Presence in Motion changed my life. It’s always been difficult for me to be in touch with my feelings and able to connect with others. This workshop showed me HOW to bring myself into the moment to connect with another person. I had never in my life experienced being in the moment so completely or connected so deeply with another human being before this workshop. Thank you so much, Tom and Lucinda!
Discover how you can become more present with each step you take. Presence in Motion shows you how to stay home in your own body first while connecting with another person.
ZERO dance experience necessary ~ Singles welcome ~ Couples welcome
About this workshop
Saturday & Sunday July 21 & 22 10:00 to 5:00
Can’t make this date?
Register below to find out about the next one.
Before April 2 – $195 After April 2 – $225
Space is limited to 20 participants.
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This in-person workshop is an introduction to the basics of Inner Relationship Focusing, a mind/body awareness method which helps you become more calm and confident. It’s also an introduction to Argentine tango, which is simply walking in an embrace, as a vehicle to practice being FULLY in your own body while connecting with another.
This workshop, designed for people with no dance experience, is a powerful way to become more PRESENT to yourself and your clients as well as people in your personal life. It is NOT a typical dance class about learning steps or technique.
No partner required. Couples can deepen their relationship through this workshop but the very best way to learn both tango and Focusing is to rotate partners throughout the practice.
True Argentine tango, unlike the dramatized Hollywood version, is all about subtle non-verbal communication between you and a partner, whether that is a life-partner participating with you in this workshop or a new person that you are meeting for the first time.
When I was a child I got in trouble for making mistakes, so it was deeply healing for me to be held in a strong, safe embrace, and for it to be okay to stumble while learning to walk backwards. Learning tango from Damián has been some of the best therapy that I’ve ever experienced! Although he’s not trained in Focusing, he naturally knows how to hold the larger container of Presence that creates a safe space to make mistakes and to grow.
Damián was always saying in my ear…”It’s ok, it’s ok…don’t worry…you’re fine…” This was a kind of reprogramming — in a very physical way — of the young part of me that was afraid of making mistakes. I now feel so much freer to walk with confidence and power in my life. I’m more capable of connecting deeply with someone else because I can stay connected to my whole self – even the unsure and shy parts.
HOW TANGO WAS POWERFUL THERAPY FOR LUCINDA AND CAN BE FOR YOU TOO!
Lucinda went to Argentina in June of 2012 to present at the International Focusing Conference and then stayed in Buenos Aires for an additional six weeks to learn Argentine tango . The tango lessons she took from Damián Buezas de la Torre, President of the Fundación Tango Argentino (Argentine Tango Foundation) were so transformational that she returned to Buenos Aires in November 2012 to co-lead her first Presence in Motion workshop with him. They offered this to the Argentine Focusing Community, composed entirely of therapists and counselors who didn’t do Tango. Here is what Lucinda shared with them about what makes Tango such powerful therapy:
For me, dancing Argentine Tango is like a moving meditation. I need to be as fully present as possible, listening to my “partner” with my whole body, available to respond to whatever occurs, whether that be through movement or stillness in the moment, with no agenda. My body – as well as my “whole self” — gets to learn this over and over again. And the learning is through a physical practice (like yoga or a martial art), that is playful and set to music!
When I was a child, I usually got in trouble for making mistakes, so it was deeply healing for me to be held in a strong, safe embrace, and for it to be okay to stumble while learning to walk backwards. Learning Tango from Damián has been some of the best therapy that I’ve ever experienced. Although he’s not trained in Focusing, he naturally knows how to hold the larger container of Presence that creates a safe space to be and learn, to make mistakes and to grow.
Damián was always saying in my ear…”It’s ok, it’s ok…don’t worry…you’re fine…” This was a kind of reprogramming-in a very physical way-of the young part of me that was afraid of making mistakes. I now feel so much freer to walk with confidence and power in my life. I am more capable to stay connected to someone else because I can stay connected with my whole self – even the unsure and shy parts.
Tango is a metaphor for life and a great vehicle for practicing many life lessons and relationship skills, such as learning how to carry your own weight without depending on another – while at the same time, staying connected. It is about staying centered and present in your own self, listening with your whole body to another’s whole body, and then moving together in harmonious partnership.
