Don´t fall into the figure trap

No photos in this post. I didn´t want to expose anybody. (Un)fortunately I don´t have photos of myself when I started dancing Tango:-)

Often when I watch dancers at a milonga I notice many of them working wildly on the dance floor, performing more or less skillfully all kinds of figures, they obviously have learned in some course or workshop.
What hits me most is the big majority of those dancers doesn´t seem to enjoy their dance. Instead they seem to be under high pressure to do the steps right and to do many different sequences of steps.
Indeed many dancers seem to be fairly unhappy while working hard on the dance floor.
Men with heads beetween their shoulders, grinding their teeth looking down to earth like slaves pushing a heavy weight…

Wow! looks like real fun.

It´s not that I object to figures totally. Some can be fun and some can help you to check whether your posture and your contact with your partner are right.
Yet in Argentine Tango it is not important to dance figures. And on the crowded floor you cannot do prefabricated figures anyway. Not without disturbing the other couples.
So don´t fall into the figure trap.
Relax instead. Keep your posture. Raise your head. Listen to the music. Feel your dance partner. Be aware of the other couples on the dance floor.
And keep your dance simple.
You are not obliged to perform all the figures you have learned somewhere.
No guards with whips controlling you.
Slow down.
Listen to the music again.
Once in a while, when you and your partner feel comfortable try out some of the new things you have learned.
If it works, fine. If not, don´t force it. There will be another opportunity.
Relax.
Don´t toil and suffer!
Dance!

About Wolfgang Sandt

Mostly nice, patient, humorous, ecoconscious, good tango dancer and tango teacher
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