I have not been a good tango-er for the last couple of weeks. I'm not sure why. For a week or so in there I was actually good, but this week and last week have not gone well.
I think in part it has to do with the fact that tango now comes very close to my real life. In the last two weeks there have been two occasions where I've sat around chatting with someone until it was time to leave, gone and changed my clothes, then cycled to the milonga with the same person. Then I've danced very badly. I've often had a similar problem with ballet: if I have to rush out the house to get to class, or if I chat until the moment class starts, I don't have a good class. Dance is, I think, my equivalent to meditation, and if I don't have a little time to get centred and focussed, I can't do it well.
The difficulty being, of course, that one doesn't want to give up the chatting.
Then the other problem, a strange one, is that it's sort of turned into a social club. I am, as you know, weird about dance, and one way in which I'm weird, as you also know, is that when I go to dance I like to dance. My primary focus is on the dancing, and if I'm not dancing I don't really want to be chatting because I'm afraid that said chatting will prevent people from asking me to dance, or that it will destroy my concentration. This is a problem, no doubt about it, not least because it means that every moment that I'm standing around talking I'm actually paying about half my attention to the music and the wish to be dancing, which makes me a less-than-pleasant conversation companion.
Then there is the fact that I just don't get asked to dance that much. O. is a wonderful dancer, so she gets asked all the time. I am not so wonderful, so I don't get asked all the time. But how do I get wonderful if I don't get the practice, and the practice with really good people? I think I feel a certain amount of frustration that I'm sitting around what seems like a good deal to me, and that probably doesn't help when I actually get up to dance.
And finally, I have a lot of stuff going on in my self these days. There's a lot of kerfuffle and organising my return to the States, plus it's that time of year. I don't see how all that could not impact on my dancing.
S.A. said to me tonight about a particular move that I just needed to worry about it less. Last week the VTTT said I shouldn't be so frustrated with myself; I should remember that I'd only been doing it for ten weeks. These are both wise pieces of advice (the first widened to be about the whole tango enterprise, obviously). I've made tango too important in my own mind; I need to make it matter less. If it matters less, it will be less anxiety-provoking and more enjoyable.