Tango to Happiness: Life Transitions

Life Transitions – Follow your passion. Do what you love and the money will follow.  These are fundamental to having fulfillment and success say the personal development gurus. When they actually appear, it is a real treat.

Tango Dancers on Las Ramblas

Tango with passion

Recently I decided to learn the Argentine Tango. That was a surprise on its own but what I found in a dance studio downtown was extraordinary.  There was a pleasant atmosphere as people from all walks of life gently approached me and introduce themselves.

I learned that my $15 dollars not only paid for my one hour group lesson but also for an hour and one half of practice that took place immediately afterwards.  As I was taking in what a great deal this was, our instructor approached me.  Would you like to spend a few minutes prior to class learning a few basics about the tango? Sure.

Thus began the first dance lesson and lecture on the essence of the tango. I was stumbling all over myself attempting to learn something so it took me awhile to realize how different this place was.  This woman was not just teaching me about the tango she was sharing her love of the dance. Once class began I realized that we would be continually changing partners.  Not only were the instructors teaching me but other more advanced students would teach me as we danced together.

I kept stumbling on.  I kept apologizing for wasting the time of the more skilled dancer but they all smiled and told me they had been a beginner once themselves.  At a break someone told me that this was a good group of people.  They told me I would enjoy myself here.  They were right. The instructor, Marie Roil Roach, continued to attempt to bring the love of the tango alive in me.  I and these people were all drawn to the spirit of this extraordinary woman.  I could see how her dedication to the tango and to bringing it to our community had awaken something within her that drew us to her.

Later during another break I overheard her telling one of the students how it all began.  She told of deciding to learn the tango.  She talked of the moment that her instructor asked her to dance with him as an example for the class. Her eyes lit up as she talked of her experience in his arms and how the Argentine Tango is like no other dance.

You could see in her face how that training and that instructor had changed the course of her life. It was an unexpected moment that she acted upon.  We often think that we have to figure life out.  Sometimes we need to be open and to act.

Being around a teacher who is open, has integrity and passion not only attracts us but can open us up.   Several people lately have told me that I was trying too hard. I sort of listened. “ I am building a company. I have to work hard.”  I would think.  Yet when a teacher I trust told me. “You are working too hard. Relax let the music guide you.” I was able to hear her advice differently.

As I let her words in and relaxed.  I noticed my dancing improving.  I remembered times where not trying so hard helped me be more successful. She said nothing profound.  Many instructors have said similar words to their students.  Yet when we let down our defenses and allow someone to touch us, we can hear things differently.   Her passion, integrity and trust is creating different responses not only in her life but also in the lives of others.

Tango Kiss

But this story is about more than love of dance, passion and openness, it is also about dedicating yourself to something greater than yourself.  Marie did not set up a strategic marketing plan dedicated to maximizing her profits as she brought the tango to Indy.  She asked how can I bring the tango to Indy?  The price and instruction is set up to accommodate a variety of people not to maximize her finances.  As you look into her eyes and see the love and passion in them and as you look at the people surrounding her, you will quickly know that she made the choice that was right for her and for our community.

Have you come across someone who is following their passion? How have they affected you? What has it been like to be around them?  I would love to hear about them.

If we have increased your curiosity about the tango.  Riolo Dance‘s web site is www.riolodance.com a great resource. Also, Marie’s email is marie2dance@comcast.net.  If you are interested in discovering your passion, then call us today at 317-820-3600 and ask for an appointment today.

Author Information

Allen Rader, LCSW – Allen is a therapist, entrepreneur and founder of ATS Wellness and Therapy. He enjoys assisting people in transforming their lives rather than just learning to cope with the challenges of life.


Image credits: Louise Leclerc via Compfight; Patrick McDonald via Compfight</span