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Workshop at Esalen Institute:  October 2011

Argentine Tango as Path & Practice

A Kinesthetic Introduction to the Dance

— A Special Offering of Esalen's Free Movement & Activity Program


Tuesday - October 18th, 2011

    — in the Evening, 8:00 - 10:00 pm


      Leonard Pavilion (Dance Dome)

   Open to Everyone

in the Esalen Community - including
guests, students, staff & friends


— with Debbie Edwards & Stephen Bauer —

Workshop at Esalen: "Argentine Tango as Path & Practice"

Born along the banks of Río de la Plata more than a century ago, Argentine Tango in its social form is completely improvised — two bodies, intimately connected, co-creating a unique and spontaneous expression in time and space.

Often described as a dance with "four legs, two heads, and one heart," the inner experience of Tango has much in common with the practice of yoga, meditation, and similar forms of body work & movement.

Tango also embodies a unique relational aspect that can offer us a powerful life metaphor:

  • As an exceptional invitation to blend mind/body/spirit with breath/gravity/time.
  • As a telling example of how we can deepen trust, communication and communion with our partners and with our neighbors, both on and off the dance floor.
  • As a mode of ongoing practice that, deeply engaged, brings us ever closer toward a centering wisdom that transcends and transforms our everyday realities into an experience with the eternal.

Taken together, these many qualities of Argentine Tango can help amplify and enrich our opportunities for discovery across a range of disciplines and fields of interest — pointing the way toward a lifetime resonant with potential and fulfillment.


Click here for more about Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California —
including its many workshops & programs, celebrated gardens & grounds,
mineral hot springs, and rich history on the vanguard of alternative education,
self discovery, and investigating human potential.

OnApproach + Accessibility

In this special Tuesday night workshop at Esalen, participants will join experienced social dancers Debbie Edwards + Stephen Bauer as they guide and facilitate an investigation of body awareness, balance, flow, energy, clarity, responsiveness, trust, and attention — all through the remarkable lens of Argentine Tango.

Based in Ojai, California, Debbie + Stephen have been dancing, studying and practicing Tango as an improvised social form since 1998. Over the years, they have also introduced well over a thousand beginners to the pleasures and potential of Argentine Tango, then encouraged, supported and mentored these newer dancers as they seek to embark on their own journeys of discovery and insight.

Debbie + Stephen's approach to the dance blends the qualities of mindfulness with a deep understanding of tango's Core Principles, allowing newcomers to readily find, feel and engage the creative possibilities of this dynamic communal art form, and to embrace Tango as a fresh and powerful way of becoming ever more open and present in the world we all share.


More Things to know about this Workshop at Esalen ...

  • Everyone is welcome — guests, students, staff members & friends ...

    This free workshop is open to all members of the Esalen community as a special offering of the Movement & Activity Program.

  • No prior dance experience or movement background is necessary to enjoy the workshop.

    Social tango is based entirely on walking, and so it should be readily accessible to anyone of ordinary health and everyday physical skills.

  • No partner is required — individuals, couples and groups are all welcome to attend.

    In order to maximize everyone's experience and learning opportunity, we will invite participants to rotate partners and change roles throughout the evening.

  • On footwear — choose hard-soled shoes that slide easily ... or come dance in your socks.

    Tango can involve pivoting movements, so to maximize your enjoyment, please bring shoes with hard soles that will slide easily on a wood floor ... and if you don't seem to have a likely pair, then bring along an older pair of socks.

  • The best shoe choices are comfortable with a narrow profile that stay securely on your feet (with straps or laces). And while heels are common for women in tango, flat shoes - or socks - will also work well for this workshop.

Click here to Download a printable flyer for "Argentine Tango as Path & Practice" (.pdf - 207 kb)

More About ...

Argentine Tango

More on the sensibility and practice of Argentine Tango, insights into its improvisation and creativity, and links to online resources for additional background and perspective ...


Debbie Edwards + Stephen Bauer

More on Debbie + Stephen as dancers + teachers ...


Additional Resources ... and Further Thoughts on Shoes

For more about tango's improvisational nature and the intimate mind/body/spirit connections that come into play, try Sharna Fabiano's excellent articles "The Essential Tango" and "Tango: A Deeper Look" — or delve into a few of Richard Powers' many thoughtful essays on the nature and background of improvised "freestyle" social dances like tango.

For additional links about tango online — including advice for new dancers, a CBC radio documentary on tango's music, history & culture, and Tango on film & video — please visit our Resources page ...

Regarding the best kind of shoes to bring for dancing tango:

Since many tango elements involve a pivot of some kind, choose shoes with leather or other hard soles that slide easily and won't leave marks on a fine hardwood floor. Shoes with softer or rubber soles that tend to "grip" the floor will make dancing much harder than it should be, and are usually a poor choice.

In all situations, shoes with laces or secure straps are recommended for tango. It's best to avoid gym shoes, loafers, mules, boots, clogs, loose sandals, flip-flops, and other similar footwear that is loose and/or clunky.

Although heels are customary for women, flat shoes are perfectly fine too. And, regardless of gender, if you don't have ready access to shoes that seem promising, know that you can also participate and enjoy this workshop at Esalen by dancing with us in a pair of socks.

And if you have a particular question about tango or this workshop, feel free to write Stephen before the 16th, or look for Debbie + Stephen at Esalen during the week of the 17th ...


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