Walking Forward... Walking Backward
By Jean-Pierre Sighé
The embrace closes; the partners prepare to start the dance by observing the ritualistic few seconds of quietness. The man invites the dance. He will soon walk forward while the woman walks backward. At first, this pattern of navigating the floor provides sufficient guidance in learning Tango. However, this continuous walking forward or backward soon bores the “natural dancer”. The student feels limited and unfulfilled. The student must learn to change direction and slightly alter the pattern.
This change of direction is usually part of a specific figure and does not always emphasize the tremendous change it actually brings forth. Assuming that the proper walking technique has been acquired - the balance in control - the dancers should walk at ease in either direction, navigating the floor as they please, or as the floor condition allows.
Dancers must employ this change of direction as often as possible to make the dance more interesting. It obviously implies the use of elements such as the media-vuelta and, most importantly, the upper body-counter positioning. Partners will immediately enjoy the ability to walk on either side of each other’s body. By often leading a change of direction (or at the very least, altering the body configuration with the use of the torso), the man enriches his improvisation - to the great pleasure of the woman. This produces a valid move, no matter the degree of the dancers’ embrace.
Watch the following video that Bianca and I put together to illustrate the topic.
We hope you’ll make good use of it. For future reference, the video will be posted in our “instructional videos” section on the Multimedia page of our website.
© February 2009
Youtube link in case of trouble opening the media: