Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance

Today’s #Tango Thought 054: Dancing with Smaller People.

Department of Redundancy Department. Fact – People are different sizes and shapes. Fact. At some point, maybe not this particular milonga, but perhaps the next or the one after that you’re going to dance with someone who is taller, someone who his shorter, someone who’s body length can seemingly be a problem for you.

Reality is that they are in fact smaller, or taller than you are. The reality is also that size doesn’t matter in this instance. Intention matters.The truth is just like ‘Yoda’ said “Size matters not!”. Let’s look at the realities of size in tango…the options:

Taller Lead/Smaller Follower: This is a typical way to dance, so that the Lead can see over the Follower and see the line of dance. Note the language here “typical”. 
Smaller Lead/Taller Follower: This is sometimes a challenge depending on the height of the Follower who will more than likely refuse the cabeceo because their experience has taught them that several things are not going to work here. This combination sometimes doesn’t work out so well, mostly for the Follower not for the Lead. 
Same Size Lead/Same Size Follower: This combination is desirable but usually ends up being contorted for a variety of reasons. You would think that this combination of characters and ideas works out well because the physiological contact points are ideally lined up. However, that’s not what happens. Usually the Follower ends up in the lead’s armpit and hanging off to the lead’s side. 🙁

There is another component that’s here, and that’s Fear.  Fear says that you can’t dance with X, or Y because they’re too big, or too small. Because you don’t ‘connect’ in all the correct (and usual) places that you do usually dancing with your usual suspects. That fear that will keep you from trying out and then learning from the experience. You can see over them. They can see over or around you. You worry that you’re too heavy. You’re concerned that you are or they are too slow, too lumbering….too – pick an adjective. 🙁

The Truth ? It’s all in your head (to a degree). You’re making a judgement based on someone’s looks, not the skill set by which they dance. Their outer appearance has no bearing on how they interact on a Social Dance Floor. That’s the truth. 

While there is an element of truth, small as it is, no pun intended, to the physiological and physical factors that make up an interaction between different body types, the reality is that you can and should dance with everyone, or at the very least try. Why ? Versatility. You want to be able to dance with any dancer, anywhere, anytime, under all conditions.

Let’s address the elephant in the room – the physiological factors do present a challenge sometimes, but those challenges can be managed and worked out with a little, practice, and patience. #SocialTango #SocialDance #ArgentineTango #TangoDancing 


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