How to rekindle your passion for tango?
It is always interesting to see the enthusiasm when people first start dancing tango. Discovering that secret world for them is something which sparkles great passion for everything connected to the dance.
What they often don’t tell us when we start is that passion will eventually evaporate.
“I don’t know… there is this question in my head, repeating non stop – who are these people, why am I here?”
“Hmm, maybe because you travel to these events and see the same people over and over…” she suggested.
It was the right answer. All of them were exceptional dancers – respectful and dancing with a great passion. How could I not like it? It was because I needed some change.
That year I traveled to more than 15 events in Europe and I met more or less the same people. Of course at every event you visit you meet new people, but you first recognize the faces of those you already know. You also dance first with the ones who are the safe bet. What it does to the dancers is it offers them less variety and it tends to become less of a challenge.
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What can you do when your passion for tango drifts away? How do you rekindle your desire to dance? In this five points I will try to offer you some possible sollutions.
1. Challenge yourself – When you lose interest in tango (or any other activity you might think of) it often means that it is far bellow your skills level. Kid might abandon the toy that is not challenging enough; a painter might leave his painting unfinished pursuing new, more challenging, project. In the same manner tango dancer might feel that what he/she is doing is not challenging enough and lose interest.
The solution is simple: do something that requires from you to be better, something which requires from you to learn some new skills. In any case, be aware that any challenge you can think of is always out of your comfort zone.
What can you do? Take some private classes or visit workshop – learn new steps. If you already have a wide repertoire, I would suggest work on perfecting what you already know – take private classes and ask for help to polish your dancing.
But you can go beyond the movements as well. Think about what effect they have on your partners. Challenge yourself with simple (and not so simple) tasks like “Make this milonga one guy ask me for a second tanda” or “Make my embrace so sweet that she will not brake the embrace after the song finishes”. Those are just some examples to give you ideas… you can do it in your own way.
2. Dance with new partners – Sometimes a way to spark up your tango passion is to just change the partners you dance to. All of us as a dancer are amazed when we discover someone new, someone who is able to transmit new type of energy, someone who can make us feel different than before.
Dancing with new partners can cure this boredom created by meeting the same old types of partners. Even if they are good dancers – human spirit can sometimes enter in state of flatlining just by lack of novelty.
The keyword here is “challenge” again. Sometimes we need new partners because they are able to give us new challenges. In some cases this could be new steps (if you are a lady), in other, new way of receiving our lead (if you are a man)… It can be many things, but what we get from new partners can be drastically different from what we are used to before and that is the sparkle that can light up our passion again.
So, go there travel around: change the partners you dance to in milongas or change the milongas you visit. Or maybe, change the events you travel to… it can get you new experiences and new passion for tango.
3. Visit new events – Many dancers tend to develop habits of visiting the same international tango events over and over. Sometimes it is because those are more convenient for them for some reason: some are closer geographically, others are cheaper etc. Other times people are visiting the same events because their friends choose to and it becomes a kind of tradition to visit every year.
If you are one of those dancers and you feel like your passion for tango is drifting away maybe it’s time to brake the tradition and try something new. Different atmosphere, different mood, different energy – all this can refresh how do you feel about tango.
Not to mention that visiting new events will sometimes require you to learn some new skills and, for sure, meet some new people.
4. Change your values – We often get stuck in our ways of dancing and in what we believe to be beautiful. This not only limits our development as a dancers, it can also damage our long term commitment to tango.
But, there is a simple cure for this: making changes in our mindset, in the ways we see our dance.
Be explorer. Discover how different people think and feel differently about their tango. Talk to them, ask them questions like “Why do you dance? What is your purpose?” or “What do you mean when you say ‘good dancing’?” Think about the answers. How are they different than your approach? Can you accept some of those? Than try them out.
5. If nothing works… – Take a leave. Decide to put your dancing on hold. Stop visiting milongas, practicas or classes for a while. In more extreme case, distance yourself from your tango friends for a while.
If you want this to have biggest effect, I recommend you to stop your tango activities completely. Give yourself permission to visit milonga only after, for example, 2 months.
Our desire to do something grows with waiting. Use that in your advantage.
And, of course, whatever you decide: never forget that tango is just one big party. Partying non stop can sometimes stop being fun. Even when it becomes part of our identity. People change. Take from tango what it can give you and when it stops enriching your life there is nothing wrong in abandoning it.
Tango is patient – you can always get back… and trust me – you will!