ROOM TO PLAY

In tango, good leading and following should always be among our top priorities. But reducing the lead-follow dynamic down to “right” and “wrong” answers risks turning it into a rote, technical (or mechanical) task.

We’ll find that there are moments during a tango song when there isn’t a definitive “right” thing to do. For example, could the musical flourish between phrases be an opportunity for the follower to do a short, creative embellishment? How can the leader encourage it? Or respond to it? Or should the leader simply pause, allowing the follower extra time to explore?

Attempting to add a little more personality to the dance isn’t always guaranteed to work, and some partners may not “get it.” At least not right away. But the effort pays off in the long run, resulting in more color, dynamism and life to the basic lead-follow structure.

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