I was talking to a friend recently - a friend who dances, but not tango. More accurately, I was whinging. I've been sore, tired - not at all happy with my dancing. I keep thinking that I'm so very far from where I'd like to be in my dancing.

He asked a simple question. "Have you been training?"

I replied, "Of course, I practice every day. I have exercises to increase strength in my feet, ankles, and legs ..." etc etc

He asked again, "You're practicing - but are you training? Training like a dancer? Training like you used to?"


Oh, that kind of training. If I'm honest, no. I'm practicing like a hobbyist, and wondering why I'm not making the kind of progress I'd like - the kind of progress I used to make. I used to dance. In those days dancing meant daily drills, stretching, training in the athletic sense of the word. Training with goals in mind.

Without a picture in mind - a specific picture - of what I want to achieve, practicing doesn't have the impact it could have. It doesn't reach that next level. I'm getting stronger, little by little - but it's haphazard. Hit or miss.

Tango isn't a race - and for me (though it is for some) not a sport. But I'm starting to have specific ideas of the way I want to be able to move. There are areas where I'm still quite weak that are impacting my dancing, my ability to perform the steps I'm led. I can make excuses, but in the end, that's all they are.

This is my form of exercise - by the sheer number of hours I put into it. I couldn't take up another sport if I wanted to. So if this is going to be not just my source of renewal, connection, community, but also my source of health, wellbeing, and fitness - I need to treat it as such. Give it the commitment off the dance floor, that I try to give it on the dance floor.

I need to train.


tangocherie said...

Workouts and training are all good.

But just remember that tango is a social dance, not an Olympic sport.

Believe me, the milongueros never went to a gym in their lives!

Listen to the music, feel the music, practice your walk (to the music.)

You'll be fine.

Mari said...

tangocherie - of course you're right lol. (I just tried to imagine one of the milongueros in a gym - definitely gives perspective lol) It's not so much that I am trying to gain a level of physical matery, so much as it is trying to do the things I feel being led to me, and the things I feel in the music. I have a lot of ground to cover in rebuilding muscle (and balance) that was lost to atrophy, especially in my legs - and I forgot that that takes more than what I do in my classes every week. Still, being patient with myself was never easy . . .

happyseaurchin said...

i like when you say
'it's not a race'
be well

tangocherie said...

And tango takes time!
Good luck in your progress.