From July 1, 2013

Isn’t it strange how your job, and probably every other job you’ve had, always entails doing more (sometimes much more) than what the actual description specifies? We all have our reasons for taking on the extra challenge, and a common one is having to be on guard in case a co-worker screws up, right?

In tango, we learn our roles as leaders and followers. With the intention of being good partners, we naturally take the same work ethic that makes us effective employees from the office to the dance floor. We want to overachieve and believe that it’s right to go beyond our “job descriptions,” to prove ourselves and to show that we care.

But that’s where trouble happens.

If your dance partner messes up, you can’t “fill in” to do the other person’s job while still doing your own. And if you insist on it, even with the best of intentions, you’ll likely be mistaken as a control freak who’s not very fun to dance with. The most you can do is make things easier for the other person and maybe cover up a few mistakes. But beyond that, there’s no fail-safe or backup.

While dancing tango, giving up half the control while blindly giving your partner all the trust is one of the most difficult things to do. But at the same time, it’s one of the few areas in life where it’s the best thing to do.

So give it a try. There’s no describing the feeling when it works.


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