Thursday, January 31, 2008

10 Tango Rules Every Man Should Know

1. The woman is always right. Yes, always.
2. Don't give "constructive criticism" to your partner about her tango unless asked. And even then be careful!
3. Walking well with your partner is more important than trying to lead a bunch of moves.
4. Only take a woman into a close embrace if she's open to it. Some women simply prefer dancing in an open embrace and others don't feel comfortable in a close embrace. Either way, it's the woman's prerogative.
5. Be respectful of your partner's body. Sure, it's fun to try more advanced moves or maneuver in tight crowds, but please be careful not to bump into other couples or unintentionally jar your partner with certain moves or dips.
6. If you need to get off the floor & the next tango has already started, don't walk across the dance floor. Instead, walk straight to the outside of the floor & then around.
7. Personal hygiene, men. And don't forget the Altoids.
8. Don't step backwards unless you're 100% sure there isn't anyone else within 5 feet. If our heel lands on the ankle of a woman we can't see behind us, it's very painful for her.
9. Dance with beginner's, not just more advanced women. We were all beginners once, so we should remember all those generous women that danced with us back when we thought an ocho cortado was an Argentinian burrito.
10. Have fun! We tango the world's greatest dance to the world's best music in a close embrace with wonderful women. What more could a guy ask for?


tangobaby said...

Lovely post, Mark. Could I make two tiny additions?

1. The woman isn't always right, but it is very gallant for you to say that. However, when a mistake is made, let's both agree to move on and not worry about it too much.
2. Personal hygiene. Cleanliness is wonderful. Too much cologne or aftershave is a nightmare. I know the same goes for us ladies, but we don't wear perfume on our faces. If our face is touching yours, and you have a lot of scent on your skin, it can be really overwhelming.

And if I could add one to your list: Please go outside of the box once in a while and ask someone to dance whom you've never danced with before. You may discover a new treasured partner that has been there all the time, waiting in the wings.

cindy said...

hi mark,
thank you!
i second tangobaby, and yay 3.!!
and would like to add,
to 5.- please respect your partner's axis. it will go much better if you give her the lead and allow her to move on her own. do not push, pull, or force her to lean into your (stiff) left arm. thank you...
to 8.- as space allows, don't tailgate the couple in front of you (the corollary).
happy dancing~

Mark Andersen said...

Thank you, Cindy. When I first tried to learn salsa (years before tango) I thought I had to try to throw as many moves into each dance as possible. So, even though I was terrible with each move, I sure could do a lot of them! Over time enough good female friends broke it to me gently that they'd rather have me do 3 moves well than 15 moves badly.

And I can't agree with you more about respecting your partner's axis! It's probably the single biggest thing I've learned over the past 4 months & it's helped my tango so much.

And as for tailgating, I'm afraid I used to do it to much, but finally understood had bad & potentially dangerous that can be.