Tango: my life as a not-so-good leader

And you thought that YOU were the worst dancer in the world ?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Damn tango moment 

I saw this in the A.T. section from a dance forum:

As I danced, I got tired, and basically took one of my regular partners, and just "Walked" to Vuelo al Sur. Lo and behold... It turned out to be one of the most beautiful dances I have ever done!!!
It was nothing fancy, no complicated footwork, no sacadas, no molinetes, no ganchos, no ochos... just walks. The connection was warm, firm and for the first time, I was able to reach my goal of "One body, four legs."

This reminded me of something I had heard about Canning: "the best dance takes place roughly one hour before the end, because people are tired."

So I tried to emulate. Knowing that one of my partners would be at a certain evening milonga I first exhausted myself in an afternoon milonga (using a half-dozen shirts in the process) before meeting her. As I've also read that a tango moment comes only in close embrace I tried to imagine and figure out how it would be like to dance close with her, and it looked like everything would be ok. She's smaller but just a little. As a salsa dancer she's light and thin, easy to move. She doesn't dance milonguero so I supposed she would not spill out on me if we'd get close, but would keep her axis.

When we met I told her I about my great idea, then waited for a quiet piece of music and invited her.
Well nothing special happened. We did our usual stuff (many attempts, some steps ok, many missed), I just found it all more difficult to lead because I was tired.

So, it did not work. No tango moment. Something must have been missing, maybe the follower has to be tired too.

posted by Pablo  # 8:05 AM
That's so funny - two weeks ago, on a Friday night, after a long intense day of work - I was very tired but made myelf go to a Milonga and same thing happened to me - did my best dancing and had a "tango moment". What is up with that?
I always dance worse when I'm tired. My posture, balance and concentration are all affected.

I think the original quotations have been misinterpreted. People probably tend to dance better when they don't try so hard and limit their dancing to things they do well. Exhaustion, per se, does not improve your dancing. I think the point of the quotes was that when you're tired, you relax a little more and don't try to overextend yourself.

It's hard to believe that someone would take this literally and try to engineer a "tango moment" by wearing himself out, let alone trying to achieve it with a style (close-embrace) that he's not very familiar with. Whatever "tango moments" I've had have been completely unplanned and unanticipated.
maybe the steps you were doing were too complicated for the tired tango moment.... were you just walking?
No I was not just walking, I was doing my usual stuff. Sometimes I was walking one step or two but even when walking I felt no tango moment.
Unfortunately, you can never know when a tango moment comes out... but it's true: it could happen when you are tired. :-)
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