Tips & Stories
There’s one question that comes up time and time again in my classes.
When learning decorations*, followers often ask me worriedly:
”But won’t the leader feel that?”
The question takes me back fifteen years, when I was studying tango in Buenos Aires. I recall being taught that I should do adornments in such a way that they couldn’t be felt by the leader.
And it reminds me of a story that an American living in Buenos Aires told me around the same time. He had taken the bold step of asking the Queen of Tango, Geraldine Rojas, to dance in a milonga.
As he floated around the room on cloud nine with his grand prize moving smoothly in his arms, he happened to catch a glimpse of them both in a mirror on the wall. He was astonished to see that her feet were moving frenetically, creating fabulous decorations. He had been entirely oblivious to them.
The image of a swan floating serenely, body still and quiet, as her feet beat rapidly beneath the surface is a beautiful one. But the concept that followers should somehow try to hide their decorations from their partners, troubles me.
Another workshop series has come and gone.
For the last two Saturdays, Tango Movement students have been working on their giros (tango turns). Exploring the technique, working on their fluidity and getting that bit closer to precision!
When you watch a video of a performance filmed in a milonga in Buenos Aires, it is most often the moment in which a giro is executed that the audience erupts into applause.
Something that may surprise a British audience. In Strictly Come Dancing, the audience seems to clap for every single lift, spin and flick. You can almost visualise the man behind the camera holding up an autocue card for them: “APPLAUD”.
This is something of a role-reversal considering Argentine audiences are generally considered to be more expressive than British audiences, never shy to call out “Bravisimo!” or to jump to their feet in a standing ovation.
Who are the best leaders on the dance floor and what is it that sets them apart from the rest?
You could argue that this is a subjective thing, but there is some consensus in the tango world on overall qualities to be aspired to.