Since childhood, we’ve been conditioned to categorize ourselves according to some sort of external hierarchy. In high school and college, we’re “upper classmen” vs “under classmen.” In the workplace, we’re categorized by job title, ranked according to seniority, “paygrade,” or some other method.
It’s human nature to categorize most things, and it’s generally useful. And when we join a community of tango dancers of varying abilities, it’s no surprise when we bring this way of thinking onto the dance floor. However, it’s in this environment when our categorization instincts may hurt us.
Although some dancers may be more experienced than we are, let’s not buy into the idea that we are “lesser” dancers aspiring to some day be inducted into some “elite” group. Inviting comparisons between us and others can lead to all kinds of unnecessary drama and fun-spoiling BS.
Our goals to learn and improve – our individual tango stories – should focus more on enjoyment of the journey itself.
Don’t get me wrong. Fitting in and being accepted by experienced tangueros and tangueras whom we admire is a great feeling. But it should be a consequence of us having fun with tango, not the central motivation.