Skip to content

May 26, 2009


Making errors

Tango, having its root as a social dance, is not a “hard” science. What I mean is that there is usually more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak. What I have come to realise is that aside from a few “highly recommended” principles that one should observe – regardless of what style you subscribe to – very few things are cast in stone. In fact, many aspects of how to dance are still subject to modifications due to one’s physique (height, width, etc.), personality and perhaps even cultural upbringing.

For the purely technical angle of looking at learning/improving, I believe it is through making errors, or even, from time to time, choosing a path that may ultimately turn out to be sub-optimal, that we really get to appreciate the benefits of the “recommended” way. Implications during practica time? Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but to stare them in the face instead, just so that you can truly appreciate benefits of correct technique, not just because a teacher has said so. In the spirit of exploration and hopefully enjoyment, I believe there will be enlightenment at the end of the road. 😉

Read more from Learning, Musings
  1. Jun 5 2009

    Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for writing.

  2. Henry
    Jun 7 2009


    I’ve subscribed to your blog and just wanted to drop a line and say hi.

    Also, though I don’t agree with your original premise (“tango isn’t a hard science” — sure, but it has a lot of rigorous mathematical and physical elements that can become very quantitative and heady) I do agree with your conclusion. We should feel work hard at practicing during practicas and not worry too much about making errors along the way.

    Cheers, and thanks for writing!

  3. Jun 8 2009

    Hi Henry,

    Thanks for the comment. I am glad that the things I wrote have struck a cord with you, even if we may have differences in opinions.

    Just to clarify, by “hard science” I was not trying to imply that tango was not hard, or that (at least some) the mechanical aspects could not be systematically developed/taught. I was using the word “hard” in the sense of being rigorous.

    By the way, love your initiative with

  4. May 20 2011

    Fell out of bed feeling down. This has birgtheend my day!

Comments are closed.