Here in Madison, WI, we enjoy a Salsa/Tango party every Tuesday. I know I've mentioned this before in previous entries, but it's been a constant source of learning.

Anyway, the playlist alternates between tango tandas and sets of salsa (and bachata). People often find it odd when they first hear about this event, because it seems weird to juxtapose these dance genres under one roof on the same evening.

I remembered conversations with skeptics who listed numerous reasons why it would never catch on. 

Salsa and Tango?  

It shouldn't have worked. The idea was too weird. The Salsa and Tango crowds were already established, the personalities of the dancers were too different, and at the time no one knew who I was because I was new in town. There was a lengthy stretch of time when the event struggled to gain traction. I wasn't getting the results I wanted, and on many occasions it seemed more practical to give it up altogether. 

But after a (long) while, not only did it pan out, it's considered one of Madison's more prominent dance scenes. And a decade later, it's still going strong.

When we seek to learn or improve our tango, we're excited about the idea at first. But as we advance, we encounter more difficulties. Harder steps make us feel awkward more often. We find that we didn't anticipate the challenges that come with this dance, and start feeling overwhelmed. We doubt our progress. There's too much technique to remember! And  it seems as though everyone else is better than we are! We want to be good dancers, but can't quite imagine ourselves as such. 

Me? A tango dancer? we might ask ourselves. How can this work?

And after a time, it does work. Then, we realize that learning tango was a good idea after all. Perhaps we can save ourselves a little worry and self-doubt if we remember that reaping the rewards of any undertaking always takes longer than we think.

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