In Tango's Embrace: A Phenomenology and Ceremony Celebrating the Lived Experience of Dance

  • Author / Creator
    Mary Anne Schleinich
  • This research is a soulful quest into learning through the experience of a social dance. It offers some antidote to the problem-solving approaches that typify attempts to improve the world. Within an Indigenist framework which celebrates knowledge as growing out of relationships, this thesis is a ceremony of strengthening connections – within us and among all our relations in the cosmos. Within this epistemology, I chose interpretive phenomenology to study how a person can change from experiences that engage joy and passion in ordinary life. The research stems from my experience of the social dance of Argentine tango and my engagement of questions that beckoned community involvement. I interviewed three dancers and asked them to describe how their sense of relationship–with themselves, with others, the world, and the Divine–changed through their dance. As I listened and reflected upon our conversations, five themes surfaced within an overall theme of becoming known: breaking patterns, sexuality, vulnerability, desire and wholeness. I explore these themes by highlighting the words of research participants. I then explore the implications of this study for the practice of psychotherapy through metaphor and the meaning of grounding, intention, letting go, presence and attunement, occurring in both verbal and non-verbal conversation. Literature that touches on connectivity and intersubjectivity from the areas of philosophy, psychotherapy and theology joins the conversation. I conclude with consideration of the body as intimately belonging to the process of an inherently shared universe in celebration of the whole. I attempt to engage those places where the invisible touches the visible, inviting a holy awareness of the something more that offers itself into our embrace.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Leslie Gardner
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Colleen MacDougall
    • Bill Bowen, MFA, LMT