Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance


Lead Rocking (from side to side)

The Lead that Rocks. So that we’re clear about this — the word ‘Rocks’ in this sentence does not mean that said Lead is ‘cool’, or that they have stone rocks for brains. No. What this refers to is a Lead that…well…Here’s a scenario for you: A couple steps onto the floor together. The Lead embraces their Follower, the music starts, and then this Lead begins to rock the couple from side to side. This, is The Lead that Rocks!

From a Following perspective, a good portion of you reading this will immediately know this kind of Lead. And that’s because more than 80% of the people that you dance with begin each and every dance like this. Mind you, it’s not like you don’t know the music, or haven’t hear this particular song 10,000 times at this point, but still here you have ‘le guideur du jour‘ or in this case, ‘le moment‘, and they’re rocking from side to side as if! As far as you’re concerned it’s a minor annoyance, you just want to dance and aren’t quite getting why we have to do this each and every time. Further still a good portion of ‘le guideur du moment‘ will not exactly ‘rock’ but rather ‘stomp‘ from side to side, and the ‘thud‘ (the impact of their foot hitting the floor) is quite noticeable! What goes hand-in-hand with this mishigas is the squeezing of the embrace (compression), head tilt (into the Follower’s), right forearm force, left arm and hand rigidity, tension everywhere in the embrace, and a personal favorite of soooo many Leads – arm and hand pressure from either the lead’s left or the paddling right hand! Soooo much fun. Now we add the rocking from side to side and you’ve got yourself the trifecta of a dance experience that will more than likely send you to the chiropractor in the morning! Gosh, isn’t Tango fun ? 🙁

From a Leading Perspective, let’s be clear about something: Somewhere in one of your beginner Tango classes, your teacher said something to the effect that you should place the Follower on beat, and the most effective way to do that was of course…rocking from side to side at the beginning of the song. They also said you should start every song like this. And if your teacher didn’t say this to you, more than likely you’ve seen a whole swath of (ahem) ‘better‘ (cough, cough, cough…something caught in my throat) Leads do this same thing. You’ve even had a ew of them say something to the effect that you want to do this yourself. Followers LOVE it <ahem>. They need to be told where the beat is at all times, ’cause lord knows not a one of them knows what they’re doing, right ? So you gotta show’m, right ? <ahem> Further still if you don’t… ummm…put your foot down, they’ll never feel it and not know where they should step. Sometimes you gotta put that foot down hard, hit the floor, right ? Does that sound familiar to you ?

The Dancing Fact …ummmm…not so much with the rocking from side to side. Doing so sends the wrong message to the Follower, most notably that you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing. Further still it sends the message that you don’t know what you want. And even beyond that, any future Followers that you’re wanting to dance with are watching that and thinking to themselves – ‘beginner dancer!’. And you wonder why some Followers won’t dance with you ? While this is not the primary reason, but it does contribute to the fact that you’re clueless.  To be fair, there is nothing wrong with being a beginner dancer, we were all one once, and truthfully most us that are really studying the form are still very green beginners. There’s just one difference between you being a beginner and others like me, we hide our errors better than you do! 

Fixing it ? How do you fix this one ? Again, like everything else in this category of Tango ‘mishaps’, this is engrained behavior in you and unless someone points out that you’re doing it, you’re going to continue to do it, and the really sad part is that you won’t be aware of it at all. So how do you fix it ? Well, 1st you subscribe as a Gold Level Member and then you get to see the missing parts of the video that can help you to stop making this tiny little error. It’s really that simple. Hit the green button below.

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