Ever struggle with the silences between tango songs on the dance floor? Or maybe you’d really like to say something complimentary to your partner, but you just don’t know where to start? Well here are five compliments to choose from to help you out. Let us know which one worked best for you! Or if you have one of your own you like to use, please, do share!

“Wow, I can tell you’ve danced tango before”. This is a clever one, because if she has danced prior to tango she will feel like it has paid off and even if she hasn’t danced before she will feel flattered that you think so. The only thing you have to be careful about is coming across as sarcastic. If her dancing isn’t very good, chances are she’ll know and she won’t feel impressed, so perhaps choose a different compliment. Conversely, if she is decent or even a good dancer, you could still be received as sarcastic if your ‘wow’ comes out half-heartedly – however be too enthusiastic and you’ll embarrass her! It’s a risky business complimenting a lady so it needs work on the tone of voice. Then if it comes out right, you may have found a new tango partner who will want to dance with you!

“You’re brilliant! I didn’t realise you were a beginner!” This compliment will obviously only work firstly if she is a beginner, and secondly if you’ve only just found out. If you say it out of the blue during or after a tanda she will know you’re lying as it’s not new knowledge so you would have known the whole time you were dancing. To avoid if you are not sure she actually IS a beginner. Alternatively, it is safe to use this in tango classes, if this IS the beginner class you attending to!

“You make every step you do look beautiful”. If you find yourself with a partner who isn’t merely concerned about getting the steps right; she feels every step; extending movements to slower parts of the song and sharpening steps to quicker music – for goodness sake let her know! This is what marks the difference between a great tango dancer and an incredible one. Don’t let her think it has gone unappreciated.

“You do it… creatively, and with style!” 😉 is a possible compliment. If she’s treading on your feet, resisting your lead and leaning on you – if basically she’s messing everything up and as long as you’re sure that she’s aware that she is, you can both laugh about it. She’ll think that even though she hasn’t got the technical side of things, she doesn’t look as bad as she feels. Whether that’s true or not is another matter, but it’s nice to make her feel better. Think back to when you first started learning tango, or perhaps you’re still new now – so you can appreciate the difficulty and possible nerves she’ll be going through.

“Oh I’m loving the shoes – where did you get those from?”, or something along those lines anyway. If your partner’s dance moves are truly and unavoidably awful, as a last resort; compliment their dress/shoes/or anything. The logic being – it seems that dancing isn’t quite her thing, so perhaps fashion is? Or, simply… smile instead.

How about him?

And now, it’s your turn to find 5 nice things to say to your leader – he may be a gentleman, but believe us, it is difficult to lead, so a compliment to him will have a huge impact!

Emma Langschied