Tango is quite a serious dance. It has the potential to be very dramatic and has a lot of firmness in it. It’s one of the only dances I know where everyone I have spoken to responds to my immediate self-confessed beginner status by admitting you never stop learning. It’s a dance that is respected, as much as everyone is on a learning journey, everyone is also keen that you get it right. It seems to be the home of the hard-core dancers, those not messing around with the fun of other styles. It’s intimidating. Or so I thought.
I’ve mentioned before that at the practica in Spondon I’ve had the delight of dancing with a gentleman who was kind enough to ask if I wanted his instruction or just to dance. I’ve only had a handful of tango lessons and hate being wrong so I always look to improve, knowing this patient soul would be at a workshop was the reason I made my way to the lesson last Sunday. A little side note here: be the person that someone else sees as a safety net, the one that doesn’t judge and will help IF you want them to. You’ve no idea that you’re doing heaven’s work but you are.
Back to Sunday. It was packed.
I was well and truly the newbie and acutely aware of just how out of my depth I was. Have you ever been in those situations where you just want to be swallowed up by the ground? That was me on Sunday. Except when the instructor shouted “one lady on” and I started to babble about my novice status, I received the same reply. It’s ok. And it was. Actually it was flipping brilliant.
The teacher had a sequence in mind but didn’t demonstrate it, a little part was added bit by bit and we were regularly asked if we wanted a little bit more to practise it with or add some more on. The teacher then watched and corrected where it was needed. On more than one occasion the teacher gave me a little thumbs up, smile or word of encouragement. Each of my partners were kind enough to give a little word to make me smile and relax into the rules of the dance. My faith in humanity is starting to be restored.
I left on Sunday absolutely elated. I had learned something new, I had applied the moves and successfully executed them with a variety of leads. It’s that feeling of learning and achievement that is addictive for me. I have a lifetime worth of improvement to make on my tango, normally I’d be infuriated by that wanting to be perfect right now, instead I’m excited for the opportunities to get my high. I was wrong and happy to admit it.