The simple act of showing up regularly to dance might not seem all that exciting, but it’s instrumental to becoming good at tango. Here are a few reasons why.
It increases the chances of having that “good dance”
Wayne Gretzky, Mia Hamm, and Pelé are remembered as top goal scorers in their respective sports. But in order to achieve the numbers they got, it means they probably missed more shots than other players, too. We don’t immediately think of that, but it’s worth pondering.
Venturing out to a milonga is not a guarantee that every dance will be good. In fact, some will definitely not be good. But the more we put ourselves out there, the better the odds of us “scoring” that memorable dance or tanda. The most important element is the willingness to try…and to do so again and again.
In the long run, it trumps talent
Not a gifted dancer? Not a natural?
Most of us aren’t. But consistent lessons, practice, and dancing does add up. It’s an uphill climb, and we almost never progress as quickly as we’d like. But every improvement counts, no matter how small. Over time, it definitely pays off.
It greatly reduces the (irrational) fear of dancing in public
Showing up at a milonga is scary the first few times. Although feeling self-conscious is normal, the fear of looking bad hurts our focus and adversely affects our dancing. But repeatedly putting ourselves out there on the dance floor works to cut that anxiety down, and eventually helps us feel more at home while at a milonga. That sense of familiarity tends to stay with us, even when we visit different venues for the first time. When we’re more at ease, we can concentrate on enjoying ourselves. And everyone dances better when they’re having fun.
Like doing a step correctly, being consistent is a habit that needs to be practiced. The idea is simple, not all that exciting, and there’s certainly no magic involved. But for success in tango, it’s the closest thing to a magic bullet that we’re going to find.