Watching amazing dancers on the dance floor can have several effects. One of them is to make you realize how much you still have to learn, practice and internalize. On the other hand, it is very easy to be blown away and feel bad about sharing a dance floor doing your own thing, cumbersome in comparison. You feel limited by your abilities and less able to give another great dancer a great time.
As a leader, no matter whatever other might say, I always feel guilty about a less good dance. A missed connection, literally. One thing I’ve been dealing with is also to realize that a lot of great dancers on the dance floor are professionals. I want to dance better and better but it is also important to keep things a bit in perspective.
While this frustration may be very hard on you on the spot, at the milonga, it is also a source of energy to work hard and let go of less good feelings afterwards. We need to enjoy the journey.
No matter how much you know that you shouldn’t be affected, sharing a dance floor with people doing beautiful open moves can be tough. Yes, we want to think that is all about musicality, small and beautiful. But it still gets to you. And you want to be able to do it.
Maybe to not do it so much afterwards?
Today I got a thank you in the middle of a tanda. That was good to tame the ego. Far too high lately.
Some of my friends keep telling me, when I ask about their tango, that they haven’t had an amazing dance for a long time now. Women. I always wonder about this. I still remember one amazing dance that I had when I was even more padawan. It was everything people normally mention and more.
But the thing is, I’m constantly having a great time out there. I can honestly count with one hand the nights that I’d rather forget. I can always remember something cool about a dance or having fun while dancing with my friends. I do not enter a milonga looking for the magical tanda or dance. I honestly don’t. Come to think of it, I haven’t really put much thought into as to what I think when I enter a milonga venue. I guess I feel the place, the vibe of who’s there and look more or less forward to dancing with who I see.
I don’t practice to get tango highs. I practice because I’m actually having fun by challenging myself and improving with dance partners. I do practice to better express tango the way I feel that tanda or day. I’ve found that being overly self-conscious doesn’t help so I’ve been looking more forward to improving rather than worrying about plateaus or current stages.
I wonder if I should be looking for the tango bliss more.
Recently someone commented on my dancing: “Your upper body does something and your legs do another”.
I’m still trying to figure out if it was a compliment or what. I do know what she means (!) but I also know why I do it and why I love doing it…
Learning tango is like Port Wine. The longer you age it inside the better and more refined it becomes.