A simple way to experience more safety in tango
by Ieva Kelpsaite
How can you experience more safety in tango? How can you feel safer when being in the embrace of someone you don’t know?
To me, the ability to truly be in the same space with the other requires knowing who you are, how you respond, what you need, and what you can give. Our journey to being with the other starts way back in our past, what we see at home as children. Then, hopefully, it develops to allow us to connect more deeply with each other.
The significance of your body when it comes to experiencing safety in tango
Looking back to how I grew up, I realized that I was afraid to get closer to others because I would need to accommodate them. To me, it felt like a sacrifice that would take away my possibility to enjoy. Relationships to me as I knew them then, were about giving, making an effort, and being there for them, but not for myself.
What I also realized was that I wasn’t sure what I had to give to myself and what I needed. Only when I started getting to know myself, did I begin to understand that I should give not from the place of compromise, but from the place of where I stand and who I am.
In my discovery journey, not coincidentally, the work with my body played a very significant role. I started to see my body as a safe container to be in. It contains my values, my beliefs, and my goodness. As I feel the frame of my body, in every challenging situation, I begin to feel safer no matter what. If I am having an intimidating conversation, or if I am dancing with a person who non-intentionally is trying to compromise my posture, I still feel safe in my body.
How can you experience more safety in tango and in your body?
I would like to invite you to practice to be more in your body as a safe container:
- Sit down comfortably and take a deep breath.
- Determine which part of your body feels more vulnerable or less safe, e.g., ankles, knees, the frame of your back, shoulders, stomach, or any internal area.
- Focus on this area.
- Use your palm to tap on this area of your body.
- As you feel the gentle but firm touch of your palm, take it as support to strengthen the vulnerable part of your body.
- Begin to feel the frame of your body; the outside of your body is keeping your inner being safe and untouched.
- Begin to trust that the frame of your body is going to protect you from the outside world.
- Feel as if you breathe safety into your body.
It is possible that the first time you practice this, it may not feel like much. But the more you do it, the more you will start to feel increased levels of safety in tango.
Once you practive experiencing safer inside your own body, what’s next?
The next step would be to practice being in the ‘container’ while on the dance floor.
In a perfect sense of tango, no one really needs to push or pull. As you move, feeling the comfort of your own body, you are inviting the other to move along without using any force or need to compromise. This way of moving is a safe way of moving. None of the partners can be hurt, because both are feeling safe. What is left is to explore this intimate space that they are given, without fear.
Ieva Kelpsaite – from the book Tangofulness, the most translated tango book in the world.
Ieva Kelpsaite – London
I am a qualified relationship coach and help couples to find their way back into love. My approach and practice is inspired by tango as well as advanced relationship coach training. You may feel overwhelmed and restricted during the time of the pandemic. Managing personal and professional life in the same space, ensuring financial security etc can present challenges in your relationships. Coaching is a conversation with intention to activate your own personal powers. It is not aimed to force you do anything against your will or change you, but instead help you become aware of yourself, so you feel empowered to take the right cause of actions in your relationship.