Lucinda with Damián Buezas de la Torre
President of the Fundación Tango Argentino,
(Argentine Tango Foundation)
Buenos Aires, Argentina July 2012
Before participating in Presence in Motion in 2013, my husband and I had been ‘on edge’ with each other for awhile, without being able to get past some level of accusation and resentment. We flew in from Seattle to attend and we’re very glad that we did!
I actually experienced in my body how important it is to keep returning to my own center and sense of balance without having to ‘lean’ on my husband. The simple tango that we learned brought all of the dynamics of our relationship into the light to be seen and then the Focusing aspect showed us how to talk about those things in an honest way. We were then able to move on with a renewed sense of commitment to each other.
Benefits of Dancing Argentine Tango
- improves coordination, balance, and posture
- increases muscle tone and flexibility
- reduces stress and anxiety
- improves cardiac health
- lowers blood pressure
- improves memory and focus
- enables creative and emotional expression
- builds greater ease in social situations
- imparts that dancer’s aura of radiating confidence
- is used as therapy in a wide variety of applications: physical therapy, couples therapy and therapy for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients
Is it worth flying from Northern Alberta to attend a tango workshop in San Francisco? Absolutely!
Tom and Lucinda have created a forum for experiencing ‘tango as energy’ that I have not found anywhere else, after 15 years of taking tango workshops. As a tango teacher myself, it has always been my conviction that the most important element of tango happens on an energetic heart level.
When we attend to this heart-energy work, it not only reverberates through our dance but also through our entire lives. Tom and Lucinda’s approach to ‘tango as energy’ using the mindfulness method of Focusing takes us deep inside ourselves and then pulls us back to the surface with nuggets of deep body wisdom. Participating in Presence in Motion in 2014 has changed my dancing and informed my teaching of tango ever since.
Most importantly, it has shaped the way that I interact with my body and access my body-knowing. I am so looking forward to taking the workshop again in May!
What We’ll Be Doing
Unlike traditional dance with the roles of leader and follower, this workshop is designed first to explore ourselves as energy bodies before we move in relationship with another. Everybody will play both the roles of “inviter” and “receiver” of the energy as we learn to move together.
Focusing offers a way to learn and practice:
- becoming present and finding your grounded center
- keeping company with emotional reactions that arise while learning something new
- going beyond your familiar ways of moving with kind support.
Tango offers a way to learn and practice:
- maintaining your grounded center as you move
- communicating clearly and respectfully – without words
- claiming your own space while offering space to another
Tango and Focusing together create a perfect way to explore how we relate to ourselves, others and the world.
Lucinda is passionate about combining Focusing and tango with their combined potential for embodied transformation.
Since 2013, Lucinda has been offering Presence in Motion with Tom Lewis in San Francisco, for which many people have flown in from around the world to attend. She has also delivered Presence in Motion abroad, from Argentina to Cambridge University in England.
Before joining Focusing Resources, one of the top Focusing training organizations in the world, Lucinda taught yoga and Pilates and was also a Personal Fitness Trainer for 10 years.
Lucinda holds a Master’s degree in Teaching from California State University at San Francisco. She has been in private practice since 1988.
Tom Lewis has been dancing tango since 2003 and is the owner of La Pista Tango Studio in San Francisco. He also practices Aikido as well as Mastery Training, which combines Eastern and Western philosophy with yoga and somatic movement.
Tom has a double B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Yale University. Originally from New Hampshire, he moved to San Francisco to study Psychoanalysis but instead started an architectural business restoring historic buildings.
Tom built La Pista in his office building initially so that he could practice tango without taking too much time off of his architectural work. Over the years, La Pista has grown into the premier dance studio for Argentine Tango in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Want to see what Argentine tango looks like?
Watch Tom and Lucinda dancing a simple tango. Notice how the upper bodies stay still and connected heart to heart. Most of the action is in the legs and feet. This is not choreographed. Tango is improvised in the moment.
You can watch their image in the mirror behind them as well.
Lucinda dancing with Guillermo -- watch another tango with a few more flourishes
Guillermo's message to guys about tango
Who is Guillermo?
A tango guitarist and dancer from Argentina, Guillermo Garcia is one of the pioneers of local live tango music in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has released four tango albums and performs extensively with his band Trio Garufa at concerts and milongas (dances) in the USA and South America.
