Learning new steps is always fun. However, learning more and more steps doesn't necessarily mean we're improving our tango. Even if we don't know too many steps yet, there's a lot we can do to make our tango more interesting and dynamic. Here are three ways to improve our dancing without having to learn a bunch of new steps.

If we're leaders, we fall into a habit of dancing the steps we know in a certain sequence. if we stick to the routine, things can get boring. We can take the steps we currently know, and simply reorder them. Reorganizing or breaking old sequential habits will help our tango feel new and fresh again.

With tango, it's relatively easy to move with the strong beat of each song, and apply occasional quick-quick steps during certain musical phrases. This, too, can become a habit that can eventually make our tango feel stale. Fortunately, addressing rhythmic habits can be as simple as slowing down when we have normally sped up. Or, for some more dynamism, we can mix half-time steps with faster syncopations - this is fun. Leaders probably have more flexibility in applying this change, but opportunities also exist for followers as well. 

For followers, be on the lookout for opportunities to try adornments. As we gain experience with tango, we'll find that following is quite an active and assertive role. Adornments are a fun way to bring that out. They create spice in the dance, and open up opportunities for back-and-forth playfulness with the leader. And with leaders who are alert, adornments offer further connection practice. 

Although easy to understand, it takes a lot of practice to implement these ideas effectively. Work on them one at a time, and take your time thinking them through. Although keeping our tango fresh and feeling new takes effort, it won't always require drastic action. 



Our teachers are always stressing the importance of mastering simpler steps like walking and pausing. Along with a good connection, instructors tell us that those elements are all we need in order to dance tango well. Definitely true!

But that doesn't mean we should avoid the fancier steps altogether. When (or if) we have the space on the dance floor to safely execute them, they can be really fun. But at the end of the day (or night), all those sacadas, ganchos, and leg wraps are built on the foundation as the same walking movements, pivots, and basic connection principles we've been working on since our beginner classes. 

So let's not learn fancy steps just so anyone who happens to be watching will think we're good dancers. Let's learn them to expand our understanding of the basics. 


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