We’re getting better at tango, and feeling more comfortable dancing at local events. To continue improving, it’s logical to keep learning more material. But visiting a different tango community is also a must. Once we start traveling a bit more for dancing, here a few things we’ll start to learn:
It tests us: Our friends in the local community are great, but they know us pretty well and are used to the way we lead or follow. Dancing with strangers, however, is a surefire way of determining how well we understand the material introduced in our classes.
It builds confidence: It’s normal to feel nervous the first time we show up at an unfamiliar venue. And those “pre-milonga jitters” may never go away entirely. But the more we visit different venues, the more easily we adjust to the energy, people, and dance surface of any event. This is a huge confidence booster, especially when we’re still relatively new to tango.
It all starts making more sense: I’m not sure why, but it seems that the knowledge we gain while dancing in our local communities seems to sink in more easily when we’re visiting a different one. Perhaps we’re more mentally focused, or maybe some part of the brain clicks when we feel familiar steps working while dancing in an unfamiliar environment. In any case, this is a good thing.
We feel at home: It’s exciting to visit a milonga in a different city or country. And after a while, even places we’ve never been to will start feeling familiar. The music contributes to this, of course. And when we meet total strangers who love tango as much as we do, we’ll get the sense that we know a lot about them already. And if we’re paying attention, we’ll find that they’re not all that different from our friends back home.
We bring something home: Being exposed to different people and venues affects our own dancing. We’ll feel more in tune with ourselves physically, and we’ll either feel as though we’ve grown, or will have a better idea of what to improve. And when we return to the milongas in our home cities, whatever good experiences we’ve had will probably rub off on our friends as well.