In tango, being a beginner is exciting! Everything is new, and the anticipation can be so powerful that we look forward to each class as we would a gift.
And when we gain more experience, we naturally find more challenges to overcome. We’re aware of more technical elements, and we start acquiring more in-depth knowledge. We may love tango just as much as we did in the beginning, but the dance has a tendency to become more serious for us. And then, becoming a good dancer starts taking on greater emotional importance.
This is normal, and the determination to get better is definitely worthy.
But as experienced dancers, it’s easy to become lost in our own seriousness. Mistakes can be blown out of proportion, and a bad tanda can affect us to the point where we go so far as to question our abilities. Our skills may be sharper, and we still love tango…but are we happy? Are we still excited?
Being more “serious” about tango isn’t always the sign of a maturing dancer.
Every advanced workshop or lesson can either be a source of stress, or an opportunity to recapture the same kind of excitement we had when we first laid eyes on a forward ocho.
Learning new and more difficult figures as advanced students shouldn’t be seen only as a challenge to our abilities. They’re not tests to determine whether or not we’re “worthy” of our instructor’s or peers’ approval. The most important test in tango is being able to – or allowing ourselves – to feel that beginner’s excitement. Leaving that pure enthusiasm behind is a big mistake.