not only about learning how to dance and how to successfully interact with other people, it is also about giving priority to what you personally like. Tango is an extremely free environment that does not oblige you to anything, not even to follow its own loosely defined rules. It is not an institution. It is not a religion. It is not an organisation. And therefore everything about tango is only about your own choice: from teachers and dance partners to the way you look, where you go to dance, which music you dance to and so on. This freedom is also what makes tango so attractive and so rich in its various expressions. For me, all attempts to limit tango to one specific style or one particular type of movement go against the very spirit of tango.
Once you start making what you like your priority in tango, there inevitably comes a point that you start giving priority to what you like in other areas of life.
Tango is life-changing exactly because of that: it makes you give priority to what you personally prefer. Once you start making what you like your priority in tango, there inevitably comes a point that you start giving priority to what you like in other areas of life. You see, when you allow yourself to follow what you enjoy in tango, it becomes more and more difficult to accept what you don't enjoy in the rest of your life. And so you end up leaving that unsatisfying job or that dead-end relationship. You start detaching yourself from the expectations of others and instead decide for yourself in what to invest your energy.
To the "outside world" tango people often seem strangely deranged and immature. For someone who does not share your passion it is difficult to understand why you start arranging the rest of your life around something so futile as a dance. Why you stop going to their parties and go to milongas instead. Why you start planning so many short trips to strange places. Why you stop watching tv, become disinterested in discussing all that is wrong with the world and instead practice or take classes. Why you no longer accept to have your life be only about work, or only about having children, or only about financial security. Why you go to a dangerous third-world city and spend months there doing exactly the same thing you do back home: dancing. Why you sometimes move to another city or another country altogether, just because the tango there is better.
It may seem at the first glance that being passionate about tango is about turning away from other things, about non-participating in many "normal" activities, about becoming, in a sense, very immature and “irresponsible”. Yet, this is only the visible result. The often invisible result is how people change their attitude toward the activities they still do, their work but also relationships they still have. Giving priority to your joy extrapolated to other activities means doing things differently. It is about doing things with more love. It is about looking for joy even in simple and insignificant daily matters. It is about taking responsibility for your life in a constructive way. This change might not be visible to the outside world but it changes everything in how you feel about yourself. Following your joy means coming into harmony with yourself and by consequence with the outside world.
Your passion for tango is difficult to convey to the outsiders, but not impossible. It can be quite easily understood by comparing it to other activities that involve passion, such as surfing, flying, sports, other dances etc. But because tango has a strong social component, it is much more than just about DOING it. It is also about BEING a certain kind of person.
This is your only true responsibility in life: to always be in touch with who you really are by following what you love, enjoy and value, in things both big and small. Tango in itself is just another way to come closer to yourself. One of many, but a very effective one.
A student recently said to me: "The good thing about tango is that it serves as a metaphor for other things in life. When I discover that I can get better in tango, it gives me confidence that I can get better in other things. That if I can change my dancing, I can also change my relationship, my work, my life." Tango is exactly that: a small life inside your bigger life, in which you learn that many more things are possible than you thought. You learn to give yourself permission to put your fulfilment first. Ultimately, tango helps you become a freer person. Someone who has learnt to follow his joy will not be easily pressured into doing something against his heart. Such a person will never blindly follow what others tell him. This is why dance and other joyful, pleasure giving activities are prohibited or strictly controlled by most fundamentalist religions and dictatorships. A joyful and happy person is by definition a free person.
Is tango the only activity that helps you grow in this way? Of course it is not. But tango, in a sense, is a very “complete” activity that allows you to grow not only in what you do but also in how you relate to yourself and other people. To me personally, the courage to give priority in life to what you love is one of the fundamental signs of maturity. The love you feel for something or someone does not come from the outside world, it comes from your soul and your soul always has a good reason for loving something. The closer you stand to your soul, the more you are yourself, a unique being with unique preferences and a unique purpose. It does not matter in the end what you love and how "important" that seems on a larger scale. It only matters how you express this love and how happy and wholesome you allow yourself to be. This is your only true responsibility in life: to always be in touch with who you really are, which simply means following what you love, enjoy and value, in things both big and small. Tango in itself is just another way to come closer to yourself. One of many, but a very effective one.
