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Carissa and Sasha on the first day of the May Quirky Heart Tango Adventure, on the Rick's Place terraza

Carissa and Sasha on the first day of the May Quirky Heart Tango Adventure, on the Rick’s Place terraza

One of the best thing about creating travel experiences is I get to meet you all . . . the quirkyalones are pretty fabulous.

Carissa is a kick-ass, open-hearted quirkyalone woman who joined my GetQuirky online class last year.

After the class, she decided to quit a job of 18 years that she didn’t want anymore and left to travel the world as a woman alone–Africa, Asia, Europe, and more. As part of her round-the-world adventure, she came to the May Quirky Heart Tango Adventure in Buenos Aires. Now back in Florida, she is starting her own business.

Carissa had zero tango experience when she came to Buenos Aires. I caught up with Carissa to find out how traveling the world and learning tango in Buenos Aires has changed her life and I loved the honesty of what she had to share.

What did you learn through tango that you have applied to your life?
Tango is my reminder that I’m not the same person with all those fears and limitations. I make different decisions; view problems with less stress; and have been practicing my connections to others. I caught a man’s eye as we were both leaving the grocery store and the thrill was just so sweet. How many of those moments have I missed in my life? So really, how many more are to come, right?

You wrote on Facebook: “I’m LOVING my new tango community. I danced with so many different people, it was crazy good. I can tell the ‘hug time’ is good for my soul.” Why is “hug time” good for your soul?
I dislike the extreme difference my life had when I was in a relationship and when I was not. All the attention, physical closeness, eye contact fueled my sense of well-being. That’s why I would take it so hard when things didn’t work out, even if I was the one initiating the break.

After what I refer to as an “immersion therapy experience” in the piscotango workshop in the Quirky Buenos Aires trip, my body felt totally alive. So I knew you were on to something, which motivated me to find the tango community at home.

Since I’m a beginner, I can’t always turn my brain off for the whole dance; but when it does; I’m really feeling the connection to another person. It’s just a feeling of pleasure and belonging and magic. And it’s a lasting feeling that isn’t based on “does he still like me? Will this relationship work out? Will he leave?” I can give the closeness feeling to myself as long as there is a dance partner.

Carissa at Plaza Dorrego, an outdoor milonga in San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Carissa at Plaza Dorrego, an outdoor milonga in San Telmo, Buenos Aires

What has tango taught you about being confident within yourself?
Tango has reminded me again that I was my own worst enemy, that I was limiting my life, creating problems where there weren’t any. Of course, I didn’t find that out until I took action in the face of fearful thoughts. I actually avoided the first two Friday socials in Tampa because I talked myself out of going. I conjured up crazy situations that I knew weren’t logical but they were powerful.

When I resolved to go the third Friday, it wasn’t a complete success, but you know what? I could sit in the uncomfy moments just fine. And each time got easier.

What did you learn through tango about creating a healthy relationship?
It’s a reminder that I don’t need to control everything. Once I decided to leave out the male/female traditional assignments to the lead/follower role, I embraced the responding role. But as the instructors say over and over again you don’t lose your power. You are still on your own axis and choose to respond. I’m not as anxious now that I see being the follower (in work, in relationships) doesn’t mean giving up all my power.

Anything else you want to share?
It’s interesting to see all the personalities displayed out on the dance floor. A reminder to me that being my own diverse self is my contribution to life, to others. If I try to act like someone else; I don’t have fun. Of course, I may borrow a certain way of moving here or there but it’s just an addition, not a replacement of me.

JOIN SASHA, CARISSA AND NELE LIVE ON A GOOGLE HANGOUT
Carissa will join me and Nele, my co-guide in the Quirky Heart Tango Adventure, for a LIVE GOOGLE HANGOUT next Tuesday to talk about Three Secrets of Dancing Quirky Tango in Buenos Aires. . . and how learning tango can change your life.

Come hang out with us next Tuesday, November 18at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET — RSVP HERE!

JOIN US IN BUENOS AIRES!
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Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone and learn what tango has to teach you?
The next Quirky Heart Tango Adventures are in February and March.

Spaces are filling up fast, so click over here to find out more and apply to join us!