Polly's Tango Talk

If I Ruled the Tango World, Part I

Each of us has our own list of  items we’d like to fix  and probably no two lists would match.  These are a few of mine that involve men.  Women’s topics are covered in Part II.

**The most important thing that men need to learn is how to hold a women so she feels safe, comfortable and special.  Throughout the dance.  Every dance.  Every partner.

**Men would not teach on the floor.  Period.  If it isn’t led without instruction, it isn’t tango. 

 **The Godzilla-sized back step should be outlawed.  It was created as a stage, performance move and should remain there except on a sparsely populated floor and with appropriate caution.  Never on a crowded floor!

 **Leave the side step for the intermediate and advanced.  Beginners tend to take a step half the size of a soccer field, either because they are taught to or because they think bigger is better.  This throws the frame out of whack with the follower caught in the leader’s armpit.  When men are introduced to opening with a side step, it seems to translate to:  “Begin every dance with a side step.”  Sigh.

**Lose the quick quick, quick running steps unless they are taught with much shorter steps for the quicks.  Guys apparently learn: “walk normally and suddenly rush forward for three steps.”   Result:  the follower feels like she’s running backwards.  Oh, that’s right.  She is.  In heels.  

**Men would pause as often as they lead tricks and figures.  Teachers would include pauses in every class and leaders would be comfortable with and understand their pleasureability them from Day One.

**Men would spend nearly equal time leading and following their first year.  This would allow them to become sensitive to the follower’s needs and thus, more desirable leaders.

**Guys would practice back sacadas with other men first and then in socks with women until they learn to do them safely, every time.  Untold numbers of women carry scars from an errant back sacada.  (An hour’s class of them once left me with bruises from knee to ankle.) 

**Leaders would make eye contact with dancers they bump into or who bump into them, and promptly take responsibility for the collision, no matter who was at fault.

**Men would memorize the most popular songs played at milongas early in their tango life.

**Leaders would ask for feedback and would take suggestions seriously without taking them personally.

**Men would leave their ego at the door.  When damaged (it’s tango, egos will be damaged) joyous learning takes a major detour off course.

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