What does it take to become a good tango dancer? Other than the ability to walk, we're often told that it just takes is a willingness to learn.
A true enough statement.
It makes sense, and is simple enough to understand. Yet figuring out how to step from point A to point B in time with music, which shouldn't seem all that difficult, suddenly becomes a much bigger challenge than we first thought.
But if we take a second to unpack the "willingness to learn," there's actually a lot to consider.
Being willing to learn tango also entails the the willingness to give up partial control and trust our partner to do his or her part. Being willing to learn tango is also about being decisive with our movements, and fully accepting the possibility of being wrong.
We need a willingness to not surrender to self-consciousness and nervousness, while at the same time fully experiencing those mental states. We also need a willingness to address other issues in our lives, such as the irrational fear of being judged and carrying unnecessary tension in our bodies. Those problems affect our dancing, and we have to pay attention to them while off the dance floor, and not only when attending class or a milonga.
Once we have all that figured out, stepping from point A to point B in time with music is kind of easy.
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