Tango requires concentration, but how hard do we really need to be thinking? When teachers point out that we’re tense, often we’re told that it’s a symptom of “thinking too hard.”

So what’s the solution? To think less? That doesn’t make sense, either. In any given situation, thinking is rarely a problem.

What’s likely happening is that we’re too focused on the wrong things. We’re worried we messed up the step we just finished, while at the same time, trying to anticipate the next one(s). This sense of mentally “scrambling to keep up” often explains the tense shoulders, fast breathing, and rigid, uncomfortable movements.

But what about redirecting our thinking to the step that we’re leading or following now, in the moment? Even during faster-paced songs, we can only start and finish one step at a time. We know that dwelling on the past while worrying about the future is no way to live. It’s also no way to tango.



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