A Beginner's Mind in Tango
Shunryu Suzuki, a Zen master I greatly admire, once stated, "In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities, but in the expert's, there are few."
What does that mean for someone like me who loves to dance tango?
To me, it means dancing with an open and curious heart. It's like every step you take is a new adventure, and every moment with your dance partner is special and fresh, with no judgment or set ideas. You don't need to know anything but lose yourself and go with the flow. This way, dancing becomes a calm and fun experience where every move talks without words.
Believe it or not, dancing tango has helped me find the joy in being a beginner and in trying things for the first time.
Growing up, school was tough and sometimes even a bit mean. If I made little mistakes or got bad grades, I was punished. Those times were so strong that even now, I sometimes dream about coming to school without my homework done or going to a professional meeting without preparing a presentation.
But when I dance tango, I don't have the same fear or anxiety of doing something wrong or making mistakes. Yes, I have danced and practiced milongas for more than twenty-five years. Over the years, the music, the movements, and the feelings have been engraved into my heart. But once the music starts, it guides me, and I don't have to know or show anything. I just dance. It's a liberating feeling! And each time I dance, I become a better beginner.
What about you? Can you find the beginner within?