Two women who say it better than I can . . .
An excerpt from Ms Hedgehog's post on Technique:
"To feel somebody's heart through a good suit jacket, you have to zone in and he has to be in the right place as well. And even then, it only means anything if other things are right. It's awesome. I feel like I shouldn't talk about it. But the better I dance, the more those moments happen and the more awesome they are. It's that simple."
Read more of this great post here: http://mshedgehog.blogspot.com/2011/07/technique.html
And from Terpsichoral Tango, who also shares some great ideas for solo practice, makes this point particularly well:
"Of course, solo practice is not a substitute for practising with a partner or for social dancing in a milonga setting. When I am actually dancing, I want to be able to focus on quite different things - in particular, the interpretation of the music, the connection with my partner and the embrace - and not have to worry about technicalities such as my posture or whether my weight change is soft or clunky and elephantine. Like a pianist playing endless scales, I concentrate now on the boring, repetitive and purely technical challenges in order to free myself up to think about more artistic elements of the dance later."
The rest of her excellent post can be found here: http://tangoaddiction.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/solo/