[Tango-L] Help Newbies Dance in Tight Spaces

Tango For Her tangopeer at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 15 12:52:38 EST 2008

Help Newbies Dance in Tight Spaces

When I was a beginner, my first milonga was on a very
small, very crowded floor.  No room to move. 

Later, as a more advanced dancer, I had a few
interesting private lessons.

1. I had a private lesson with a partner.  It was in a
10x8 space.  The teacher walked in front of us and his
partner walked behind us.  He changed his pace,
dancing in place, dancing slowly, moving in a burst,
etc.  “In BsAs”, he said, “if you leave a gap between
you and me, someone will enter the dance floor in
front of you.  So, I want you to keep the same tight
distance behind me.”  It was quite an eye-opener.

2. I had a private lesson dancing with my teacher in a
10x12 room.  We could only go around the room once or
twice for the entire song.  That, too, was quite an

3. Another lesson was for training to perform.  I was
instructed to dance in phrases, small, tight moves
followed by long sweeping moves.  Again, I became
aware of dancing at different speeds.

Now, of course, I know how to dance in place when
there is no place to go.  Sometimes, I even,
purposely, dance behind the slowest leader in the room
just for the practice. 

Here’s my quandary:

Why all this talk of walk, walk, walk for beginners?  

Why  all this talk of the pieces of the basic-8?   

(Those are rhetorical questions.)

Why not have a week-long discussion on the problem at

*** Beginners have trouble in tight spaces. ***

I posted an example on , Tue, 12 Feb 2008 09:18:53
EST, “Breaking the paso basico with simple movements” 

I know that that exercise worked wonders.  It allowed
beginners to move in tight spaces.  There must be all
kinds of teaching examples that you can come up with. 

It just seems that the two discussions, “walk, walk,
walk” and “the basic-8” are just spending a lot of
time just defending or breaking down these teaching
styles.  Those teacing methods already exist and new
leaders still have nightmares when they get out to the
milongas.  So?  I know you all must have some great
teaching examples for solving this problem.  Let’s
hear them!

Again, I am saying nothing positive or negative about
walking and basic-8 exercises.  I just think it would
be interesting reading, for all of us out here, to
hear what other gems you have for helping the newbies!

Thanks ahead of time!


Looking for last minute shopping deals?  
Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.  http://tools.search.yahoo.com/newsearch/category.php?category=shopping

More information about the Tango-L mailing list