Today I had the tango lesson to beat all tango lessons. First we went over giros (now -pshaw!- relatively easy) and the cross (harder, but also more subtle, and thus deservedly harder). Then, in a didactic frenzy, we went on to ochos cortados, sanguchitos (I love this move because the follower basically does nothing, then gets to look fancy at the end), volcados (which I couldn't do, in the end, but came pretty close to), and briefly ganchos (which I declined to do after the first time on the grounds that I wasn't advanced enough. Looking back, I should have done them instead of the volcados). The VTTT said, "You've just done about six months in an hour."
Fortunately, there is a an open practice session tonight, so I can go along and practice all these moves. In fact, the VTTT may be there.
During this lessonvaganza I noticed something about myself with reference to tango that I've noticed before: I am incredibly biddable. If you show me a step (if you are in the position of
teacher, or if you are someone who seems to me to know what he's doing), I'll do it. I mean, I will attempt to perform it, without questioning your directions and as faithfully as possibly. I do wonder if this has something to do with ballet -- all those years of teachers saying, "Adjust the shoulder"; "Hand further forward"; "So, it's tendu croisé devant, rond de jambe, temps lié derriere, close, repeat effacé. Here we go," has made me simply respond without thinking to dance directions: the teacher gives you the steps, and you perform them. But today I also wondered if it's tied to all my academic training. In academia you learn to do a lot of stuff automatically, to save time: you learn the layout of a library quickly, for example, so you can find your books; you learn how to hand in grades at the end of term; you learn how to teach people things. And it's to your advantage to learn these things swiftly, as they save you a bunch of niggling time in the long run, and even in the short run. It's also to your advantage to make them automatic as quickly as possible, because it means you can devote your time and attention to the big and fun stuff.
I suspect I'm a relatively quick tango study (not that quick: it takes three tries, just as it does in ballet) because I'm used to disgorging demonstrated steps on demand, but I suspect I get used to most steps quickly because I'm now in the habit of automaticizing things.
Wow, apparently my whole professional and terpsichorean life has been leading me to becoming Tanguera Extraordinaria. My parents would be so pleased! Now all I need is a rose to put between my teeth. Oh, yeah, and to work on my balance, and my placement, and my posture, and my willingness not to anticipate. So just a few things, really.