It just so happens that, in the same way, he's also a great martial artist - that is: even more than with people, he's a martial artist with Life itself. I'm not a practicing martial artist, although I did have more than just a passing fling with karate once. And like dancing, the principles of the martial arts can be applied both to interactions with people, as well with Life itself. There are two tenets from the martial arts I got from him. And although I haven't practiced karate or any other martial art with anyone recently, they're just as valuable when applied to interacting with Life itself. They are (I'm paraphrasing) "Don't be where the blow is struck" which he says emphasizing the "be", and "The moment you rise to meet the attack, the battle is lost", both of which left indelible imprints on me.
As for any tenets about dancing with Life itself, I've listened him speaking many more of them than he's spoken about the martial arts. And although he was speaking them in very specific contexts, what I've learned from him generally in this regard, is a result of me re-creating what I've seen he does as he's dancing with Life itself.
So what makes him such a great dancer (or at least one of the things that makes him such a great dancer) I've postulated is he's fully present ("ever-present" may be a more accurate way of saying that) and it's as rare as it's inspiring to experience a man who's "all there". Chief of the ways we maintain presence, is by listening. And he listens to get the communication - which is unusual in a world in which we listen for the next chance / turn we'll have to say something. The former facilitates the presence of another; the latter facilitates little more than noise. I love dancing with someone who listens me. I become a wallflower with someone who makes noise.
There's something else which makes him such a great dancer: while he's fully engaged in the circumstances, he relates to them as if they'll turn out the way they turn out anyway, regardless of what he does. We're all engaged in circumstances - there's no avoiding them. But it's unlikely you'll be able to dance with the circumstances, any circumstances, until you've gotten how to be in a relationship with them in a way that's OK with them turning out the way they turn out, regardless of the way you'd like them to turn out. Look: if they happen to turn out the way you'd like them to turn out or the way you want them to turn out, it's just a co-incidence. And that's how great dancers relate to the dance they're in ie it's the way great dancers dance with Life itself: they're in step with / dance with the way Life itself occurs.
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