Guest post from Jane Prusakova
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha (Epigraph borrowed from Zen Habits - Guide to Achieving Flow and Happiness in Your Work )
Flow is a state of being when a person is fully focused on a task at hand, feels happy and in control, is creative and productive. The time and space (environment) outside of the task cease to exist, past and future drop off the horizon. There is only a happy, glorious, challenging NOW.
Tango is ultimate flow-producing activity – the music and interaction within the couple (and with the rest of the floor) require complete concentration, the challenge and creativity are infinite, and dancers are fully in control. All of which leads to a fairly easy conclusion that tango equals happiness.
Except it does not. There is a whole lot of frustration out on the pista. Leads upset that the follow is not doing what they are leading when they are leading it. Followers are nervous that they are not doing enough decorations at the appropriate spots in the music. Both partners worried how they look to the spectators, whether they are about to run into another couple, and how much damage is about to be done to their reputation, hairstyle and their partner’s ego if they don’t start on “one”. How do we get from here to the Flow?
I do not have a simple answer. “How to experience tango Flow” isn’t a class many instructors offer (although some come close). Yet, as more people join the community, it is important to both learn and teach what it is that makes us happy, creative and productive – or at least feel that way.