10 May 2013

Words of comfort

(dancing with famous teacher / dancer)

Him: "That was really comfortable."
Me (in my head): "Shoot."


Lately, I've been contemplating a word: cuddleshuffle, which seems to be a novelty word meant to describe "walking in a nice, close embrace". I'm not conviced that I like it.

Sure, I'm all for a lovely embrace and more walking / less (badly executed) tricks. It's just that this cuddleshuffle word creates a funny image in my head - one of dancing with a teddy bear, wearing felt slippers and possibly also flannel pyjamas.

It makes me think of laxness, not relaxedness.

And laxness is not what I want from tango. I want compactness, engagement and commitment, even when standing still. I want to dance with - and within - a stately and confident body, wearing spiky heels and a dress. Even if I'm wearing sneakers, I want to feel like I'm wearing spiky heels and a dress.

So my question is this: Do the words we choose - and the way we use them - have any impact on the way we dance?

If we can take the word cuddleshuffle and make it mean something more than, well, cuddling and shuffling, if it can help us get rid of unnecessary tension and put more emphasis on a warm, committed embrace and a great walk, then let's use it.

If it just makes us believe that dancing in a close embrace only equals pottering around the dancefloor without any intent, I really want us to look for a more useful word.