Some days are good, and some moments are a struggle. Our tango is progressing, but like the minute hand moving on a clock, the improvement isn’t immediately noticeable. We don’t realize how much we’ve improved until someone points it out, or until we’ve been struggling for long time. While we’re striving towards those moments of dancing bliss, it’s easy to overlook signs that we are indeed getting better.
Here are 5 to look out for, which might help cut down on the frustration:
WE DON’T DANCE AS “HARD”
When we started tango, we powered through every step with maximum effort. In the process of enjoying ourselves, we’d also feel exhausted after each lesson or tanda.
But after gaining more experience, the power level becomes more measured. We don’t dance harder, but better. We should take notice when we’re more thoughtful and strategic about our steps. It’s a good sign when we’re more judicious with the amount of energy expended for each step, instead of unleashing high intensity power into every single movement.
It’s a good sign when we have an increased sense of body-awareness. This, too, isn’t something to stuff in the back of our minds when we start feeling it.
Specifically, look out for an increased awareness of muscle movements in our core and legs. In an effort to improve our leading/following connection, we may find ourselves flexing and working muscles that we didn’t otherwise use prior to starting tango. If we feel this happening, we’re on the right track.
Things that our instructors told us months, or maybe even years ago, suddenly make more sense. Even though we understood what we were told back then, the knowledge strangely feels brand new. The concepts we grasped conceptually has finally made its way into our bodies.
THE DANCE SLOWS DOWN
Before, everything seemed to happen so fast! Whether we were leading or following, it felt like we were barely keeping up. The music was a blur, too.
But one day, we notice we have an easier time processing everything that’s going on. We’re able to tune out the distractions around us, and we actually start enjoying the music. We’re putting more thought into our steps, and we’re breathing more instead of holding our breath.
WE WORRY MORE “CONSTRUCTIVELY”
We were once preoccupied with just making it through the tanda. But as we get better, our evolving worries can be signs of positive change. Whereas before, we might have been afraid of looking as clumsy as we felt. But now, we’re concerned about specific aspects of our form. We must logically conclude that, in order to get to a level where we’re worried about nuances instead of something general, we had to be on the road to improvement all along.