From September 10, 2013
Classes are for learning. Prácticas are for thinking.
If we’re having trouble progressing, maybe it’s because we’re focusing too hard on one element and not the other. For most of us, we’re often fixated on taking classes, or learning. Although receiving instruction is important, our teachers aren’t encouraging us to also go to prácticas and milongas just for the sake of plugging their events.
Prácticas are where we focus on thinking, as opposed to learning.
A práctica is a good place to pick apart what we’ve gone over in class, to experiment and see if there are multiple ways to do a figure. For example, can we do a certain step in close embrace? Or can we do it while turning in the opposite direction? Give it a shot. Maybe it’ll work. Maybe it won’t. Or, maybe we’ll discover a new step by accident.
An environment geared towards thinking isn’t as structured or organized as a learning one. It goes against the “sit-still-and-do-as-you’re told” mindset that years of schooling and work have ingrained in us, and can appear chaotic and scary in comparison.
But the process of getting better at tango, or achieving any kind of success in life for that matter, rarely follows a linear, orderly path.