As a tango dancer, Guillermo learned from and continues to study with some of the most recognized Buenos Aires maestros. He was part of the dance cast in the show Tango Fatal (2011), directed by Jorge Torres, lead dancer in the hit Broadway stage show, Forever Tango. Guillermo has been teaching tango in San Francisco since 2007 and currently teaches a weekly tango class at La Pista.
Guillermo also specializes in audio technology for music. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, a Masters in Digital Signal Processing from Université d’Orsay in Paris and an Electrical Engineering degree from Universidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina. His work in the feature film “Farinelli‘ was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and it won the Golden Globe Award.
Guillermo contributed to helping Lucinda develop Presence in Motion. Lucinda has studied tango with him and he occasionally drops in as a “special guest.”
Read an article about Tom and Lucinda’s workshop in
“Psychologica” the magazine of the Ontario Association of Counsellors, Consultants, Psychometrists & Psychotherapists
Applications of Argentine Tango in Relational Skill-Building
by Carolyn Dallman Downes | M.Ed., R.P
(Scroll down to page 20 to access it)
Through movement and skillfully adapted Focusing techniques, Lucinda Hayden and Tom Lewis have created a unique, powerfully effective way into opening new realms within body and mind, heart and soul.
I learned about Focusing when I was studying Depth Psychology in grad school. This creative, engaging workshop gave me a vivid experience of it. Focusing is even more multi-dimensional and healing than I thought.
Lucinda’s facility in Focusing and Tom’s expert instruction in centering the body, heart and mind through some guided tango moves helped me to be more open and vulnerable with other participants. The compassionate and supportive atmosphere of this workshop allowed me to experience a deeper level of interpersonal connection, and expand my skills as a ‘listener’ both to myself as well as others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Interested in private Focusing sessions with Lucinda?
Scroll to the bottom of the website to find out more.
What if I’ve never danced before and find the idea of dancing scary?
If there is ‘something’ in you that finds the idea of learning to dance kind of scary…great!… this is the workshop for YOU! Having something structured like this is a great way to bring up your ‘parts’ to work with in your Focusing practice. Every day, after each Tango and movement session, there will be an opportunity to sense inwardly and keep company with those places that feel awkward or scared.
And don’t worry, Tango is simply walking in an embrace, so if you can walk, you can do Tango. In fact, someone in a wheelchair attended Tango & Focusing: Presence in Motion in Buenos Aires, and she had a profound experience.
Do I need to have a partner to attend?
No, you can come on your own. We will be encouraging everybody, even couples, to rotate and experience practicing with a variety of people, just like we do in Focusing.
Would I have to dress up to dance tango?
Not at all. We recommend that you wear comfortable clothes that you can move freely in…like yoga clothes, sweat pants or loose jeans and comfortable shoes that will slide on the floor, for example with leather soles. If you don’t have shoes that slide, socks are fine too.
Tango seems so dramatic and difficult, would I have to hold a rose between my teeth?
If you are thinking stage shows with feet flying, or the Addams family, Gomez & Morticia dancing cheek-to-cheek, or Rudolph Valentino’s partner with a rose in her teeth… NONE of this is what we are going to be doing. ALL of that is showy Hollywood stuff, not Argentine Tango, which is about the subtle connection and communication between you and a partner.
How is parking near the San Francisco workshop location?
There are a few alleys in the area with free parking. There is also a Public Parking Lot for $10 a day very close to La Pista. Details about how to find these will be sent to you after registration.
Presence in Motion is so much more than just learning the steps to a beautiful, subtle dance. It was a door to entering the world of the Embrace. Of learning how to embrace my own energy and that of another and to create a dance together that is full of communication, mutual respect and care.
Lucinda and Tom made that possible. Through their sensitive, gentle, supportive teaching, they opened a whole new world of how to move in my body from my grounded center. I have taken this workshop three times and look forward to taking it again.
Barbara McGavin, along with Ann Weiser Cornell, is the creator of Inner Relationship Focusing. For a longer look at her experience in Presence in Motion, please read her article below.
Read "The Tango Embrace" by Barbara McGavin
Ever since I had a Tango lesson in Buenos Aries many years ago, I’ve longed for a chance to go further with this passionate, sensual, subtle dance. And last weekend I had that chance.
