When I need to know about a basic performance for a figure one of the places I look is the Diegos and Anas playlist for Argentine tango. I thought that it maybe could be helpful for you too! This is for sacada my favorite figure this summer!
In the old days the dance styles evolved in the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires & Co. The main feature keeping the group together was the geographical aspect; the people, dancers near you will develope the same way of dancing. People met weekly and watched how the skilled peers were dancing, get inspired and let their own dance change to that direction In the worldwide barrio the teachers have become the central feature for a community. The peers in the community around a teacher will travel to the workshops, watch the videos and communicate in the net with others and develop their movements in that teachers style. I suppose a person belongs to different barrios. What are your local barrios and the characteristics there? Are you a member of a worldwide barrio, following a teacher and a style?
Today we are living in the expert world so we don't believe on our own ability to see, understand and apply our own ideas on our dance. We want quite exact guidance from a teacher and we want to get forward at racer speed. This gives us a very strong from outside to inside learning and we create a more homogeneous pista, less variation on a figure. In the old world the dancers were watching the skilled local dancers and then tried to do something similar. The learning was from outside to inside but I think that the results were more or less individual. There are also stories how a dancer wanted to go around and found a way to do so. All the results were different creating a jungle of movements and an utterly diversified pista.The learning was from inside to outside. To learn from youtube is a kind of modern variation of this old type of learning!
I think one of the biggest differences between the dancers of earlier days and the ones today is the place, where people primarily focus the dance. The old milongueros told that they looked at the shoulders, the upper part of the body to find the DANCE. Today the the attention is mainly focused on feet. This phenomenon you can easily discover on youtube! If the person behind the camera cannot get the whole image in same window they will move downward and show you the feet. The same on workshops where people will eagerly learn the consecutive steps and only after that pay attention to the movement of torso. I think this shift of primary focus has an impact on our dance and dance experience!
After all these years of dancing 4-5 nights per week or whole weekends with short moments of sleep I do not go out anymore. Or more correct I go out but the process to get out is a risky one with many moments for failure. I do not have any desire to dance, I have no cravings today. This means that I must do the preparations more carefully today. I need to have all the clothing ironed and ready that afternoon. The food needs to be planned and ready to cook after I have taken the shower. In that order! If the meal comes first there is enough time to get relaxed and I will stay at home on the sofa! It has happened. If my friends are traveling I will stay at home - the promise to them is motivating. I am thinking of this quite a lot. Earlier the clothing was not a problem. I ate what I found and had time to. There was always people to dance with if my favorites were on vacation. I walked to the bus stop at an hour of my usual bedtime - not a slightest problem! I am happy to say that WHEN I get to the milonga the dancing can be as joyful happening as ever! Greatful for that!