Learning a pattern that incorporates a new step is really useful. But mastering the pattern is only part of it all. Patterns are comfortable, and it’s understandable to want to stick with them. But getting comfortable ultimately hurts our dancing, and prevents growth.
The moment we get comfortable is when we should start asking questions.
Why does the step work the way it does? What exactly are our bodies doing to make the step work? What happens if we change one element or another? What else can we create? Can we combine this step with other figures we know?
Patterns and sequences should be seen as gateways to learning, and guides to understanding the heart of technique. But relying on patterns alone aren’t enough to make us good tango dancers.