Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Everybody knows this, right?

here i am
Originally uploaded by leone.

I was talking to a friend the other day and she was telling me about a guy who is teaching now with his partner. I used to call him "Rico Suave", but that was before I knew him. He's actually a really nice guy - a kid really.

My friend had danced with him at a milonga and was talking about the lack of connection with him. She attributed it to the fact that his dancing is all about him. His steps, his sequences, his embellishments, the way he looks. She can feel that he is focused on himself and his dancing and not her. He's dancing with himself.

It struck me after our conversation that everyone (leaders - especially beginners) might not know this - that this will screw with your tango - it's the me/ego mindset.

Tango is all about the woman. It's about making her feel good and safe and making her feel beautiful and special in those nine minutes on the floor. Leaders have to focus on the "her" and the "now". Her. Now. This moment. This connection. This dance. This tanda.

Focus your thoughts and energy on her. Think about her feet, not yours. Think about what you want her feet to do. Beginners have the disadvantage of having to think about steps and sequences and weight transfers and the minutiae. Being able to think about her will come, in time. Try it some time though, even if just for a minute of one song. Focus your thoughts and energy on her. See how it feels.

For me, when I realized this a couple of years ago, and when I was able to manifest this all the time in my dance, it was a breakthrough. A defining moment. An epiphany.

Sometimes we forget about the basic, underlying principles, and just have to be reminded.


Limerick Tango said...

I like to remind people to 'think with her feet'.

But yes every so often the assumed knowledge needs to be taken out and dusted off. Otherwise you can end up with a kind of generation gap where the old hands know what they are doing and the newcomers do what they do because they were told what to do not why to do.

NYC Tango Pilgrim said...


My experience goes like: be aware of whereabouts of her foot (woman is always/most of the time of one foot), and focusing on leading her hip/core.

And don't forget enjoying yourself at the mean time. :-) Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Proof that great minds think alike, Alex. I was polishing my post on this very issue when I saw yours :-)

TangoSpam said...

Tango is all about the music. The connection is with the music - the passion. When you connect with the music and your partner connects with the music in the same way, you dance as one.

ceverett said...

Up to a point. If your partner has skills, then taking care of her is handled in the context of the things you normally do in your own dance. Otherwise, you are deving a large portion of your mental resources to "managi" her, and nothing is left over for being connected.