Just breathe.

I consider myself painfully introverted. I have slowly and deliberately built up the skills and some level of comfort to allow me to do my job—lots of phone conversations, schmoozing, networking, etc. But that does not mean that it is easy for me. It takes effort. When I was a child, any moment in the spotlight during school would make me turn bright red and lose my power of speech. And I wouldn’t mind just skipping over the break between songs in a tanda, either, because I feel like I never have anything to say.

So keep that in mind, and then imagine that I was one of four women asked to show off her musical interpretation while walking in front of the rest of the forty-person class.

Right.

Nothing like a public demonstration to remind you why you do this as a social dance, not a performance. (I love performing, when that is my intention. But let me tell you, it was as if I was wearing blinders, or I blacked out, or something. I couldn’t tell you much of anything about what I saw or did during that point of the class.) It did make for some nice jokes, though. Any leaders want to start incorporating a hip swivel into their tango?

Aside from that bit, the class was fantastic. A lot of discussion about the rhythm versus the melody in milongas, and how you can dance to either or both parts. For all that I talk about people having a good sense of rhythm, I truly love to dance to the melody. And in a milonga, being able to play with and between the two is delightful.

Rhythm is good, but phrasing can make or break it. Like breathing. Just breathe. (It can get you through just about anything.)

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