There exists a belief in tango community that sounds something like this: “If I get to dance with better dancers, my dancing will improve much faster than if I only dance with people of my own level.” Or like this: “Experienced dancers should dance more with beginners. How are these poor souls supposed to learn if they are stuck with other beginners?” A female student leaving a class with the words: “Every new follower should be given a very good leader from the start! If we wait for these men here to become decent dancers, we will be waiting forever!”
The learning curve phenomenon seems to back it up. For beginning leaders this curve is rarely the same as for beginning followers. Leaders generally have a harder time learning and getting dances in the first couple of years. A beginning (female) follower, on the other hand, if she is a promising dancer, plus young and goodlooking, will be noticed by more experienced (male) leaders. How often have you heard the story: “Oh, when she started, all the better dancers wanted to dance with her, so OBVIOUSLY she became very good very quickly.” It can happen with a new male leader, too. Being young and goodlooking helps, but the key word here is “promising”. It means that this person already has something worthwhile to offer, such as an eagerness to learn.
The notion that if only expert dancers agreed to dance with you, your tango skills would skyrocket is so widespread that it regularly puts me (the “expert dancer”) in comical situations. I had a total stranger once come up to me in a milonga and say: “I have only been dancing for a month, but I figured that dancing with a teacher would be very beneficial for me.” I have been rebuked for refusing invitations: “You have some nerve, you know. How are these guys supposed to become good dancers if you won’t even look at them?” And consider how often you hear the following remark: “You know, when YOU were a beginner, better dancers danced with you because they wanted to help you.” To which, by the way, I always reply: “They danced with me because I was young, pretty and with a background in dance.”
So is it true that dancing with better dancers makes you a better dancer?
First, let’s define what we mean by “better”. When talking about levels in tango, we are forced to over-simplify things in order to categorise, but in reality there are many variables that constitute someone’s appeal as a dancer. It is never the technique alone, nor the number of steps, nor the ability to lead or follow, nor the musicality. It is all of those things combined. We can at best imagine a dancer’s skill as a DJ mixing table with several sliders. Each slider represents a sub-skill or an ability that can be at a higher or a lower position, depending on this person’s experience, talent and dedication. I can think of several sliders: technique, vocabulary, communication (leading/following), embrace, musicality, navigation, social skills. To this we should add, to further complicate things, the human factor. It is partially inherent and partially learnt in order to fit into the tango community. In many situations, human factor will be decisive in the choice of partner DESPITE good or bad skills in other areas.
To think that we can categorise each dancer based on the vocabulary or the number of years in tango would be naive. It would also be naive to categorise dancers by human factor alone. We know that the reality is more complex. You have probably met people who dance a lot of complicated steps and all of them badly. You have surely met dancers with a modest vocabulary but a great embrace or musicality. When we speak of “better dancers” or “a higher level”, we therefore have to bear in mind that it encompasses an array of skills, not all of them necessarily in equally high positions on the mixing table. Choosing to dance with a certain person is always a package deal. We will easily accept some flaws if they are compensated by finer qualities.
This said, let’s look into what happens when you dance with a partner whose sliders are - for the sake of the argument - all in much higher positions than yours. If you are a follower dancing with a much more expert leader (and you are not stressed out of your mind by this situation), your movements will feel more effortless, more “correct”, you will feel more balanced, easily musical and possibly dance steps you have never danced before. An experienced leader will create the optimal conditions for your movement to be as good as you can make it. The goal of a precise lead is exactly that: to PROVOKE a well-done movement. Whether the follower is able to dance this movement well, is another matter. The leader will also avoid leading you steps that would totally overwhelm you. If you have problems with balance or pivoting, you will either feel them very clearly, if the leader is not compensating for them, and become acutely aware of how much you still have to improve. OR you will feel as if they magically disappeared. This can mean two things. One, the leader is discreetly helping you. Two, you are able to do these movements well, but only in ideal circumstances and with an ideal partner (also known as the “conscious competence” learning stage).
