I pulled my shoulder last Sunday.
Perhaps ironically, I pulled it while stretching. I stretched a little too far, using my weight to lean into it, and I felt like I suddenly developed a little knot right under my shoulder blade. This knot persists, though I can tell it's improving -- I can now take a full breath without a twinge of pain.
It was that twinge of pain that prompted my post, though. I danced with a friend in my kitchen after pulling it on Sunday; I haven't been out to a milonga. While dancing, I would occasionally have a spike of pain from my shoulder. This created a difficulty: every time my shoulder spiked, I was jerked out of connection, music, and embrace. Indeed, quite literally, my embrace was hurting me. It spurred two thoughts.
First -- as a result, I had to focus extra hard on re-gaining connection after each spike. I wouldn't want to use pain for it, but something similar would make for good practice, I think. Songs that stop and start randomly, having to change partners or directions without warning, etc.
Second -- I think the ability to avoid causing moments like this (in either yourself or your partner) is one important role for focusing on physical technique. Not moments of pain, necessarily, but moments where your body feels awkward for yourself, or unclear for your partner.
I return to dancing tonight, and here's to better connection and re-connection on the dance floor.