While at a milonga, it’s not unusual for such a thought to enter our heads. And it’s okay to care a little bit about what our dance partners think of us.
But validation-seeking can easily get blown out of proportion. And when it does, we become obsessed with the irrational fear that we’re about to be judged harshly. Or, we feel as though we need to prove ourselves or else nobody will like us.
Either way, it messes up our concentration, and puts us at risk for doing the very things that might make those irrational fears come true. That excessive inward focus, the need for validation, is poison for our dancing.
It’s a waste of time to try influencing the way our peers perceive us. Ultimately, we don’t control whether or not a particular person will enjoy dancing with us.
Instead of focusing excessively on ourselves, which is a causal factor for many tango problems, let’s try focusing outwards instead. Trying to make the dance comfortable for our partners is a good place to start.
When we – as leaders and followers – approach tango from a place of mutual giving, we start to counteract the poisonous effects of needing validation.
Our partner’s opinion of us will still largely be out of our control. But at the same time, we’re free from the anxiety of being controlled by that uncertainty.
Here’s a previous blog post on validation