We practice figures. We practice technique. We practice musicality. Our tango teachers create exercises to make the learning process more efficient, and we also find useful ones on Youtube.
We practice. And it’s great that we do.
But as we all know, tango is not purely technical. And focusing mainly on the technical side of things isn’t enough. So what else do we need to practice?
Balancing our sense of control.
In a nutshell, and mainly in physical terms, to be in control is to focus on just a few tango elements at a time (e.g. posture and relaxing the shoulders). While doing this, we let our brains “delegate” other elements to muscle memory. When we do a few things correctly, odds are that many others will fall into place without strenuous mental effort.
Intellectually, this idea is simple. But putting it into practice requires us to let go and embrace a degree of uncertainty. Depending on your personality, this is either scary or thrilling. The only probable outcomes are making a mistake, or getting the steps right (aka having a lot of fun). Fear of the former contributes heavily to a controlling mindset which, ironically, increases the likelihood of mistakes.
So let’s work on taking control, by being less controlling.