Big question, right? I don’t believe some people are creative while others aren’t. Of course just like in everything else some folks are just natural, but creativity is a process that we can all explore. In this path, some of the difficulties that we find are conceptual, some are physical/technical and yet others have to do with the general framework with which we approach what we want to learn. Let’s expand a bit on each of those issues, OK?
The general framework
So, a part of the problem lies in the way we think about and understand tango. We know that in order to dance we don’t need to learn a complete choreography beforehand, right? But still we usually learn and study the dance and its elements with little pieces of choreography that we need to repeat very precisely (the steps or figures). Because this repetition creates “muscle memory” (actually, procedural memory), it turns out that by studying these same actions we end up becoming stagnant and repeating them almost exclusively. In other words, learning steps hinders our creativity because it makes it easy to repeat dance fragments almost automatically.