What’s one of the main differences between a tango dancer who simply dances, and one who is mesmerizing to watch? The big secret is… confidence! It may sound difficult to believe, but both physical and emotional confidence in your dancing really does make an incredible difference.


Physical confidence

By performing every step with confidence your partner should know what’s going on. Tango is all about the connection between both dancers, so being able to read what the other one is thinking is vital.


Walk as if you are going through your partner...

Leaders which steps are certain and which lead, from the torso, is clear and ‘decisive’ will be easier to dance with. Some would way, “walk as if you are going through your partner”. Hesitating, dithering half stepping will make it hard for your follower to follow securely.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be moving at all times; tango is filled with superb moments during which the couple pauses and breathes, in relation to the music – simply make sure these pauses are also done with confidence. If you step one way but realise that would be the wrong leg for what you intend to do next, turn it into a rebound step, or transfer your weight, close, then step back again. Tango is never rushed. Simply enjoy each moment, and accept these little mistakes on the way – it’s part of everyone’s tango journey.

Followers; stepping with confidence applies to you as well. If you can’t work out what your leader is trying to get you to do, take a guess and perform your choice boldly. If it’s not what they had intended to do, as your moves will be clear they will be able to adapt to the direction you are going. If you realised you did not correctly performed a tango step, don’t give up! Either hold the position you’re in and trust your leader to create a new step, or close your feet to neutral to let you both start again. Avoid laughing out loud: if you don’t, no one will ever know you messed up (apart from the leader, but it’s in his best interest to pretend everything was done as planned). Simply utter a ‘oops!’ in your head, and smile with confidence!


A confident attitude

A confident appearance not only conveys style, it lets your partner put faith in you and feel more comfortable and chances are - they’ll reflect your confidence back at you.

Confidence tends to improve posture, really lengthening your body and making steps bigger and more grounded. Also, if you look as if you’re confident in what you’re doing, anybody watching will think that you do and may think that any mishaps were steps they just haven’t learned before in one of their tango classes. Don’t be afraid to add in adornments to style out any mistakes. Absolutely any wrong move can be resolved by turning it into something else. The key is not to show any panic or confusion on your face! Try to keep calm and poised at all times and nobody will suspect a thing.

Emma Langschied