Find us on Google+ TANGOFIX: 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Learning Involves Change (Don't Settle for Mediocrity)

During the last six months I have been trying out a new way of walking and I have made a few adjustments to my posture, embrace, and body alignment (more estilo salon, less estilo nuevo, less estilo milonguero), when I started this study of tango I was convinced that the "milonguero" style was the only way that I wanted to dance, later I found freedom of expression and more chance for creativity in the "nuevo" style. I still have those tools in my toy box and will (and do) take them out if the mood strikes me. This is nothing new, I've changed these things constantly over the past seven years all in the name of educating my self and building depth into my Tango, and I've watched as people who were far more experienced than I was have stagnated in their dance to the point where it seems to me that they have not improved at all (these were people I once held in high regard as excellent dancers). I've also witnessed people who started about the same time as I did stop progressing when they settled for one thing or another. How boring it must be to not grow over that many years!

It's impossible to learn anything new if you have already decided that what you are doing is the best, and/or only way. (I've heard it said that you can't add water to a glass that is already full, I like to think of it as getting a bigger bucket to hold several glasses of water). I also feel that adding something new allows a person to focus on the new things and allow the things you have learned in the past to happen automatically without thinking about them. Nature rewards adaptation.

The results of these adjustments are beginning to become second nature and have drastically improved how grounded I feel to myself and the women I dance with often, as well as an improvement in the clarity of my lead to my followers. I also feel that this new style has allowed for more possibility of musical expression for the follower (less about my Tango and more about our Tango). The new style does require the follower to use proper technique (no lazy following) and therefore makes leading easier after the technique becomes second nature to the leader.

One thing that I have noticed over the past maybe three years is that I have not hit any plateaus, just a slow but steady improvement...Where's the Like Button!