09 February 2009

Beginner's anxiety... "People will notice me!"

I went through this several years ago. My friends who are new to tango ask me about this. I hear beginners use it as an excuse all the time.

What am I talking about? Beginners who just sit and not dance. I agree that getting on the dance floor as a beginner is an intimidating experience. However, one needs to dance to get better. This is experience best learned progressively on the milonga floor, and not taking lessons forever.

The most common reason I hear why beginners don't venture forth?

"I'm a beginner... People will notice me!"

I've used it myself when I first started. My reason at the time was that, I did not want to be humiliated and embarrassed when people found out that I could only do walks. My advice is to get over it.

Yes, people will notice you—for the first 10 seconds! You, as a beginner, will become invisible quickly as it will be plainly obvious that you just started. People won't care unless you run into somebody, block traffic, kick or step on someone. So, keep it simple, be humble, and stay in the middle.

People watch good dancers intently. Not beginners.

01 February 2009

Massaging the tango feet

When one dances tango for hours and hours on end, the euphoria of the evening's dance is tempered by the ache of one's feet.

What my therapist advises is to massage your feet. This returns good circulation, soothes aches and pains, and prevents plantar fasciitis.

Tools needed
  1. 2 tennis balls
  2. 2 golf balls

The Ritual
  1. Rest your feet well after dancing
  2. Sit down, and get comfy
  3. Lay your feet over two tennis balls (One under each foot). Put all of your leg's weight on them
  4. In a slow and firm rolling motion, roll them underneath the balls of your feet, underneath your arches, underneath your heels, underneath your toes. Do this for 10 minutes
  5. Shift to the golf balls, repeat # 4
  6. Alternate the tennis balls and golf balls as needed
  7. Rest your feet afterwards
  8. Soak and luxuriate in a warm bath 
  9. Moisturize, exfoliate, and shave (take care of) callouses (as needed)

This can be done after running, a long walk, or any activity that beats up your feet. My long standing therapist (she's a magician) explained the mechanics of the method to me. I got a definitive explanation about stress injuries and relationships of inter-related areas of physical anatomy that I myself don't quite understand in full. But, It works for me.  :-)