10 TANGO THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND


1.) do not push, do not pull, do not poke, do not prod, do not compress the embrace at all (in any, way, shape or form), do not hang on each other! allow for unrestricted motion!

2.) do not talk during the song, dance with each other, sing to each other if you can, but cut the chatter. If you are talking, you are not dancing!

3.) leaders: do not blame the follower, for anything.  you are responsible for her. man up!  you asked for the dance, its your responsibility to dance her to the best of her ability, not to your ability.  make her feel like a million bucks, and she’ll tell her friends!  I got news for you, in case you were unclear on this point…WOMEN TALK…A LOT!  they know who’s good, who’s bad, who to avoid like the plague, and who they want to dance with regularly.  so if you make her feel like a million + then you’re doing pretty good!  Oh and while we’re on the subject, NO TEACHING HER HOW TO DANCE ON A SOCIAL DANCE FLOOR!  That is sooooo wrong. If you asked for the dance, there is NO reason in the world why you should be teaching her anything, no exceptions!  Dance with her, do not teach!  You are not a teacher!  You are a social dancer.  Dance, do not talk or instruct.  Got it ?

4.) followers: think of your arms as ‘wings’, you want to keep your wings UP at all times, without tension or force in any way, shape, or form!  this means that using your arms to compress or to hang on him, as well as allowing your torso to ‘collapse’ into and on top of your lead is just NOT an option.  Your arms are the first place where this ‘collapse’ will occur.  So one way to avoid that ‘collapse’ is to think of your arms as though they were wings, and in order to keep flying you want to extend your wings around your lead, capturing as much air as possible, and you want your wings UP not down!

5.) leaders: a vice grip around your follower, or the ‘joystick’ left arm , or my personal favorite: „python eating its last meal“ is not what she wants to feel. If only men had any idea of what they feel like when they lead, how rough and abrupt they can be, simply because of their vocabulary choices, the tango world would be an even much better place!

6.) followers: BEFORE you put your shoes on: WATCH THE FLOOR!  why ?  What you’re looking for is a series of leaders you’d LIKE to dance with ahead of time.  My father always used to say, „If you’re going somewhere, go with a plan!  Don’t just show up and expect the universe to magically serve you!“.  Same thing is true in tango! And this is how you get there, by starting with a list of guys you’d like to dance with.  Not that you’ll get the dances you want but at least have a plan in mind!  You dig ?  Side note: things to look for ?  If the follower is smiling, looks effortless in her leads embrace, has free range of motion, and at the same time isn’t being jerked around…then these are tell tale signs you want to dance with that lead.  See point 8 for more on this.

7.) leaders: remember -> dancing is a lot like driving, when driving you get traffic tickets for speeding, passing in a no passing zone ?  get enough tickets, and your insurance company makes it prohibitively expensive for you to continue to drive if you keep getting tickets.  unfortunately there is no such thing as the tango police, but there are followers and they do talk…a lot! so here’s a helpful tip: FOLLOW THE LINE, LANE, and PROGRESSION of DANCE of the leaders in front of you.  do not bump into anyone!  and if and when you do TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for it, even if its not your fault!  Oh and stepping on your follower’s foot, and then blaming her for it oy….so wrong.

8.) followers: if you see a leader who doesn’t look safe to dance with, or is dancing wildly; who is using vocabulary instead of walking with his following on the beat to the musical pauses; who isn’t upright but instead is collapsed, head bent down looking at the floor; who isn’t dancing in earnest; or who isn’t crisp, clean, and clear with his lead, or who is pushing, pulling, or seeming is using FORCE; or if the woman he’s dancing with currently isn’t smiling radiantly…continuously; or if in his embrace, you can see the wrinkles of her cloth under his arm, then this is probably NOT someone you want to dance with.  trust me you are doing him a favor by saying ‘no thank you’ when he asks for a dance!  don’t put yourself in the position of dancing with someone who you know is going to be rough on you, you will regret it, and you are only encouraging bad behavior.

9.) leaders: vocabulary is *NOT* the answer! walking her on the beat, to the musical pauses, within the musical phrases…that’s where it is at my friend. drop the antics on a social dance floor. for the love of god, please.  look you have 7 basic movements (foward, side, back, forward ochos, back ochos, giro, cross) which is the meat of the dance.  the volcada, colgada, gancho, boleo, or crazy chicho move you just got off youtube is spice to the dance, not the meal.  WALK dude…WALK!  walk her on the beat, play with side steps, forward steps, syncopations if you want to add spice, and leave the crazy shit on youtube!

10.) both: remember to smile. a lot. its a social dance!  be social.

source: Miles Tangos, facebook.com

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