She ain't heavy - she's my partner

My partner suffers from back pain - and sometimes also from shoulder pain - and he is not alone. I have spoken to other men who have these problems - and there are many, young and old. About 1 in 10 people will experience shoulder pain in their lives according to Arthitis Victoria - and dancers, with gymnasts, are high up in the group of people who will experience back pain. When a man tells me he doesn't dance as much as he would like to because so many of the women can't hold their balance, or are heavy, then it does not surprise that dancers have a high incidence of back - and shoulder - pain. The diagram, left, from Tango and Chaos in Buenos Aires (a fascinating website) - shows how bad posture affects a man's lower back - holding the head forward is just as painful as bending the back. In yoga we are told to stand in tadasana and pretend a string from the top of our head is pulling us gently towards the ceiling... and in tango maintaining this posture is the way to avoid back pain.
So if the man is holding himself in this elegant fashion and gently lifting his embrace into position and the woman in front of him is leaning heavily on his chest or his shoulders or both, then it has to be counterproductive. Rick McGarrey, the erudite writer of Tango and Chaos, goes on to define balance and to explain how to practise it. He also explains why sticking bottom is not only bad for your posture if you're a woman but tells others that you are not an experienced milonguera.
I danced with a young man last night whose dancing and dedication to learning tango I admire greatly. It was he who told me he had found it difficult to dance with women who could not keep their balance because it gave him a sore back and shoulder!(no0t while he was dancing with me thankfully).  And this is what gave me the idea for this posting - and also for going back to Rick McGarrey's marvellous website. I will be practising my balance and reading his points through again and again (as I have been doing while I write this post) and aiming to sure that I ain't heavy...

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