A true tango leader has to train themselves to be the masters of multitasking. Leading, making the lady feel special, watching around for hazards, planning ahead, listening to the music (and interpreting it), there is a lot on the plate for leaders. As tricky as it sounds, the more you practice the more naturally it will come to you; until you no longer have to think about anything but the music and your beautiful tango dance partner.


2. Musicality

Tanguito | social dancing

To truly become an outstanding dancer, focus needs to be on the connection with the music. Not only rhythm and dancing in time, but feeling every note of the song, expressing with movement what the singer is saying – in turns light-hearted, or comical, sad, full of hope, and so on. Extending every long note and nailing every short one.


It helps tremendously to know the song in advance and anticipate steps that best suit various sections of the song. If there are three fast counts at the end of the song for instance, you could end on an ideal corresponding step and hold the position. Job done! This is why true milongueros also listen to the music at home, on their MP3 player, and even at work. That’s perhaps the best kept secret there is!


Steps that will make you… musical

There are a variety of steps which greatly enhance musicality: they are normally quite simple so they can be played with and adapted to the tune, as opposed to a lengthy sequence that isn’t adapted to every song. Rebounds, quick steps to the side, changes of weight, sudden changes of direction, and even stopping at specific moments, when the singer stops for a beat or two, can be quite musical. So whether you are attending tango classes, or learning difficult steps for your tango wedding dance, it could be these little movements that add the true spice to your dance.


3. Exactely… Safety!

Above all else, you are responsible for not only your own safety, but for that of your partner and everyone around you. Your partner will be travelling backwards for the majority of the dance, so you are their eyes as well as your own. If your partner is tall or is coming from another planet, and therefore has a rather large head to the extent that you can’t see around it, we suggest you use steps of rotation frequently in your dance so that you’re constantly aware of obstacles in your environment. That works with these green beings from Mars with the large head.

Previously: All about timing
Next: Assessment and style (coming soon)

Abrazo, Emma
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