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February 12, 2009

Simple yardsticks

With more and more people coming into contact with Tango, occasionally I get asked by beginners about “how to spot a good leader”?

Without going into a debate into which style is better which is a largely personal choice, or open vs closed embrace**, I think there is a few simple items a beginning follower can look out for.

  1. Good posture. Having bad posture here can actually mean either hunching from the leader or the leader pulling his partner in such a way that she has to bend/contort into very uncomfortable positions just to stay on her feet. Well, the traditional “head-contact-only” is also a big no-no.
  2. Not needing to verbally explain about what to do: for example, avoid people when they tell you, “If I do this, then you should do that…” as I have already commented before.
  3. Doesn’t throw the girl around. This usually comes about when the leader is only using arms to bring his partner around. A comfortable dance happens when the leader can follow his partner and make everything natural and simple.
  4. Some semblance of dancing to the music – may be a tough one for newbie, but at least dancing to the main beats is a plus.

Anyone care to add to this list, keeping in mind that they should be in terms that can be easily understood by beginners?

** As an example, I initially learnt in the open embrace and still believe in starting off beginners in open embrace, but I almost always choose to dance in closed embrace socially.

Read more from Musings, Social Dancing

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