At a milonga, it’s understandable that one of our first instincts is to fit in. We want to look and dance like the others around us, to blend in with the atmosphere. Somewhere in the back (or maybe front) of our minds, we’re afraid of drawing negative attention to ourselves. There’s a fear that others might look at us, then silently judge us as “not belonging.” In a previous entry, I mentioned that this is a waste of time and energy because everyone else at the milonga is probably preoccupied with the same irrational idea.
But there’s more. Succumbing to that fear is one of the worst things we can do. Struggling to adopt the look and dancing style of those around us will look awkward, and just create more anxiety.
The best thing to do is to take what we know, whether it’s a lot or a little, and allow our individual personalities to shape the dance. We’re all listening to the same same song, and moving around in the same general space. And even if we’re at different experience levels, we were taught the basics of tango in more or less similar ways.
Paradoxically, in order to “fit in” with tango, it’s best to embrace the freedom to be ourselves.