If you are a leader dancing with a much more expert follower and relaxed enough to concentrate on the dancing, then you will find that practically everything you lead gives marvellous results. The tiniest impulse evokes a meaningful response and the blurriest of ideas transforms into something delicious or at least dignified. You will find yourself leading things you have never lead before and expressing yourself in the music with much more ease. You might truly feel like a DANCER. Your problems with balance, pivoting or walking may still bother you but at the same time you will feel that somehow they do not bother your partner all that much. The overall experience will be quite enjoyable. However, all of this is only true if the follower decides to compensate for whatever is lacking in your lead. In a milonga this is what an experienced follower will do most of the time if s/he accepts your invitation.
To understand this imagine yourself trying to talk in a foreign language that you barely know to a native speaker. You can actually have a very good conversation if that person makes the effort to understand you, to ignore the imperfections, to finish your phrases here and there and to help you find the right words. Your conversation partner will do his or her best to understand you with as little input as possible, but will also limit their own expression to what you are able to understand in return. Now imagine that instead this person points out every single mistake that you make. You would promptly lose track of your thoughts and the whole conversation would become about how to say things correctly instead of what you actually want to say. And if this person starts speaking to you as if you were another native speaker, you wouldn’t be able to hold the conversation at all.
When I am teaching a leader or a follower, I do my best to make the student immediately aware of the results of our communication. Therefore in a class context, in movement terms, we have conversations about “how to speak properly” and “how to express oneself”, with some chatting practice. But in a social setting this kind of feedback would be too confrontational. In a milonga we want to make the best with what we have and to have a good time, not to make other people uncomfortable. This ability to compensate for the lack of skill in a partner is actually what makes a dancer truly advanced. The whole point of improving your technique is to become like a native speaker. This is also what makes dancing with an advanced dancer so fulfilling: s/he is independent of your skill yet able to communicate with you at YOUR best. This does not mean that advanced dancers always enjoy dancing with partners far below their level. Often they don’t. Compensating and trying to understand other dancers with very little input is hard work. Limiting your own range of expression just to have a simple conversation is frustrating. This is why experienced dancers tend to be picky. Not because they are snobs. Not because they look down on less experienced people. But because the inequality of the situation is hardly ever in their favor.
If dancing with a much better dancer gives you a better EXPERIENCE, does this mean that you automatically become a better dancer yourself?
Many students choose to take private classes with teachers of the opposite role instead of going to group classes. Working with an experienced partner does indeed create the MOST OPTIMAL conditions for improving your skill. You can be sure that what you lead or how you follow is felt and understood by the other party without the “noise” of their own struggles. You know that ninety-nine percent of all mistakes will be your mistakes. And even if in social context we very much like the phrase “there are no mistakes, only pure improvisation”, in a study you need some established notions of what works and what doesn’t, what is comfortable and what is not, what is right and what is wrong. Taking regular private classes offers a “fast track” and can deliver very good results, but only on two conditions. First, your teacher must give you precise feedback (meaning, not compensate for your shortcomings) and second, YOU must make consistent efforts to improve.
This way of learning also has a potential risk. The more you practice exclusively with a professional of the opposite role, the more you become accustomed to these perfect conditions. This can leave you feeling helpless with people of your real level. With your social partners you might feel like all your hard-learnt technique vanishes into thin air and this means that you are still very much dependent on the other person. If this is the case, do not despair. You are in your “conscious competence” phase and if you persevere, things will get better.
This is why I recommend starting to study tango by going to beginner classes, not directly with private classes. If you put a total beginner with a professional teacher, the beginner will feel that things work out well most of the time. Working exclusively with a private teacher might make you a very lonely social dancer. There is a risk of ending up with unrealistic expectations for both the people of your own level and the more advanced dancers. The first won’t satisfy you and the second won’t dance with you for some time. Therefore I advise beginners to take regular group classes and to practice with other beginners for at least a year. Even if it seems slower and more painstaking, it does achieve something very important: it teaches you to be patient. It shows you the importance of accepting the struggles of your partner and your own struggles as your partner reflects them back to you. It prepares you for the social context of tango by cultivating compassion.
