Do you have favorite local dancers you love to watch? Not the Tango Gods, just a friend or acquaintance you enjoy seeing on the dance floor.
I have these favorites, and sometimes they can be distracting! Just the other night I was on the floor having fun with a leader I like, but glancing at another couple I just wanted to sit down and watch them. I allowed myself a few seconds of distraction: They had a very, very open “V” embrace, without holding hands on the open side. I think he had his left hand behind his back, casually. They looked so relaxed and were playing around with something, I don’t remember what. What caught my eye was how much fun they seemed to be having, how they were so absorbed in their dance.
I love catching these moments. When I am sitting down, I often keep an eye out for certain people. I tend to enjoy watching couples dance – they usually have a great energy, and if they practice together they can look incredible on the dance floor. But they don’t have to be a couple off the floor, as some people just click when they dance together. Whether it’s an elegant, romantic tango, a quick and exciting milonga, a playful alternative … some people are just fun to watch.
Which reminds me, I’m not sure I really enjoy being watched. On some level it is flattering, but I recently noticed that if I see someone watching me I tend to switch in “performance” mode. I get a somewhat external focus, rather than focusing on me and my partner and the music. I do notice all of those things, but suddenly I am not dancing just for us in that moment – I start dancing for everyone who might be watching. It is especially ramped up when the people watching are visitors (and followers!). I may be shy, but I know that at some level I’m a performer and will cater to my audience … and when it comes to tango, I’d rather keep it social and not be aware of an audience at all!