Why tango? Because my whole life changed.
Jiveta Vasileva is a therapist and tango enthusiast. She shared with us her thought on the dance and the people who make it a part of their life.
I had this dream, a desire to learn how to dance tango. It is a very beautiful dance and a very tender one. At the same time it is so passionate. I think these are the reasons I chose tango.
What changed for you since you started dancing?
For me there were numerous changes. Somehow my whole life changed, it took on a new path. I started perceiving life in a different way. I avoided thinking about problems and complicated issues. I started thinking about myself and setting aside time for myself. On the other hand, tango connects you with completely different people from the ones in your everyday life. One’s environment and friends completely change. It is so different. In my opinion, one totally changes their life.
How did you three daughters get used to the fact that their mother can dance and sometimes comes home at 3 a.m. after a milonga?
I think they got used to my late arrivals easier than to the fact that I walk around the house in high-heeled shoes and even wash the dishes wearing high heels. Now when relatives want to talk to me the children explain that if I am at a tango class then there is no way I will answer my phone.
How often do you listen to tango music?
Actually, wherever I go, I am always with my MP3 player with tango music. So, I listen to tango music all the time and it makes me feel so good. Even when I walk in the streets I imagine dancing tango and it is so amazing.
How does tango affect your physical activity?
It makes me feel alive. I feel great! So great! I feel so good, because tango is demanding. You work hard, your legs change, your posture changes, you learn how to walk on high heels. This had never happened to me before so my life definitely changed since I started dancing tango.
Does tango help you overcome everyday stress?
I chose tango, so I do not have to think about work or problems. That is exactly what happened. When I come here I think only about the dance, how to perform the different movements, I listen to the rhythm and the music. I totally forget about my problems. That was my goal and I achieved it.
How does dancing help with your health issues?
I have a problem with my vestibular system. I suffer from some issues due to a stroke. So, it is very problematic for me to keep my concentration, stand on one leg, keep my balance and make turns – things that happen a lot while dancing tango. Since I started dancing I have been much more stable and more confident.
Is it easier to dance with a partner you know or is it more interesting to change the dance partners?
In my opinion, it is easier to dance with different people, because you see things in so many different ways. Every partner leads in a completely different way. I think a follower becomes more experienced if she dances with different leaders.
You are a therapist, so what is your professional opinion on why people choose to dance tango? What unites them and what do they look for?
I think what unites them is their desire to learn how to dance. Some people take it to heart and try so hard. Others are more relaxed. But the people who come to dance and are not already romantically involved probably look for a new community, new people to communicate with in a different way, even with the help of the dance. They are not the kind of people who would sit in front of a computer and just chat with someone. They look for a completely different contact and communication. Unfortunately, people are lonely. This is a fact.
Also, in tango your nationality does not matter. Tango is simply tango and you can communicate through the dance which is so wonderful.
Last, but not least, dancing is something which can help you relax. It can give you a brand new and different way of communication. It is a fairytale experience. You go through so many emotions and feelings. I believe this is something very precious in our time. You do not know what it is like until you try it. So, if you haven’t, you should. You just might like dancing.