Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thoughts on the valleys to get back to the summits

I've been having a difficult time with allergies and asthma lately, which has been affecting me in all areas of life. I am tired all the time, I am coughing like a plague victim, and my energy has been sapped. So the good feelings I had been having about my dance these past weeks has plummeted. It feels like I just can't really keep up. When your lungs are functioning at 71%, it is understandable (I would like to think anyway). Although the endorphins that course through me when I dance keep the coughing at bay, I feel sluggish at times. Of course, I don't want to explain this to every one who asks me to dance, it is sort of setting the stage for a sub-par dance rather than a sublime experience, and I don't want to jinx what might be. Might be a little Pollyanna of me, but that is just the way I feel.

I went to my happy milonga, and it was a crap shoot. Some times I had no major issues, and was able to relax and enjoy the dance, with others, it was a mess. And when you can feel the irritation/disappointment/frustration of your leader when you are not dancing at your best, it just makes everything worse. I try to overcome, I try to be better, but some days it just isn't going to happen. I'm tired, I'm slow right now, and I am below my best. It is an odd mixture of irritation and sadness that I have when I feel my leader's displeasure with the dance. When he or she is able to overlook my shortcomings (which I am sure/hope are temporary), then I am more able to have some fun and be playful with the fact that I am under par. Find other moments to appreciate. But when my leader is constantly adjusting and giving off the energy that equates to an eye roll, I rather want to say "We all have bad days, give me a break or thank me and no harm, no foul."

The translation of that eye roll, which is the only way I can describe it, is something that I think we all need to be aware of. Accept that if someone who normally dances at a better level is a little "sub-par" that day, it is most likely an anomaly, and don't give them less than you normally would. The energy between leader and follower is so sensitive, that it will be appreciated. Tina wrote this wonderful post about embracing your partner with love, and I believe if we all follow this, it would help raise the bar of all connections in the dance, regardless of the type of day they are having. I am going to do my best to follow this, regardless of how I am feeling, or how the dance is going. If I can offer this when I am at my lowest, highest, and all stages in between, perhaps that will encourage the perceived eye roll to change to a quick squeeze or giggle at whatever misstep happens.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Better living through chemistry? Nasal sprays, pills, eye drops and a puffer before tango?

Some days it's just hard to have a good time and there's never any harm in leaving early.

Mr.Bear said...

There's always Colorado... Dry air. Worst asthmatics always get sent to two places.. either Phoenix or Colorado Springs. ;P

David said...

Hi Debbi,Hi Debbi,

I like your description of the "eye roll" to describe the disappointment a leader might feel when you're perhaps not dancing at your best because of your energy levels.

I've noticed something similar with the occasional follower when my energy levels have been low due to tiredness or hay fever. Fortunately for me, most of the followers I regularly dance with will simply reduce their own energy levels to match mine.

When I start a dance with someone, matching my energy level to my partner's is one of the most important things to establish. And if it means a slow dance to a milonga, then that's how it has to be and can bring up some lovely experiences.

Bringing energy levels up is a lot more difficult, although the right music at the right moment can do amazing things.

Do you find leaders in general have a problem reducing their energy levels to match their partner? It seems to me that this is something fairly basic in creating a connection.

David



I like your description of the "eye roll" to describe the dissapointment

tangobaby said...

I hope you're feeling better soon, Debbi. And I agree with Anonymous. Sometimes you have to conserve your energy and take care of yourself so you can dance again sooner.

Debbi said...

Mr Bear - I have been told that I need to live in a desert environment since I was 16.... and yet I persist to live out East.... ;-)

Anon - I have a whole list of medications I take daily, does not always help though. And I usually don't want to leave early because what if I miss out on something special?? ;-) catch 22....

Hi David - bringing the energy level up really is tough. Most leaders I dance with do not have difficulty when they realize I am less than my normal self, which is a blessing, but when I felt that "eye roll" I realized how sensitive the connection is, and I was both upset by it and horrified at the thought that I might have done that to someone. And I don't ever want to convey that.

La Tanguera said...

I'm just sorry to hear people you would happily dance regularly with, and probably know you well enough could be so awfully unforgiving... oh well.

:(

Feel better soon,

Tanguera

Debbi said...

Hi Tanguera!
I would not say that they are unforgiving, it's that their reaction translates through their energy. Either I am more sensitive and can feel it now, or it was just an off night all around.
I just want to make sure I never give off that feeling to another. It's too upsetting to be on the receiving end.
I am feeling better though, on new medicines that seem to be working well.

Alex said...

Hi debbi...I'm glad you are feeling a little better...

You bring up a good point...and I love the way you pegged the "eye roll energy (frustration)"...it's good to make leaders aware of this...

I think a sign of a truly enlightened leader would be one who not only adjusts his embrace to the woman, adjusts the dance to her (level), adjusts his musicality to hers, but also is in tune enough to adjust his own energy level to hers...a complete "equilibration" if you will...on all levels...

Something to think about...

And, we definitely need more "quicksqueezengiggles" and just dancing through stuff...

tango padawan said...

Hi,

Maybe you may be confusing disappointment energy with a leader being a bit sad about you not being 100% ? Being sad will be a normal outcome since they would like you to be perfectly fine...