I haven't posted here in a while, but I had a thought tonight that I thought I would share. Since we started Tango a few months ago, we haven't had a lot of money for lessons, but I've been very fortunate in that I'm able to learn a lot from my partners on the floor. I think it's a bit harder for leaders to learn this way, and of course there are some things you just have to get from lessons, but it occurred to me tonight that I learn something different from everyone I dance with.
I won't mention names, because I don't want to embarass anyone, but here are some examples. One guy teaches me to not anticipate, because he's very inventive and is always throwing curveballs at me (in a good way!). One guy loves to play with the music in new ways, which teaches me to listen to the music as well as my partner and have a little fun. Another moves back and forth between open and close embrace, so I need to be balanced and make sure I'm on my own feet. Another does a lot of moves, so I learn them. Others just make me feel beatiful and free because they lead so well and get me out of my head so I just enjoy. Or they compliment me, which just makes me feel good. :)
No matter who you dance with, be they a beginner or a seasoned and accomplished veteran, there's something you can learn from the experience. Test the theory--next time you go dancing, try to figure out what you're taking away from each partner.