But this was so much more than just learning the steps to a beautiful, elegant dance. It was a door to entering the world of the Embrace. Of learning how to embrace my own energy and that of another and to create a dance together that is full of communication, mutual respect and care.
In Focusing, I can be very inner directed, not really paying a great deal of attention to the other person with me. They need to take care of themselves. This is My space!
In Tango I need to stay fully present to myself, grounding myself in my centre. However, I have a further challenge. From there I need to be open to the other. Sensing the energy flowing between us.
There are two possible roles that I can take in life. I can create an intention or I can respond to another’s intention. How I do both of these becomes magnified when I dance Tango. Whether I am the ‘Intender’ or the ‘Receiver’, my habits, my impulses, my insecurities become transparent. What an amazing opportunity to see these aspects of myself so clearly.
I’ve been leading workshops for many years. That essentially puts me in the position of Intender. I’ve been aware of ambivalent feelings about that role as long as I have been doing it. As we moved across the dance floor and I tried to be the Intender, I got how that is such a tricky edge for me.
As we practiced, I could feel so clearly how I hesitate, or push, or wobble. How wonderful to have a generous and caring space where I could fail and fail and fail again. And each failure brought me more experience that I could then sense into more fully.
And then, even more wonderful, I was able to have Focusing time to sense even further into the intricate, delicate, sensitive complexity that “intending” is for me. It gave me the gift of sensing how it is now… and how it could be different.
I started to be able to really feel in my body how being an Intender means taking responsibility – for myself, making sure that I am centred and grounded and claiming my space. It means being willing to direct my energy, to take responsibility for how to bring it into relationship. For noticing the effect that it has on others. For creating invitation. Shall we go here? For being clear. It means taking responsibility for creating safety for the person that I invite on the journey. If I am choosing the direction, I need to make sure that the path is safe. It meant really listening to my Receiver. Being sensitive to their needs, abilities, desires. Responsive. Flexible. Strong. Gentle. Kind.
And then I got to practice, to experiment, to notice more and further and deeper.
This weekend I learned that I am more naturally comfortable as the Receiver. And I learned some challenging lessons about that as well. I noticed that I was wanting to direct things sometimes when I was in the Receiving role. At first I thought that meant that I wanted to be the Intender. Then I realised that it was not that. It meant that I wasn’t really willing to trust my Intender. And that meant that I wasn’t really trusting myself. Hmmm… Something to look at there.
What is it for me to be a Receiver? What does it take? Trust, yes. But not blind trust. It takes being in my centre, really grounded there, just as much as if I was the Intender. It means that I need to claim my space, just as much as if I was the Intender. It means that I need to show up, to really be there. To meet my Intender with my full being.
The Embrace is a perfect example of what this means. In the Embrace, when I am the Receiver, I rest my left arm on my partner’s arm. His hand connects with the centre of my back. Our other hands meet between us. His hand supports mine. I receive his support. I meet his energy with mine. He needs to be able to feel my presence. We dance within the circle of our Embrace.
There were so many delicious moments. When Tom invited me to step forward into a Front Ocho and my body flowed into it without thought or hesitation though I had never done it before. When Guillermo showed me exactly how to put my arm so that we could have relaxed, stable connection. When Tom invited us to “Just walk! Go!” and I could feel the ease and flow of energy between me and my partner. Wow! When Guillermo showed me how I can be even more connected without staring at the other person – much more heartful.
Such wonderful support throughout the whole weekend. Tom opening out the possibilities of being able to embody being grounded, centred and in connected movement with another. Guillermo, with his gentle precision. Helping with just a simple word or gesture to show me – “Oh! this is how I can do it. Oh! That’s easier. Yes. Thank you. Mmmmm…..” And Lucinda held the whole space with generous, loving energy. Helping us to stretch past our limitations, both literally (with Yoga) and with her gentle Focusing reminders.
There were so many deep and valuable lessons that I received over those two and a half days. What was the most important? Perhaps it was this. When I take responsibility for my own centre, I naturally create a space where I support you in being fully yourself. Effortless communication arises when I, from my centre meet you, from your centre in a gentle Embrace.
Extend your hand, enter your info, and we’ll see you on the dance floor!