After reading an excellent post on My Tango Diaries about odors and sweating, we were inspired to write about sweating from a different perspective.
Unfortunately, we cannot remember where we heard or read this: Argentine Tango is one of the most efficient dances that exists. We tried googling it to no avail. Regardless, we agree with this (possibly imagined) statement completely.
In our pre-Buenos Aires times, we were quite the profuse sweat-ers. Jorge insists that K doesn’t really sweat at all, but that’s only in comparison to him. Don’t do it – don’t believe that sweating is only reserved for larger-bodied individuals. When Jorge el Flaco sweats, he drips it and it doesn’t take much for him to do so. For this reason, it never seemed strange that we used to start sweating after only the first song of a tanda. We had heard the “efficiency” comment, but we didn’t know how that made any sense. That was until we began learning (from our maestro) in Buenos Aires.
Our pre-Buenos Aires Tango was a muscular affair. Our backs were tense, our legs and butts were flexed, and most of all, our arms were tight and ready for all the leading that was supposed to happen through them. When we finally learned to relax our bodies, activate our core and arms rather than flexing them, and in other words: to lead/follow properly, we finally stopped sweating. That combined with relaxing the legs and making room between them, putting our weight in, and thus our hips over, our heels instead of the often taught idea of having your weight on the balls of your feet (weight in the balls of your feet = flexed toes and legs), and using our bodies to lead/follow rather than arms, resulted in our understanding of Tango being the most efficient dance.
If you are sweating easily and feeling tired after a couple of dances in a cool room, you are without a doubt using your body incorrectly in Tango. Clearly, other circumstances can create sweaty situations and a bit of moisture is only understandable. Pay attention to your body and attempt to feel what your muscles are doing – from the tips of your toes (ladies, are your toes gripping the floor?) to the top of your head (is your neck stiff and your head stuck in one position?). Tango is all about the embrace. You cannot possibly enjoy a beautiful embrace if you are flexing muscles and have tension throughout your body.
As as aside… whether or not you sweat, remember to be showered and wear deodorant EVERY TIME you go out to Tango.