Enjoyment, addiction and dim memories of a time Before Tango

ocho cortado.jpg

I realised something after yesterday’s class, in which I wasn’t on great form despite my hopes that I’d really be able to work on my technique with a familiar figure.

I wasn’t stressed about it, but that’s not new: I’ve long accepted that the random ups and downs are just part of the deal. The realisation was that, actually, I still enjoyed it …

I don’t have to be on my best form to enjoy tango. Sure, I’d far rather be, and it is a bit frustrating when it’s all a bit meh for no discernible reason. But given the choice between no tango and meh tango, the meh tango still wins.

And that’s really not my normal attitude! With most things, I’m of the view that I want to do it properly or not at all. But it appears the tango addiction overrides my perfectionism.

It’s incurable, isn’t it?

Improver’s class

Tonight it was the improver class then milonga. I’d practiced my ocho cortados before work, with mop handle as my follower. I’d felt like I was in better shape; my follower expressed no opinion.

Hamdi and Amy are away for a couple of weeks, so Federico and Julia were standing in, which meant we did exactly the same material as yesterday. There are pros and cons to repetition versus variation, and this time I welcomed the consistency.

Happily, things were working better today. As ever, I need to increase my dissociation, but it was working with all my followers, and feeling good too.


I danced three tandas in the milonga. The version of the ocho cortado we’d been doing in the class was a shorter and snappier one than I’d been doing before, and was able to mix and match the two.

As I identified yesterday, my giros definitely need work! I’m making arrangements for a private lesson focused on this.

All three tandas were with followers I like and have danced with a number of times, so I felt comfortable mixing practicing what we’d been learning with relaxed and fun dancing. I’m also continuing to experiment with improvised pivots, which mostly worked well and we laughed about the ones that didn’t. (M also laughed at my attempted planeo, when I completely forgot the entry – naturally remembering it the moment we started to walk off the dance floor.)

For some reason tonight, the floorcraft seemed quite poor, with some couples moving between lanes and one couple doing an overtake into a non-existent gap just for a bit of added entertainment. But I was able to avoid collisions while continuing to dance even if a couple of rather rapid changes of direction were needed, which felt like a win.

I also spent more time than usual chatting. I think earlier on I’d felt like I should be squeezing in as many tandas as possible given how much I look forward to it. But as I also enjoy socialising, I’m now starting to view the milonga as more of a mixed occasion: some dance, some chat, some watching other dancers for inspiration.

As for the tango addiction, I’ve got a busy weekend lined-up: the monthly Tango Space workshop on Saturday, followed by the Covent Garden milonga, then the outdoor milonga at Spitalfields on Sunday, with tango friends coming back for drinks and pizza afterwards. I’m beginning to wonder what I ever did with my time Before Tango …

Image: Shutterstock


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