Tonight was my second Argentine tango lesson. There were very few men in attendance, so everyone got experience both leading and following. I really liked that. Leading and following both have their challenges, and gaining perspective in both sides helps I think.
I received a lot of great feedback tonight. Already I feel like I’ve learned so much. Yet there are so many things to bring together too. One basic I’m working on is coming to collection between steps. Simply, this is when you bring your feet together between steps. When I don’t do this, I find that I end up being off-center, and it throws me and my partner off balance. You may see me walking around awkwardly, practicing.
I’m also working on committing to the embrace, whether close or not. As I mentioned in my last tango post, I’m not really a hugger. My discomfort with hugging/embracing must run deep, because I didn’t even realize I was avoiding the embrace while dancing tonight. But somewhat subtly I was, by keeping my shoulders at an awkward angle to my partner… By doing this I put strain on my lower back, and I don’t fully extend my legs which can trip up my partner.
It’s only my second week, so of course I have things to work on. But I’m also having a great time, and I’m able to take the feedback in stride. I love that I’m learning so much, and that I’m already seeing improvement. The Tampa Tango in the Park group is really supportive and encouraging, so it’s great to learn with them. I love the challenge of learning to dance, and I know some of the things I have to work on will come with time and experience. I’m already looking ahead to when I’ll be brave enough to attend my first milonga, which is a tango social gathering. (It’s also a style of tango music.)
Last week I began learning to walk. This week I began to learn to lead. Both are challenging my comfort zone in a fun way. I’m glad I finally decided to go to that free class.