I used to have major anger management issues as a young child. It was so bad that my parents enrolled me in therapy for troubled children. One of the exercises for my temper was boxing. I loathed it then because I didn’t like doing something against my own will. Looking back, those boxing lessons helped. My temper has lessened considerably since then. Nowadays, I use dancing to help rid me of my negative emotions. All this to say that yesterday’s group class was very cathartic. Here’s the back story: A certain man has been driving me crazy. The feelings of sadness I once felt began to be replaced by anger. Just seeing him yesterday evening at a club meeting made my insides boil. The fact that I had to drive in 5:00 o’clock traffic and got carsick along the way certainly didn’t help. From the meeting, I had to go straight to dance. I was still in a foul mood, that is until I found out we were going to practice Tango that evening.
“What a perfect way to get rid of this mood,” I thought. So I made a decision to really focus on the character of the Tango. Normally, I don’t really focus on the acting portion of dancing because technique comes first. Not this time. I needed to find a way to get rid of all my anger and envy. So, I decided to stomp on the floor a bit, which is what Tommy does sometimes. Hmmm, an explanation/digression may be in order. When I used to box and play cricket, I had trouble hitting my target head-on. My teachers told me to imagine the face of someone I didn’t like on the bag/ ball. Needless to say, the exercise worked. (You know where this is going, don’t you? 😉 ) I envisioned this man’s face on the floor, so when I stomped…well, yeah, I think you get it. It’s violent; I know. But, it’s better than actually punching him the face, which is sometimes what I feel like doing. Anyway, back to Tango. We mainly worked on our frame and promenade position. I’m happy to say that both have improved greatly. Honestly, dancing with Tommy and venting my negative emotions via acting really helped me feel better.
There is a catch, though. Now, every time I dance Tango, I envision him. That gets the blood boiling just enough to get into character without actually staying angry. I suppose it’s a trade-off. Still, the best part of all this is my discovery that I can release my emotions healthily while doing my life’s passion.