How competent are you?
We don’t know what we don’t know.
Blissful ignorance. It is unconscious incompetence that allows the first-time follow to perform complex dance maneuvers without awareness of what he/she is doing or why. (see previous blog). He/she just blindly follows her partner and her instincts. Oh, that this could last.
We know what we don’t know.
Enter feelings of depression and despair of ever ‘getting it right. This is the stage of frustration that many of us feel most of the time. Sane people quit.
We know what we know.
And we are damn proud of it! Here we finally gain some hard-earned egotistical satisfaction with our abilities and we take every opportunity to make it obvious. We squeeze in every step we have learned into every dance. In the process any sense of fluidity or connection with our partner is lost in a flourish of technicality. Sad.
We don’t know what we know.
Through practice and repetition that we have internalized our skill and knowing to the extent that it has become second nature. This frees us to focus, not on our technical expertise, but on the experience of the dance. We transcend our ego and merge with our partner into the beauty and intricacies of the co-creative experience. Heavenly bliss.
The question for most dancers is:
When do I get from from the knowing nothing phase to the knowing everything phase?
You don’t. It doesn’t happen. At least not in tango.
No sooner do you learn one thing then you are aware of how little you know about many more things. And even the most basic steps remain unmasterable - like pivoting, or walking.
Allow me to suggest a more supportive question:
How do I nurture an appreciation for and awareness of the magic and mystery throughout my entire dance experience?
Stay with me on this Magical, Mystery Tour.