We often so desperately want to do things right that we forget that we have to do them wrong many times and enjoy the process before we actually get anywhere. Learning together with other people of similar experience prepares you for the group dynamics and partner changing of social dancing in which nobody is perfect. It teaches you to finetune your skill despite other people’s problems. And there is also a tremendous sense of achievement in progressing TOGETHER with your partner when, after mutual struggles, things finally start working. Believe me, there is nothing quite like that feeling. If you ever studied a foreign language, think of trying to have a conversation with other language students. You all struggled and searched for words, yet how glorious it felt to be able to communicate!
Observing that certain people learn faster by dancing with more experienced dancers has led to a serious misunderstanding. Namely, that simply by having access to better dancers anybody will somehow automatically improve. This is not true. Dancing with a better dancer in a social setting will in most cases simply give you an enjoyable experience at their expense. You will not dance better until YOU intend to dance better and until you put some effort into it, with or without their help. If you find yourself chasing the better dancers without offering something in return, you are being a consumer, not an equal partner. If you demand that they dance with you because this is supposed to be the only way for you to improve, you are using it as an excuse to coerce them into dancing with you.
In smaller communities the argument “how else are we supposed to learn?” is used to pressure advanced dancers to keep in touch with the beginners. Some efforts to mix the community and to create a more welcoming environment for the newcomers is definitely a good thing. However, I believe that we should be less hung up on our general (and incorrect) definition of levels and leave it to the individuals to choose with whom they feel or do not feel like dancing. We have to remember that someone’s appeal as a dancer is composed of several sliders on a mixing table and that people choose to connect with each other for very different reasons. We also have to respect the advanced dancers. They are a small, tough and very motivated minority and want, like everybody else, to dance at the best of their abilities.
All of the above poses another interesting question. If it’s true that we can improve while dancing with better dancers (provided we are making an effort), then is the reverse also true? Do better dancers become somehow less good when dancing too much with people far below their level?
When professional leaders spend a lot of time teaching and dancing with inexperienced followers, they might develop “unhealthy” habits. These habits come from consciously or unconsciously compensating the students’ flaws and may result in “over-leading”, tension in the arms and forceful movement. When confronted with a partner of their own level, these leaders might put too much energy into leading movements for which an expert follower needs only very little input. Besides, with their students these leaders practice a simpler vocabulary than they are capable of, risking to lose the finesse of more complex movements if they do not practice. The same can be said of professional followers who dance a lot with inexperienced leaders. When they have to follow someone of their own level again, they might feel overwhelmed with the complexity and the subtleties of the lead. Dancing with students does not make these followers less accomplished, but it does make them feel rusty. They might, like the leaders, lose the feeling of ease in dancing more complex dynamics, unless they dance or practice regularly with a partner of the same level.
If you spend a day in the forest chopping wood and then try to play the piano, your fingers will be stiff and insensitive at first. If you spend a day entertaining toddlers, to have a complex debate on international politics in the evening might require some mental readjustment. The same mechanism is at play here as everywhere else: the more you practice something the better you become, and the reverse is true as well. This is why advanced dancers from smaller communities in which they are a tiny minority (and often teachers), feel like their skill is deteriorating with time. They feel the need to travel on a regular basis to meet other advanced dancers just to feel complete, to feel like they can still truly dance.
Whatever side of the equation you find yourself on, understand that it is never the other dancers that directly enhance or worsen your skills. What they do is provide you with a context, but YOU decide how to deal with it. You can choose to work on your dance with the help or despite your external conditions. This dance requires a lot of skill and a profound connection. If tango were a dance in which everybody just happily danced with everybody else regardless of all the variables I talked about, it would be a very different dance. It would never give us moments of such intense joy that its effect on our brain has been scientifically shown to equal that of meditation. We do pay a price for this intensity, for these moments of incredible connection, but the fact that this does not come easy to us for me is just one more reason to love it.