Test your progress– Define your next step– Take action!

Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you tried you weren’t making any progress?
That despite the classes, the practicas and the milongas you have hit a plateau and you are not really sure how to get out of it?

You are not alone!
We all go through these phrases. It doesn’t have to do with your talent or dedication– both of which will be challenged during this plateau period– but more with progress itself.
What is progress?
If we do a basic/ quick google search we will find this:

“a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage”
Biology: increasing differentiation and perfection in the course of ontogeny or phylogeny.
forward or onward movement
to grow or develop, as in complexity, scope, or severity; advance
by: Dictionary

What do you notice?

This is what I notice…
Progress doesn’t necessarily mean that we will be getting better CONTINUOUSLY.

You might be moving forward or toward your goal. You might be changing. Or you might be actually reaching a higher level.

So progress is a whole process of continuous change towards our goal, and not necessarily getting better
With this in mind the first thing you need to do is ask yourselves:

Have I spotted any changes in my dancing/ practice/ milongas/ Tango/ body?

Do NOT limit yourself to positive change. Try to find what is and/ or feels different. Positive, negative, neutral, anything at all.

For example:
I have noticed that I am not as confident with my embellishments as I was in the past. I am dong less of them and I put too much effort into them, they are too much work for me now on the dancefloor.
Maybe I was doing too many of them in the past. Or I am now focusing on other parts of my dance. Maybe the way I choose to express myself is different now than before.

This is really not positive or negative, this is probably neutral, but it is still progress. It is a differentiation that might lead to perfection if I work on my embellishments and my confidence in a healthy, open- minded way.

Now it is your turn
What changes have you noticed in yourselves regarding Tango?
Leave me a comment below or send an email!
How can we test our progress and plan the path to reach our goals
Are you thinking…
I have experienced no progress and/ or change. This is BS! I am still dancing with the same people, in the same places, doing the same moves!“..?

If this is YOU. You should be glad this article is not over yet! haha

So, though we are used to thinking progress as a straight line, try to replace that image with the one of a spiral

Photo credit: Foter.com / CC0

As you are working your way up to your ultimate goal, you get passed different high points.
You reach a high point, then you start your trip up a steep hill again, until you reach a new high, and so on so forth.
This trip can be very long for some, almost lifetime long– for professional dancers for example– or shorter. But no matter the length it is always a spiral, never a straight line.

So if you are the desperate person, mumbling the quote above, you are probably just starting that uphill trip again and you have to work harder or in a different way to reach a new high.

This is a quick way to find out what you need to change NOW and in which way.

It is called the “Hotshot Rule”.
It wasn’t invented by me but from Kat Cole when she was president of Cinnabon.
This is what she did:
She would spend sometime to think about the state and goals of the company and then she would ask herself:
Let’s say a hotshot takes over my job today. What two or three things would the hotshot look at and say, ‘That’s unacceptable’?
(Find the full article here: Kat Cole’s Hotshot Rule)

So back to you and Tango
Take some time to think of where you are, what your teachers or partners have been advising you on. What are your goals and aspirations?
Then ask yourselves: If a Tango hotshot, took my spot tomorrow what are the two/ three things he/she would face and say: That’s unacceptable?
My personal example
Ok guys, here it goes…Confessions of a Tangoholic…!
My list of  three unacceptable things in my present Tango life

Treatment for my shoulder, that has been bugging me for a year now, maybe longer. No I haven’t been to the doctor. Yes it giving me great trouble.
So this is now number 1 on my unacceptable list. Especially because my income depends on the well- being of my body.
Go out more often. I used to be able to go to milongas twice a week. I haven’t been out though for some time now. For different reasons some valid and some not.
So a Tango hotshot would say this is unacceptable.
Change my practice routine. I have been practicing on similar things 2hours a day, 5 days a week, for a year almost. There has been significant change BUT it is time for a new challenge.

What does your list look like? Leave me a comment below.
Bottom Line…
With the hotshot rule, you can find the two/ three most important things, you have been ignoring for whatever reason, and this in itself will reveal to you what you need to do next.
Maybe you haven’t taken a class for a long time. Or you have been meaning to plan a private class for sometime now but hadn’t gotten around to it.
Maybe you are not going out enough or maybe you subscribe to bautanz, got the practice guide but haven’t gotten past the first page yet…haha

Try not to get too comfortable. Look for the challenge. Test your progress and this will help you define the next step you need to take!

-Chrisa
P.S: The greatest thing about the article on the Hotshot Rule is that you can use it in different parts of your life. Business, Tango, relationships, anything really. But you need to be honest and you know see it more like a game than a test…
Enjoy!

Photo Credit: foter.com

Story posted by: Chrisa Assis

About the author: Dance Teacher, Professional Dancer, Writer from Toronto

Published: 15 Feb 2017 @ 20:38

Last modified: 25 Mar 2019 @ 11:05

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