Just to follow up to my last post, I wanted to share this great practica experience I had.
I walked into the practica with a particular leader in mind. We dance a lot, and we practice a good amount together, but feedback tends to be about new things we try rather than making everything we already do feel better. I was dying to get feedback from him on some particulars about my dancing, like how my embrace feels, how my walk feels lately, etc. As I opened my mouth to demand feedback on these things (“demand” – i.e. request in a jokingly demanding manner), he beat me to the punch. He informed me that he would be picking apart my technique (with a smile).
I have a problem with my technique that has plagued me from my childhood. It has followed me through numerous dance genres. I am well aware of its effect on my dancing, and I am constantly working on fixing it. The problem is that until it is fixed, it takes real focus for me to make the necessary adjustments. Other bits of technique come naturally to me, but this one has been a problem forever. It is getting fixed in my muscle memory in other dances, little by little, but it is still a big problem for tango. But I can’t think of any solution except to keep it in my awareness as much as possible, and practice practice practice until it is fixed. I think this is true of any correction to one’s technique.
But the great thing about this practica was the way that the feedback was given. The leader pointed out what he felt that was off, and he suggested several things that he guessed could be contributing to the feeling. I selected this one issue that I know I have, consciously corrected it, and voila! My leader said that the problem was solved. (For the moment, anyway – I know I’ll have to keep at it to truly fix it.) It was a great example of constructive problem-solving. Of course, it helped that I had a good idea of what was causing the problem!