Originally published at: The role Argentine tango plays in our lives – Awaken Tango
Survey participants shared the special role tango played in their lives, and the unique types of experiences and qualities that were missing without access to tango due to COVID.
Many participants described tango as an important source of joy, happiness, aliveness, and pure fun that was difficult to access in any other way.
“Indescribable inner happiness! Tango is my energy! The more I dance the more I feel alive”
Several saw tango as playing an important, even critical role in their health and wellbeing; the combination of movement, touch, and socializing was seen as good for the body, mind/neurochemistry, and immune system. 58% of the participants said that the role tango played in their lives was healthy movement.
“Tango for me is light exercise and moving meditation. Its effect on me is unique and there really is no substitute”
For many, tango served as an important form of stress relief, helping refresh their minds, relieve anxiety or even depression, and reboot in order to be better capable to meet daily challenges.
“my primary means of recharging when I’m down or lonely”
Many participants pointed out that tango played a critical role in receiving physical human contact through healthy and safe touch and hugging. 53% of the participants said that the role tango played in their lives was belonging through embrace/touch.
The impact of touch deprivation was deeply felt: Several participants pointed out that tango had been a primary or even only source of physical affection and belonging through health touch, and losing this was creating very real suffering.
“I don’t ever touch a living creature anymore”
“lack of physical contact…is often palpable as a real physical pain”
Connection with the sacred
Many saw tango as a source of transcendental experiences, described as a flow state, an oceanic feeling, peak emotional experiences, pure bliss, soul joy, feeling alive.
“In addition to the other benefits, tango is my ‘moving zen’ – so I have lost my primary way of accessing a transcendental state of being”
Many highlighted the special role tango plays in learning through engaging with challenges and figuring difficult things out, both individually and collaboratively. 67% of the participants said that the role tango played in their lives was learning and personal growth.
“I miss learning and interacting, the sensation and cognitive challenge, the connection to others”
A few saw tango as playing a role in a helping them explore and expand their identity through contact with other(s).
“[Reduced access to tango has] cut off opportunities to connect with others and may well stunt the further development of my personality. I am a natural loner. Dancing tango was the perfect way to honor that while keeping me emotionally supple enough to relate with others.”
Nothing can replace the joyfully interconnected and layered experience of social tango. We wish our fellow tango lovers well as they discover ways to meet these needs while taking care of themselves and their loved ones.