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The Awesome Power of Being Boring - Part 2

posted Jul 28, 2014, 3:47 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Jul 28, 2014, 5:00 PM ]
Quoted from Martin Luther King 

Having difficulty getting into a practice routine for your tango?  

Here's eight steps  to starting and maintaining a practice habit. They're accompanied by some silly cartoons for a giggle. Such an earnest subject needs a bit of light relief!

But first, please make sure to read The Awesome Power of Being Boring - Part 1;  upon which these strategies are based. It will also explain the ironic title!

1)  Set a specific, achievable goal

Define and visualise yourself dancing the way you would ultimately like to dance. Notice how that looks and feels. 

Focus on the elements involved in that dancing - for example, musicality, repertoire of moves, posture, ornamenting, or some other element that inspires you. Choose one or several that you would like to improve. 

Let's use for example the tango walk...
"I have a beautiful tango walk." 

will not be as effective as, for example...
" I walk with balance and elegance, connected to my partner and the music."


                            Make your goal achievable! 
                     Image: www.weblogcartoons.com

2) Set "micro quotas"

Work out the minimum amounts of work that you are prepared to commit to doing every day to achieve your dancing goal.

When beginning it's best to set extremely low quotas.

For example, replace:
"I will practice the tango walk 30 minutes every day with my partner."  
with...
"I will practice the tango walk with my partner for at least 5 minutes every day."

3) Visualise yourself dancing the way you would like to dance and include the specific practice required.

For example: 

" I will walk with balance and elegance,  connected to my partner and the music -  by practicing the tango walk with my partner for at least 5 minutes every day."

4) Link the desired habit to an already existing habit 

Such habits could include "arriving home", "eating lunch", "before work" and so on.  For example:

"I will walk with balance and elegance,  connected to my partner and the music -  by practicing the tango walk after work with my partner for at least 5 minutes every day."

5) Get rid of obstacles to starting your practice

Identify where exactly "getting started" falls apart for you and create shortcuts so that any disruptions to your routine are lessened. 

Remove disruptions to getting started by using  If - Then statements. 

For example, if you feel too tired to practice...

"If I feel too tired to practice the tango walk with my partner, then I will first listen to some inspirational tango music or watch an inspiration tango video to help motivate me."

...or if your partner is the one who can't get motivated to practice?..

"If my partner is not in the mood to practice , then I will practice solo."

6) When you can't get started - focus on your achievements 

There are likely to be moments when no matter what motivational strategies you use, you just can't get sufficiently inspired to do your practice.

When that happens focus on the total days you’ve done your habit, rather than the fact that you broke the routine. 

7) Reduce variability

  • Aim to do your practice in the same place and time each day. 
  • Make sure your music, practice shoes and whatever other parerphanalia you require are easy to access. 
8) Record and track your progress
  • Write down your goal and micro-quota/s
  • Keep a record of when and how long you practice 

Happy practicing!