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Tango Etiquette
It is important to acquaint yourself with Tango etiquette.

a. Dance counter-clockwise around the dance floor. The faster 'lanes' are on the outside of the counter- clockwise line of dance. The slower lanes' are toward the center. Do not dance backward to the line-of-dance on a crowded dance floor.

b. Don't walk through the dancers on the dance floor to get to the other side of the room. Don't stand in or block the dance space.

c. If you are working on a new step, move to an unoccupied area of the floor or the room to be out of the way of the dancers.

d. Always be alert to the presence of other dancers in front, to the sides, and behind and avoid collisions. "Always" be polite and cordial. It takes some skill and and can be a fun challenge to dance on a crowded Tango dance floor and avoid collisions.

e. If do travel backwards to line-of-dance, look to the rear first. For the followers, let the leader know of a possible collision either vocally, by your hand, or by pulling your partner closer.

f. More experienced dancers should be patient, couteous and sensitive to beginners. You may give advice if it is asked for if you first ask permission.

g. Argentine Tango is danced close. You should be nicely attired, clean and have a clean pleasant or neutral smell. Don't over do it with perfumes, colognes or scented deodorants.

The traditional way of asking someone to dance, for a man or a woman, is to gently engage them with your eyes. When they return your gaze and do not look away that's the acceptance of the invitation. You or they may also further confirm with a "yes" nod of the head, a smile, a directed look at the dance floor, etc. The woman waits for the man walks with him, or to him at the edge of the dance floor.

SNOOTY ATTITUDES

There are a few women who have snooty attitudes towards beginners. They don't remember the time when they too were at that stage. They were told it's okay to turn down requests for a dance by avoiding glances or making excuses about being in a conversation with their girl friend, etc. They hide behind this innocent Tango custom but many of them are showing their true selves - spoiled, cold or arrogant. That is the way they have always been even before they learned to dance. Remember them as your skill level matches or exceeds theirs. Let them wonder why you don't ask them to dance.

One word of caution men... If your dancing is really awful and you have almost no rhythm and timing don't hold it against women who don't want to dance with you until you improve. You need to know the difference. The "true ladies of Tango" will be happy to dance with you even as a beginner and they are very supportive and encouraging. They will even walk up to you ask "you" to dance. They will still want to dance with you even if you tell them you are just learning and they will help you around the floor with patience.

How are you doing?
Creativity, individuality, connection and dynamic communication are key elements of your success. Combining simple patterns in slightly different ways with a good sense of musicality, control and subtle movement defines the dance.
You can go from Beginning to Intermediate Level in six months and to advance in under two years.

Never under estimate the benefit of re-taking Intermediate level classes even when you are becoming advanced.

Have fun, take lots of classes, get supervised practices, take some private lessons, workshops and dance, dance, dance. Tango will be less difficult and you will advance quickly.

Click here to go back to Tango page

Click Here to Tango Terms and Definitions

Click here for more about Argentine Tango History and Music.

Alberto
(503) 234 7003

alsheppard@1stgmc.net
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Alberto
(503) 234 7003

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5 and 10 Weeks at BABALU

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Alberto Teaches on Thursdays 8:00 p.m. at Babalu in Vancouver, WA

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