Getting better at tango technique leads to us developing muscle memory. Not surprisingly, this makes the dance feel more comfortable over time.

But muscle memory is a tricky thing. In tango, we often utilize muscle memory the same way we would when doing everyday tasks such as tying our shoes, putting away the dishes, or locking the front door after leaving home.

In other words, we may associate muscle memory with using less brain power.

But while letting muscle memory do its thing during tango, what happens when we keep our brains active? Do we notice the minute movements in our core and legs through every step? Are we really tuned in to the way our partners are moving? Are we communicating our movements clearly, even when executing a figure we’ve done a thousand times?

Unlike more mundane activities in our daily lives, developing muscle memory in tango invites us to think more, not less.

human brain on a running machine

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