Monday, April 28, 2008

No more judgement...there is only tolerance...acceptance...and love...

I'm waxing philosophical here, and very personal. No doubt our blogs are a reflection of us, a mirror into our souls. I'm going to be really open and honest here. Baring my soul.

Way back when, I posted a video of some high school students dancing some really, really, unpleasant-to-watch tango, under the "Good Tango, Bad Tango" theme. I immediately felt bad after posting it. They were doing their best. They didn't have a tango dancing dance teacher to help them. They didn't think to contact a local AT teaching couple to help them with their skit. I'm sure they worked long and hard on it. For those of us who know what tango is about, it was painful to watch. For their friends and teachers and parents who watched their performance, I'm sure they were impressed, and proud of them for working so hard to do this. You know the saying - "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." I'm sure it will be a lasting memory for them. Who knows, perhaps many Argentine tango seeds were planted both in the students, and the audience members.

This brings me to Niki & Scott. I was aware of their blog for a week or so before I received a comment from Niki asking me to add their blog to my blogroll. First I thought I wanted to wait a while and get a feel for the tone of their blog, the quality and character of their writing. Then, as I checked out their tango photos, the whole fedora thing was off putting. Here I am, making a judgement about two people, based on some preconceived notion that I may have about fedoras and people who wear them - even if only in a photo.

I feel bad about my "On the fedora" post. Who am I to say? To judge? If a guy wants to wear a fedora, let him wear the fucking fedora. No harm, no foul.

We all bring to tango, and derive from tango, what we will. For some folks, fishnets and fedoras represent what tango is. For others, a sexy bustier and flowy low-waisted pants from TangoLeva, and Comme il Faut shoes represent what tango is for them. For some it may be a nice dress, a smart suit, suspenders, and black and white patent leather wingtips. For lots of people, tango is what they see on Dances with the Stars, or "the rose in the mouth dance".

We all bring our own goals, aspirations and dreams, real and imagined, to our tango, and to tango at large. It's inevitable that we all bring our own demons with us.

It's the nature of the beast that some people will never get it. Who is to say that the guy I know who has been dancing for four or five years, taking lessons and workshops along the way, but still is not really dancing tango, but is having fun and not hurting anyone - who is to say there is anything wrong with this. Some women enjoy dancing with him, some women don't. He's there, he's on the floor, he's dancing. He is filling his cup with tango.

Some people never learn to love golden age tango music and prefer instead to dance nuevo exclusively. Some people like the new collision of swing and tango - swango. Some may only dance tango in the privacy of their homes, with or without lessons. Some may only dance with the love of their lives, some may prefer to mix it up.

For some, it may be more about the steps and less about the connection. Some may never experience the bliss of a tango trance or a full blown tangasm. The perfection of the perfect connection may elude some for many years, or an entire lifetime.

Some may be there solely to find a mate, accomplish that goal, and then tango passes from their lives. Some may be there to dance primarily as a social outlet/activity, unexpectedly find a mate, and live happily ever after with tango the driving force in their lives. Some may view tango solely as a means to getting laid. Some may have taken up tango for they mental/physical/athletic challenge. Some choose tango as an artistic endeavor. We've all met both leaders and followers like these.

Sadly, most will never experience dancing tango in Buenos Aires - many may not have means to make the trip. Many may simply have no desire, no intention, of ever going.

None of this is neither good, nor bad. It just is. It's the nature of the beast. It's the nature of the universe. It's the nature of humanity. It's the nature of tango.

We are all just people, trying to get by in this life, smitten by this thing we call tango. 99.99% of us are good people, nice people, with good hearts, wishing no one ill will of any form. Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and tango.

Judgement is negativity. Judgement operates on a lower vibrational plane. Lower energy. I don't want this negative energy in my life.

Even though I am one of the most open-minded and non-judgmental people you will find, I want to be better. I want to be a better man than that. I want to be a better soul than that. It's not me. It's not who I want to be as a man.

So, I'm going to be less judgmental in life and in blog. If you catch me, call me on it.

And lastly, my apologies to Niki and Scott for judging you from my far off vantage point, simply because of a fedora and a photo. I'm sure you are fine people - struggling with, and loving tango - just like the rest of us. I look forward to getting to know you better through your blog. Who knows, perhaps our paths will cross some day.

(P.S. I am happy to credit this partially on Johanna and her book, The Tao of Tango, for rekindling the smoldering Taoist in me. There was but a single glowing coal down deep within in me. I've strayed from the path of the Tao for far too long. The other part I credit to my heart...)


studio wellspring said...

wow alex, your bravery & thoughtfulness are so inspiring. thank you for reminding us all that gentleness and understanding are the truest signs of real strength and wisdom.

Johanna said...

To choose to live in love and surrender judgment is the noblest choice of all. Glad I could help :-)

David said...

It's this attitude of acceptance and tolerance to other forms of our beloved dance that is often missing. Thanks for pointing it out and reminding me.

tangobaby said...


What a heartfelt and wonderful post. I think you're right, that there is a tango for everyone who wants to participate.

The desire to judge and compare is prevalent in any type of endeavour. I don't want to say it's human nature, but it's certainly something we learn along the way. I remember people judging each other on the quality of their meditation practice when I was part of a meditative community, so even in communities created to be open and supportive, such conflicts arise.

I am not sure what drives such behavior, and I am like you...I don't want to participate in it as much as I am consciously able to do so. Thank you for writing an honest and gentle reminder for all of us.