This Saturday, in our online tango classes, we’ll be working on our “giros” or tango turns.

Giros (pronounced “hero”) are not an easiest movement to master. The follower walks around the leader and the leader does elegant movements in the middle. His balance is put to the test … and so is hers. This means both parties need to work hard not only to be perfectly in axis but not to pull their partner off theirs!

When you watch a video of a performance in a milonga in Buenos Aires, it is so often the moment the couple execute a giro that the audience erupts into applause. This may come as a surprise to a British audience. In Strictly Come Dancing, the audience seems to clap for every single lift, spin and flick.

But true tango connoisseurs are not looking for the lifts and spins.

The giro provides the leader his chance to shine. For most of the tango he provides the frame to the follower’s painting, enabling her beautiful movements. But this is his moment in the spotlight, when all eyes are on him.

Enrosques, planeos, lápices, entradas, ganchos – the leader’s variations for tango turns are endless. The follower’s options are far more limited: side, forward, side, back …

But as I always tell my students, around every leader, walks a strong follower! The follower may maintain the same series of steps but the leader’s success is wholly dependant on her strong technique. The more flamboyant his movements, the better the follower needs to be.

So next time you watch the leader executing a fabulous giro, don’t forget to also applaud the follower! She’s also a super hero!

(If you’d like to learn Follower’s giro technique – without even leaving your house! – check out my Tangorial: “Giros & More”. Once you buy, it’s yours forever!)