Argentine tango is all about enjoying life, being social and above all, having fun. With such a free-flowing, vibrant dance, mistakes and missteps are inevitable but letting go is not only the way to get the most out of tango, it’s also a vital part of the learning process.
As the article from Cheryl Burke (of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars) entitled: “Dance Parties Are For Fun, Lessons Are For New Steps” shows, there’s a time for correction and there’s a time for completely letting go.
Being unafraid to make mistakes and just carry on with the dance can be an excellent way to learn but equally importantly it’s key to having fun as well. It is for this reason that it’s so important to dance socially as well as in tango classes which are designed to teach new steps and help you brush up on the basics. Dance (social) parties provide the ideal environment to simply have fun with tango and dance without stopping to correct mistakes or introduce anything too new or complex. This kind of dancing helps you unconsciously refine the basics while you concentrate on just enjoying the uniquely social side of Argentine tango.
Friendship and sociability are core elements of understanding tango, making dance parties a less formal but no less important part of unlocking its secrets. While private tango lessons are often the best environment for getting down complex steps or refining a certain technique, dance parties give you the perfect outlet to work on the other side of tango: making friends and having fun!
As Cheryl Burke says: “In attempting to be helpful, sometimes dancers correct their partners or show them new moves during parties. They may feel this is beneficial, but it can also make the evening less pleasant. Accepting instructions for new footwork or relying on corrections by fellow dancers at a dance can be risky. Please remember: Parties are for fun, not instruction.” Best to leave these moments for the class!