Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm Obsessed With Intent

Forward intent and backward intent are what the tango instructors tell us to have. Lean forward just a little, just enough to show your partner what you intend to do. Or, if you're the girl, lean back just the slightest bit. The girl is basically on only one foot the whole time, with all her weight shifting back and forth as he pivots her on the balls of her shiny shoes, and I have to learn the balance to do that, so that my own heels never touch the floor completely, but swing back and forth like music box dolls.

Dreadful Intent. Not dreadful like horrific, but dreadful as in powerful, intimidating, Napoleonic. The Dreadful intent is that which renders you helpless in its presence, either with face, voice, or pure ambition. I love it, and I keep my eyes open to spot it, mostly in men but sometimes in that one woman who walks into a room with strategy and cunning charm. The Dreadful Intent is what turns me on.

Elastic Intent. That which changes every time you come face to face with a situation. The gap between the prepared and the actual, where you want to say one thing, but then find face to face, you no longer feel that way and you accept it immediately. The Improvisation.

Going to tango is like going to yoga, or how I imagine yoga might be if I ever tried it, which is probably going to be never since I like beats over sitting still any day. It's moving meditation. Colleen and I went tonight, and then after the lessons were over and it was open dance, the men asked us to dance, and kept us in the active circuit of back and forth between the students, which was awfully thoughtful and encouraging of them, because really we're awful and slow and boxy, still counting to ourselves in our heads, and these guys are doing kicks and complicated turns. We don't have the Fluid Intent yet, the ability to drop your shoulders and not watch the others on the floor, and feel the Forward Intent innately in the pressure of his hand on your shoulder blades. It's only the second lesson though. We're still learning how to walk properly. In fact, this small adorable woman Cecilia told me she thought I had the best walk, of the newbies. Then she gave me a huge chocolate chip cookie that her daughter had baked, and given to her to give out at dance class. It was a really good cookie too, very salty.

Later Collie and I were driving home, and I just felt so relaxed, just smooth and calm. The Spent Intent.


  1. Bill Withers. *swoon* Yoga makes me sob. Dancing makes me fall. I have no problem eating cookies, though.

  2. Why does yoga make you sob? Did it kill your cat?


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