TANGO PET PEEVES

Here are some Tango pet peeves that you may have encountered…

 

 

When someone doesn’t notice your obvious cabaceo…

invisible

 

 

 

 
When you show up to a milonga only to discover it’s been cancelled at the last minute…

chevy chase

 

 

 

 

Somehow messing up a step that you’ve done correctly a million times…

miss-open-goal

 

 

 

 

Your favorite tango pros come to town for workshops you’ve been anticipating for months…and then you come down with a nasty illness…

why polar bear

 

 

 

 

You take off your shoes, you’re about to leave, and a song you really like comes on…

dramatic pug

 

 

 

 

While at a Halloween milonga, you suddenly realize your costume is totally impractical for dancing…

godzilla

 

 

 

 

When your friend sees a really hard step on Youtube and tries it out on you…

clumsy pandas

 

 

 

 

When you frantically look around for a partner when the last tanda comes on…

frantic puppy

 

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A SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT

Dancing socially isn’t just a physical activity. It’s also a mental one. Publicly putting ourselves out there in such a manner takes courage, and isn’t something a lot of people do.

It’s shaky at first. And even if our first few milongas aren’t 100% successful, just showing up and trying should be celebrated as an accomplishment. With more practice and effort, our dancing improves. And when we have those first truly enjoyable tandas, we’ve proven to ourselves that it’s within our ability to create good tango.

It’s a great feeling.

Even if nobody notices, take a personal moment to recognize that sense of accomplishment. It’s very much a part of the dance, and a reason why tango is addictive (in a constructive way). But don’t just confine that feeling of accomplishment to the dance floor. What happens if we also apply it to other areas of life?

penguin dive

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#tango #accomplishment

PICK ONE

As tango students, we’ll come across a variety of teachers. Some will present dancing styles that we’re comfortable with, while others will introduce ideas that won’t resonate with us at all.

One teacher’s advice may contradict that of another. Or perhaps different teachers will explain the same concept, but from very different perspectives.

What do we do? Whose style should we adopt? How do we decide?

Let’s not get too hung up on these questions, because there’s no such thing as the perfect method that will magically turn us into flawless dancers. Neither is there a method that’s so wrong it will doom us to bad tango forever.

So let’s pick one style to start with, and commit to it.

Every dance style, philosophy, or mental strategy will have advantages and drawbacks. But if we get really good at learning one method, we’ll figure out how to utilize those advantages in ways that move our dancing forward.

There’s always the possibility that we’ll change methods/philosophies somewhere down the line, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

We’re told to be decisive when executing a tango figure; the same is true when selecting an actual tango style.

bruce lee quote

Bruce Lee was also an accomplished dancer – Back in 1958, he won the Crown Colony Cha-Cha Championship in Hong Kong

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DON’T FORGET HARD LESSONS

If we’ve been dancing for a while, we no doubt remember embarrassing moments. Maybe we committed a social tango faux pas and earned ourselves a few shocked stares. Or perhaps it was something that happened on the dance floor, such as colliding with the teacher, stepping on someone’s foot, falling down, or accidentally elbowing a shorter dancer in the face (or back of the head).

But things are better now, and we’ve improved. As difficult as those embarrassing moments were, they did not put an end to our tango.

And as we continue striving to advance, it’s worth taking a moment to remember those harder times every now and then, even if they happened a long time ago. If we think about it, we probably wouldn’t be the dancers we are today without learning – or recovering – from those experiences.

Hard lessons are sometimes the best ones; they mentally prepare us for future challenges, they keep us humble, and they help keep our sense of self-doubt (which will never completely go away) in a healthier perspective.

As unpleasant as negative experiences are, without them we’ll never become the dancers we aspire to be.

raccoon

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#tango #hardlessons

YOU MIGHT FEEL THIS WAY AT A MILONGA…

You might feel this way at a milonga…

 

…when you spend a lot of time putting together the perfect tango outfit, you look great, you feel confident…then you realize you left your shoes at home…

oh no cat shoes

 

 

 

 

 

…when you’re leading, and the person in front of you keeps doing figures against the line of dance while there’s at least five meters of open space in front of them…

hulk LOD.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

…when your tango crush turns you down for a dance…

sad corgi rejected tanda

 

 

 

 

 

 

…when your partner keeps talking…

stop talking rabbit

 

 

 

 

 

 

…when the leader starts teaching on the dance floor…

angry panda

 

 

 

 

 

…when the follower keeps anticipating…

push penguin

 

 

 

 

 

…when avoiding cabaceo from a creeper…

 

 

 

 

 

 

…when you’re determined to make it through an all-nighter…

pingu dance

 

Can you relate?

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#tango #relatableatmilonga

TAKE THE TIME

Whether at a lesson or milonga, we’re determined to prove ourselves. If we’re leading, we often take that to mean trying as many steps as possible within the course of one song. Or if we’re following, we take that to mean getting through figure after figure as though they were items on a to-do list.

Every movement of every step must be articulated and completed. There’s always enough time to do things right, even during fast-paced songs.

Let’s not rush. There are a lot of things during the day that are worth hurrying through. Tango shouldn’t be one of them.

take the time
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A GOOD WALK

The camina, or the walk, is likely one of the first things we learn about in tango. And as we progress, we’re constantly reminded of its importance.

Teachers, other experienced dancers, and friends give us this advice: “Make sure you have a really good walk.”

Definitely true. But how exactly do we develop a “really good walk?”

It’s more than a basic step, and it’s more than a simple physical movement. Walking must also be viewed as a fundamental point of communication. To communicate well with a partner, we must first connect with ourselves.

Are we aware of the way we move? Have we secured our own balance before requesting that our partners trust us? Are we paying attention to the moment, or already thinking five steps ahead? Are we making every effort to be clear, or just expecting our partners to know what we mean?

A few steps into the walk will reveal the answer.

walk-dance

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#tango #walk