Tango Tia: I have trouble connecting with most men in my classes so I found someone who will take lessons with me. We signed up for a series and at the first session the teacher said he would have us change partners so we could learn faster. The result was the same as usual and it made me realize that I don’t want to learn faster. I want to learn better. I’m not interested in trying to follow leaders who are not comfortable to dance with. Is it possible to get around this? I Don’t Want to Rotate
Dear Don’t Want to Rotate: Perhaps. Although if everyone objected to changing partners, it would take much longer to learn tango than it already does and we would develop even more bad habits. Nevertheless, I understand your dilemma: followers need to be able connect in order to be comfortable, and we need to be comfortable in order to follow well. It’s a cycle. In addition, we have to adjust to each leader’s embrace and (Men, are you still reading?) some are just not that comfortable. Fortunately, your connection skills and those of your classmates, will improve, and by the time you sign up for your next class, you should feel better about rotating. Dancing with numerous partners at practicas and milongas will help you discover leaders you connect well with. Here’s the “perhaps:” If you ask, and the teacher agrees, to allow you to stay with your partner, he should offer the same option to everyone in the class. By the third week or so, most students, probably, including yourself, will be willing, maybe even eager, to change partners.