After last week's performance at Norse Hall, many people complimented me on the level of playfulness that Jose Garofalo and I had allowed into our dancing. One person told me, "I can tell it's improvisation because it was so playful!" and the next said, "I can't believe that was completely improvised: it was so playful!" "You looked like you were having fun!" said another, who then said they didn't expect that in tango :-)
Obviously, there are different opinions about what MAKES something playful, but why do we think that Argentine Tango cannot be playful? For me, discovering that I can play in tango saved me from quitting! I would go dancing and complain afterwards to my (non-dancing) boyfriend that I hadn't had any good dances. I realized that I never enjoyed going out dancing anymore, and seriously thought about quitting tango.
But I love tango: what could I do to make it enjoyable again? I started only dancing with people who I thought had nice energy, no matter how beginner. With someone nice, you have a good feeling afterwards that you can carry with you. I then discovered that, if I wasn't just trying to dance with the "best" dancers, I had a lot more fun. I also started messing around and not worrying about mistakes. Sometimes, when I really don't follow, I say, "I made that up!" because dancers usually apologize to me for my own mistake :-)
So, get out there and dance! Here is a second video that is not yet on public on YouTube, so this is the only way to get to it!