Friday, December 2, 2016

THE WALK: It May Not Mean What You Think

 Over and over, when you are first introduced to Tango, you are told: It's all about the walk. You have to have a good walk in order to dance Tango.

 But "walking" in Tango does not mean what it does in everyday life. Normally, when we go for a walk, it involves getting from one place to another, in a straight line, and in a fairly regular rhythm. But when we talk about the Tango Walk, we are not talking about destination, or direction, or tempo. We are talking about technique.

 In Tango, we can "walk" in any direction, forward, backward, side to side, in place, or in a circle. We can even "walk" while standing still.

 Learning the Tango walk involves learning HOW, not WHAT. How do we use our feet to gather energy from our connection to the floor? How do we find and maintain our axis? How do we keep our connection forward, toward our partner?

 If you watch any good dancer, in demos or at the best milongas, you will note that they seldom take more than 3 or 4 steps in a straight line before stopping, or turning, or changing direction. Tango is not a linear dance. It moves, then stops. It turns, one way then another.

 Teachers need to recognize this, and realize that learning the Tango Walk involves learning to stop, every bit as much as learning to step.

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