An unwelcome hiatus, followed by an unexpected breakthrough

Small spaces

Bad colds suck. First, because you have aches where you used to have energy, and second, because even when you reach the point where you’d like to dance, you don’t want to pass on the misery to anyone else.

All of which explains why I’ve missed two milongas and two group classes. Indeed, it’ll have been a full two weeks between milongas by the time I get to my next one on Tuesday! I have really, really missed dancing …

A friend posted in their Facebook feed a video clip of a milonga they’d attended. It was crowded, and the ronda wasn’t moving. There was a lot of circular dance.

I said to Steph that I still felt I was missing some secret to circular dance. That even with my expanded vocabulary, I’d feel somewhat stuck in that situation. That the dancers all seemed to have all these different things they could do, while I had like three things.

Steph said I needed to not worry about steps, just move my chest. That’s advice I’ve had before, but I didn’t feel like I could just do random stuff with my feet without the risk of tripping over each other. Steph said that as long as the direction was clear, and we were moving in sync, our feet wouldn’t get tangled.

I was sceptical, so we tried it. I was literally not thinking about either steps or figures, just aiming to keep us (a) moving and (b) in the kind of space we’d have in the non-moving ronda I’d seen in the video.

There were two or three times when our feet contacted. Even then, not in a problematic way – no danger of tripping or treading. The rest of the time, it Just Worked.

I was, frankly, astonished. It felt completely effortless because I wasn’t having to make any decisions about what to do.

Of course, Steph is an incredibly experienced follower, and one who thinks of following in terms of ‘this step, this pivot’ rather than trying to recognise figures. Perhaps a less experienced follower would be second-guessing figures and that might create a mess – something I’ll need to discover.

But that was a very promising experiment, especially as I could have done much more than I did in terms of pauses, small rebounds and the like. I’m looking forward to finding out how well it works with different followers.

I’m now back into the tango fray. I have a private with Fede and Julia tomorrow, the unofficial practica on Sunday, trying my first Tango y Nada Mas class on Monday (as recommended by two of my Ms) before I finally get my milonga fix on Tuesday!

Image: Shutterstock

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