What Organic Stretching™ and the Argentine Tango Have in Common

I met Heather Wallace, the creator of the Wallace Method (the pain management therapy whose principles form the basis for Organic Stretching™) just five months after I had begun dancing Argentine tango in 2005.  Both of these unique forms became a passionate core in my life.  At this point, I cannot imagine one without the other.

First, I began as a client on Heather’s table as she worked on old injuries which had become limiting, now and then painful and a part of my life.  Not something I thought about all of the time, but none the less there to restrict me.  Under her care I gained a flexible body with balance and the capacity to move freely, allowing me to fully enjoy the dance.  After becoming certified by Heather, I went on to implement her lessons in a teaching method for individual practice, Organic Stretching™, and discovered how much these two disciplines shared.

A moment of perfect connection

Unlike other dances done in an embrace, tango is improvisational.  Anything is possible at any moment…it calls for surrender to the leader’s mark and to the distinct characteristics of the dance.  Even without hearing the music, one can see the tango in the shape of the bodies, the flow of the movements, the obvious connection between the dancers.  The impetus transmits from the music, through the floor and passes from one body to the other as the dancers move as one entity…separate roles, distinct movements but inextricably unified.

In Organic Stretching™, the teaching challenge came in drawing students into the improvisational mode intrinsic in the work, rather than giving them a structured routine to follow.  Like tango, the work is a communication in the moment…only now from the core of the body.  It requires learning to listen to the body and allowing it to move as it needs to, in order to unlock the twists and knots (acquired over a lifetime) in the connective tissue structure.

A perfect connection with myself

In studying Argentine tango, we learn and try to perfect tiny pieces that become passages in a dance, maybe happening only once in a lifetime in that particular pattern…spontaneous but controlled by the principles of Argentine tango.  It is the identical process in Organic Stretching™; one begins to move, with no idea where the movement will go, and allows the body to lead the pattern by following the OS principles and trusting the direction.

Both produce a physical euphoria as the urge to control what is happening slides away and the music, the inner body knowledge, and the connection between bodies or within one body takes over.  I use one to prepare for the other and both to experience completely the potential of my body.

I teach Organic Stretching™ in my studio in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle twice a week and in monthly weekend workshops in my studio and at Pura Vida Spa/Rancho el Limon between Ixtapa and Las Palmas.  Each month, I offer a free introductory class for people curious or interested in knowing more about this unique system.  See the calendar for dates and times.  I am also available to present a workshop in your area.  Contact me for details.

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