Spending time on the dance floor is crucial to improving our tango. But in addition to working on technique and the right mindset, we need to consider the likelihood that getting better at tango will also involve changing aspects of our lifestyle.
For example, making time for tango might require us to shuffle our daily or weekly routines a bit. And when we make the effort, we might be surprised that we do have time for tango after all.
Now let’s go a little deeper. Perhaps we’re having trouble with a particular figure or aspect of technique because of a bad habit taking place off the dance floor. One obvious example of this, which I’ve written about earlier, is tensing our shoulders while dancing. However, relaxing our shoulders only during our tango time won’t solve the issue. We also have to think about relaxing them while driving, working, taking exams, sitting through meetings, when visiting family, etc. If we stop to think about it, how much tension do we hold in our bodies without realizing it? Relaxing more in those other situations can’t be bad for us, right?
If we’re leading, perhaps we have a nasty habit of pulling our partners around. Or if we’re following, maybe we’re anticipating or back-leading too much. Like tension in the shoulders, these controlling tendencies don’t suddenly show up when we dance. Where else in our lives are they having a negative effect?
Dedicating more time to improving tango does not mean we sacrifice everything for the sake of dancing. When we take the initiative to employ positive habit changes on the dance floor, the same effort must extend to other aspects of our lives as well. It’s a pretty major commitment, but you won’t hear anyone complaining about the long term benefits.