Partnering and practicing

Naomi Leo at Floreal MilongaOn our days off from Caminito, we get together to practice.

Practicing, calibrating and building a new partnership is always an interesting journey. We have a lot to learn about each other, how we think, how we function, how we view tango, how we dance, how we like to practice, and how we can work together. It requires a lot of patience and listening to each other, while trying to communicate our own views.

There’s a lot of things that need to be discussed. Just as a simple example, if you were going to go out to the milongas together; Do you dance the first tanda and last “Cumparsita” together? Do you keep a certain orchestra tanda to dance only with each other? Are you able to dance freely with everyone else? Etceteras. With some partners, it naturally works out and things go smoothly, perhaps with some other partners, you would need to talk about some of the details in order to prevent misunderstandings or problems.

In general, I really enjoy working with partners. I really appreciate all the partners I’ve danced with so far. Each partner has been very special and I know for a fact that my tango would not be the same without them. Partnering brings up moments of great happiness, fun, a feeling of achievement, actual achievements, and then also moments when you are faced with your own weaknesses or fear. It’s a great way to grow and discover yourself as you discover another person.

Leo and I are gradually growing our understanding about each other and our connection in the dance. During rehearsals, there are definitely moments where we come to disagreements, or frustration builds up when we, or one of us, are trying to explore new things. On top of that, it’s difficult since we have the language barrier, with my feeble Spanish. Challenging moments are normal, especially if we are dancing with each other every single day. It comes down to whether, we can keep respect for each other, persevere in these moments, and learn to grow together as a couple. It’s not easy. Our journey has only just begun. Thankfully, I feel like we both share similar views in tango, come from different experiences but have a lot to offer each other. I am very excited to see how we build this partnership together. Hopefully for a successful strong tango partnership to come!

I am writing this as I am waiting for Leo to arrive to the apartment so we can rehearse today. We are performing this Sunday at the Chinese New Year’s festival in “Barrio Chino” here. It will be us, Delia and her partner, and one more couple dancing to live music. Fun, fun…! I am so thankful for all these great opportunities…


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