An update on "Dancing through the scariest things in tango"
Before you start reading this, commit to reading it to the end. I'm writing the bad news first and the good news at the end. But I'll give a preview to the good news -
Dancing tango is worth every bit of it.
Here's the original list from April 13th, 2009
1. Being the least experienced dancer in class. (I missed the first two classes.)
2. Being the last person picked as a partner (in the same class as above. No one wanted to dance with the absolute beginner.)
3. Being the worst (least experienced) dancer at a milonga. The mix is different at every milonga. Sometimes there are other beginners (from your class for example) and sometimes you're the only beginner there. Very rough but worth going!
4. Being dropped after the 1st song in a tanda because you can't keep up with the leader.
5. Being dropped after the 2nd song in a tanda because you can't keep up with the leader. (Does that mean I'm getting better?)
6. Going to milongas by myself - which is almost every time. It's nerve-racking each time it's a new venue, and then I'm over it.
Since then, I've added these:
7. Being the only tanguera not dancing at the milonga. Three leaders not dancing - and me. That gave me a bit of a complex. My mistake: I left early after that. More people, including leaders I dance with frequently, arrived a few minutes after I left. I have never regretted sticking out to the end, so that's my advice to people now. Hang in there. (Actually, my feet might veto that.)
8. Getting corrected harshly (I thought, anyway) in a workshop in front of the entire class. (See My First Tango Workshop Experience)
9. Watching a video of myself and one of my partners dancing. My partner looked wonderful - meanwhile I was doing everything I was told not to do. (Still, this is one of the very best ways to figure out what's really going on in your dance.)
10. Having a leader correct me on the milonga floor, in front of a table of other dancers, and then count through the steps I was "missing". Twice.
Then there's the only moderately embarrassing stuff - like accidentally kicking my partner (he forgave me), kicking myself (really), tripping over my own feet (at least it was in time to the music), and being suddenly unable to follow the basic box step while demonstrating in front of the class.
So if tango has been so scary, why do it at all? Because:
1.) for every disaster there are half a dozen glorious, "I-can't-believe-I-get-to-do-this-every-week" moments, and,
2.) every time something embarrassing happens - there are at least two dancers who come over and commiserate. Everyone has been through this stuff. So instead of feeling isolated, frequently you find new friends that deepen your appreciation of all the wonderful possibilities in the dance. Sounds "Pollyanna", I know. But there you have it.
It's all worth it.