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August 2, 2003


Had the opportunity to take over a friend’s Tango class for beginners tonight. During the class, while explaining some drills for molinete, something became to clear to me. Actually, this ideas has been mulling in my head for quite some time. It was not until I got home that it took a shape such that I am able to articulate.

Since coming back from my Tango “tour” in Berlin, I have become convinced (and put into practice) that leading in Tango is all about bringing the lady to where you want her to be. Period. Notice this definition says absolutely nothing about what the leader is supposed to be doing, and rightly so.

For social dancing, the only overriding objective should be directing the lady with the body to where you want her to be. The leader is there to ensure the follower’s axis is not broken, and that the overall axis of the couple can be maintained. Other than these, whatever steps the leader makes are irrelevant as far as I am concerned.

When it comes to performance, first and foremost, lead the lady in a confidently and comfortably to allow her to strut her stuff. Once all this has been achieved, then the leaders can think about making themselves look good too.

A bit of a paradox for the leader to be playing such a secondary role?

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