learn

DON'T CELEBRATE GOALS

It's important to have specific goals with our tango, whether it's to attend a certain festival, learn a particular step, or build the courage to perform for an audience.

Reaching a particular goal feels great...for a short while. But focusing on that single moment is a waste of time in the long run. Nothing magical will happen, and chances are we won't be suddenly transformed.  

We also need to think about what a particular tango goal means. Upon reaching it, what have we learned? What other opportunities have opened up? What have we been doing wrong up until that point? What do we need to do more of? Or what do we need to stop doing?

Celebrating a goal, like dwelling on failure, becomes counterproductive after a while. They should be looked upon as occasions to honestly evaluate ourselves before moving forward.

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A WILLINGNESS TO LEARN

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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