We often start ballroom dancing as a hobby or something fun to do with either a significant other or friends. Some of us then move on to competitions and/or showcases which enhance our ability to perform.
And then there’s flow. For me flow is the most addictive experience. I do compete, I do showcases, but what really keeps me coming back is the experience of flow. Flow is when it all comes together and I, at least, feel completely at one with my partner/instructor. Flow is when we are simply dancing with no extraneous effort. Flow is when I know we’ve “nailed” it together and I feel ecstatic. Yes, the ecstasy of a spiritual high. Dance for me is a spiritual practice (more on this in a later blog.)
I was again reminded of the power of flow during my last showcase. I’ve been doing Argentine tango with my instructor for a little over seven years. Most of the time, especially during lessons, we are working on improving technique and attuning to the subtle leads.
And every so often, there’s the experience of flow. We were performing said tango at a showcase and every move was effortless. Each movement melded into the next as if scripted to perfection. It seemed as if I was totally attuned to every subtle lead and move he made. I lost the sense that I was performing at a showcase and just gave myself over to the dance. I recall only one tiny bit of verbal coaching – mostly we just danced – and it was wonderful. And when we were done, I was ecstatic – and we hugged because we knew it had been great; we had created a beautiful expression of dance.
Even now, when I think about that dance, I am filled with tears of joy that I had been blessed with such a beautiful experience. I am also reminded to reflect on what such a wonderful dance can teach me – about myself, about my partner and about my dancing.