Tango Crossroads

Tango Crossroads

I seem to have hit a crossroads in tango that I didn’t expect. I’ve always been a relatively confident dancer and, for the most part, have had lots of good feedback. I love tango, learn quickly and enjoy all styles. Onlookers say I have a good style and dance nicely. So why am I suddenly so unsure of myself? Admittedly, there are some non-tango issues that are causing me to be distracted and not altogether happy with myself. Still, I feel there’s something else that’s purely to do with tango. I have a niggling feeling that I’ve reached a point where I’m starting to define my tango identity. Does that make sense? Does that go with just ‘being’ when I dance? Am I supposed to be able to follow anyone and everyone? Am I supposed to want to? Since my last milonga, where I was told by two different partners that I wasn’t following properly, I seem to have lost my tango nerve and haven’t ventured out to dance for over a week. I’ve missed out on so much. I thought I was stronger than that and had more belief in myself. I so want to get out and dance, but I keep talking myself out of it. Talking to more experienced dancers and to teachers, they all tell me they’ve been and still go through phases, where they doubt their own abilities and feel uncomfortable with their cross, their ochos or whatever. One told me they’d gone for months without dancing and that it’s ok to feel like this. I’ll have been dancing tango for two years soon and have done workshops and classes with different teachers to get different insights and learn different styles – some more intensively than others. Was that too much? Has it confused my tango brain? I certainly didn’t expect to feel this inadequate at this stage. I thought I’d be relatively skilled, confident and sought-after on the dance floor, yet I’m acting like more of a beginner than I did 18 months ago. I hope it passes.

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2 Comments on “Tango Crossroads”

  1. jantango Says:

    It sounds as though you are completely identified with the voice in your head telling you that you aren’t good enough, etc. It’s the egoic mind. Once you are aware of the voice, you will realize that you are not the one who is doing the thinking. If you can become aware, the noise will lessen. You are close because you wrote about “my tango brain.” It will transform your dancing.


  2. Thanks for your comment, Jan. I’m going to get out and dance this evening at an informal practica. No teacher, just a group of dancers of different levels who share the passion for tango and the desire to improve, enjoy and help one another to do so. No pressure to perform, look good or dance with people you don’t want to dance with. I’m told I have a way of explaining and showing things that people readily understand. Perhaps I should start explaining things that way to myself. It’s time to kick the egoic mind into touch and let my tango brain take charge!


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