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October 4, 2002



In Argentine Tango, there is the leader (the man), then there is the follower (the woman). As the names suggest, the leader leads, while the follower submits to the lead. In the early days of learning Tango (a bit more than 2 years ago), and in fact up to 2-3 months ago, my understanding and hence how I danced was limited to precisely that. However, in the recent months, perhaps as a result of attending workshops combined with regular practicas, the concept of leader/follower has taken a slightly different twist.

To be sure, the leader is still the one to initiate an action, and the follower still needs to ‘listen’ to the intention of the leader. However, after starting an action, e.g. step, ocho, giro, etc., the leader then needs to wait until the intended action has been brought to a meaningful completion before moving on. I hope this does not come across as being too philosophical, because it is through the internalisation of such ideas that I have been able to feel a connection to my dance partner. And, in this way, the leader becomes, temporarily, the ‘follower’. Quite a spin on the terminology, isn’t it?

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1 Comment
  1. NetNet
    Oct 4 2002

    Good to hear that you have been able to feel a connection to your dance partner….(are you referring to me…he!)

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