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October 28, 2003


Was just clearing out my emails the other day, and happened to read through some of the old posts from Tango-L list that I have decided to keep. It seems that I am not alone in my interpretation of how to lead in Tango: about the leader needing to follow the follower.

In particular, someone made the observation that, in Buenos Aires, the best dancers “have no dance steps whatsoever”. (I mean, this is kind of subjective, but I think it’s easy to get the general drift!?) They don’t know where they are going till they get there, but they always dance with what dance floor is available to them. Moreover, when the leader sees a place on the dance floor where he can move towards next, he “sends the lady there and he follows her using any adornments he can”. He then waits for the next opening, and sends the lady there again.

In addition to those remarks, someone else also wrote, in effect, there are three parts to a step: 1) leader suggests a direction and intensity, 2) the follower steps and sets the feel for the step, 3) the leader finally follows the follower by taking his step. The BIG revelation in thinking in this manner is that “following the follower” turns Tango into a “dance of communications”.

Sounds magical, doesn’t it? 🙂 Well, got more work to do from now on!

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