I finally worked up the nerve to record my dancing. My most frequent vals partner and I decided it was time to see how we were doing. If you haven't done this, I do highly recommend it. But be prepared for a certain amount of cringing and wincing. As I watched the recording, this is roughly what was going through my mind:
"omg I didn't collect my ankles.
geez, I'm still not collecting . . .
my ochos are crap . . .
I need to pull in my tummy ...
my toes aren't turned out, I look pigeon-toed!...
I nearly watched the last half of the video through my fingers.
And then I relaxed. Took a deep breath.
I looked for the things I was doing right.
I've stopped hesitating before walking forward and outside of my partner.
I'm not shifting weight without my partner, anymore - or occasionally sharing weight on both feet.
Little things, but I am making progress.
The best part though, was watching my partner. I never get to see what he's doing when we dance. I can sort of imagine how he looks when he leads what he does - and of course I can watch him dance with other followers and get an idea of his dance from that too. But actually putting together what I feel being led with how it actually looks when it all comes together, that's really something.
Since I don't have permission from my tango partner to share the video, I won't be posting it anywhere. But I'm fairly confident there will be more. In the mean time, I'll be working on my ochos in my kitchen.