presents

Argentine tango floorcraft

Summary

We respect our partner and other dancers on the floor.

We seek a look and a nod from the oncoming leader when we enter the floor.

We allow a body’s width space in front of, behind, and to the sides of us to allow the individuals in each couple to move around one another.

We keep up with the general flow of la ronda, not crowding the couple ahead and not creating a traffic jam behind us.

We adjust the size of our movements to suit the available space.

In multiple lanes of traffic, we seek to stay in our lane, parallel to the sides of the dance space. The outside lane is generally the place for confident dancers to see and be seen. (In a crowded venue it can help to fill lanes from the inside outward, making it easier for others to enter the flow.) The center is for those whose confidence or preference doesn’t allow them to move with others in a lane.

When we respect ourselves, our partner, the other dancers, and the music, we should do nicely, getting more and better dances.

Elaboration

When we dance the Argentine tango, we dance not only with our partner and the music (the couples’ “leader”) but also with the other dancers in la ronda (“the round”).

Nearest to us, we respect the couple ahead, behind, and to the sides if there are multiple lanes. We must not tailgate the couple ahead, limiting their movement, nor dawdle, causing a traffic jam behind us.

When we move forward in the line of dance (counter-clockwise in race track fashion), the space we leave behind now belongs to the couple behind.

In a crowded venue, we dance in lanes, like those marked on a foot race track. Our lanes are typically not marked, so we must take care to manage them ourselves. We dance parallel to the couples (or edge of the floor) on either side, allowing about a body’s width on both sides to allow movement of the couple around each other within the lane.

When we enter a crowded floor we typically enter at the corners or other designated entry points. The leader seeks recognition and agreement from the oncoming leader already on the floor. Like the mirada-cabeceo invitation and acceptance to dance, a shared look and nod of agreement.

The outside lane is generally the place for confident dancers to see and be seen. In a quite crowded venue, it can be nice to fill in the lanes from the inside outward, making it easier for others to enter the flow. The center is generally for those whose confidence or preference doesn’t allow them to move with others in a lane.

The general rule of etiquette applies, observe the good behavior of others and do likewise. When we respect ourselves, our partner, the other dancers, and the music, we should do nicely.

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