From June 11, 2013

I own a few pairs of pants and jeans that are good for dancing tango. They’re not flashy or unusual, in case you were wondering. They’re simply comfortable. The only drawback is that they’re just a tad too long (I’m in between sizes). This isn’t a huge problem, but every once in a while, either my partner or I myself will step on the excess section of pants and stumble. This is funny to everyone but me.

To remedy this, I just readjust the way I lead certain steps and am extra careful about what I’m doing. Of course, one of these days I’ll have to physically cut the pants a little shorter. It won’t win me any fashion points but it’s better than falling.

Unfortunately, not all of our tango issues can be easily (or legally) remedied with sharp objects.

One of the biggest problems we have is lack of time to practice, especially when the práctica schedules don’t line up with our own. Another is physical space. But remember, a good practice doesn’t always have to entail reviewing every detail that you went over in class.

While at home, take a look at the space around you. For example, what can you practice in the kitchen? Just rock steps? Some Ochos? The linoleum should be adequate for pivoting. You may not have a spacious living room, but if there’s a wood floor in there and it’s relatively level, what steps can you try? Even if you only have a few minutes before the oven timer goes off?

There will always be obstacles to improving your tango. But with a little creativity, obstacles can be made into advantages. For instance, if you can pull off molinetes in the small kitchen of your one-bedroom apartment without destroying anything or stepping on the dog’s tail, you should be able to do them at a crowded milonga, too.

Figuring out ways around the roadblocks, whether it’s time, space, or even your own pants, is just as good for your tango as showing up to class every week.


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