I’ve never seen any other type of dance discussion fall back so much into semantics. I wonder if that’s due to the wide range of approaches to the dance as well as concepts floating around by so many teachers.
(image from here)
At the beginning it felt good. A friendly follower kept praising that I was a nice dancer, different than others. Then she asked me who I took classes with and now I am the professor’s students. She keeps on telling me how I dance nicely like the others that also take classes from the same teacher. I guess she’s saying that we don’t push women around, we listen to the music and strive for a good connection.
I don’t mind people praising me and my friends for dancing like how a professor advocates for. That’s all good. In fact, everyone choses their professors according to what they find is beautiful from an aesthetic point of view and how and what each professor focus on. But still, I feel like a copycat. I feel like a product.
Tango is a way of life, not taking some classes with the currently famous dancers and living like a gringo for some weeks in a different country.
I feel my tango isn’t evolving as it should. I can see how I am being a bit trapped in technicalities for the time being. It’s keeping me from fully improvising to the music and to generate new ways to move around. This is partially due to the fact that my technique shortcomings still rank high on my things to improve 🙂
This is why I am becoming a bit tired of some classes. Of so much input to parse and let it grow in me. But specially, because I see that this Tango thing is hard. I’m musical, I’m sensitive and gentle, but I still lack technique. I feel thankful for the fact that I am very musical, which has made “well-known” followers ask me directly for a dance (how anti-cabeceo!!). Me, on the other hand, would never have. I always feel they just want to dance with the best dancers and doesn’t feel right to me to ask them. To rob them away from a great tanda with a great dancer.
But it is hard because no matter where you are in your tango stage, you always want to narrow down what is currently annoying you. What you really need to improve on. And why do you need to? Because every time you finish a tanda with a great dancer – be it technically or musically – you always feel you could have done a bit better. You could have given the woman a better dance. You feel that deep down, you may have disappointed her a bit.
It is only healthy if you want to improve to give the women better dances, not for your own ego. But those two are tricky to separate and wishful thinking is easy…
I still remember the first round of lessons. The loss of my tango virginity. The teachers were a very funny couple that were a joy to have classes with. They still teach but I have not yet taken any more classes with them. Every teacher has their own style and strengths and right now I’m learning from teachers that mainly focus on technique. It’s all good.
Of all my friends I convinced to join me in my tango lessons I am the only one left. Most of them had a lot more dancing experience than I, including salsa, ballet and all kinds of ballroom.