Great Tango Music by Maestro Quique Linardi, Todd Martin, MD





Last 2 Recent Articles:

"Birthing The Afro Tango Dancers Group "

"A.R.T.S. (afro Roots in Tango Society "


Last 2 Volumes

Newsletter Vol 26

Newsletter Vol 27


Published Newsletters










Dancing Tango in a Tight Space

By Jean-Pierre Sighé

Sooner or later (rather sooner than later) the new student of Tango realizes the enjoyment of the dance depends greatly on managing floor space. If the student acquires the necessary technique which guarantees balance and good posture then the dancer encounters no real problem with the floor navigation. The reality holds - a good number of people struggle on a crowded dance floor. This calls into question: what should constitute the basic element of learning Tango right from the beginning? By the time the dancer joins the milonga, walking in balance should be the norm. As I said in another context: to claim that Tango is walking is not enough if it does not demonstrate what it means - that is the mechanics of walking as it directly applies to Tango dancing. There is such a thing as a Walking Technique in Tango. At Tango Magdalena, I share this information during instruction sessions with my partners Vivian Bui, Irina G., Tanya Leake and Lindsey Newbold.
In a previous article “The Upper Body Counter-positioning”, I described in detail the


process of Tango Walking. It’s always a pleasure to share such crucial information with anyone who seeks this knowledge. When we are forced to dance in a small space, the pleasure of dancing Tango must not be diminished. If we know how to use our upper body to create the space into which we or our partner steps, the experience produces enjoyment, even addiction. After all, Tango is a dance of connection. In that tiny space, the connection is heightened as the proper technique of leading and following through the proper Walking kicks in. With its basic component of “economy of movement and space” observed, both partners can enjoy great Ochos and Giros on that one spot. The attached video demonstrates that either in a proper close or open embrace, Walking makes it possible to dance in a restrained environment.
One question then comes to mind: if this is the case, why is the Walking not insisted on and popularized everywhere? This is a good question that calls for several answers. I will address two of them:

  1. There is a theory that people find great interest in figures, but do not have the patience (in our instant gratification culture) to practice Walking. It is a verifiable theory. However, I do believe instructors must accept the possibility that focusing on what is important could lead to lower attended classes. The skilled instructor will know how to build his students up with a strong foundation of basic techniques, such as Walking, and weave in the more “fun” figures work throughout. By so doing, instruction gains value, and students do not suffer the difficult task of later returning to correct bad habits accumulated due to poor technique. If more than one instructor sticks to this core principle of honest teaching, the proper Walking could become the norm. Tango is a lifetime pleasure for most dancers. Why not make it a long-lasting enjoyment with the proper basic learning from the beginning?
  2. Secondly, some instructors themselves have obviously not been lucky to embrace the information about Walking and the use of the upper body counter-positioning in their own training. They go on struggling constantly with their own problematic techniques; I suspect not even knowing how to correct them. Unfortunately, those who study in that context have to revisit their balance issues and posture, etc. It is difficult to fake good Tango dancing. When the time comes to execute those Sacadas or Ganchos or the popular Volcada, the truth-telling bell will chime.


I take my hat off to those who take time to encourage beginners to practice their Walking. Students will reap rewards for many years to come with the impact of such attention and will no doubt ever forget the due diligence of such good instruction. The price for meticulous care cannot be measured in any currency, but rather found in something far more valuable than material possessions: happiness. There is a satisfaction to a job well done, and one executed with integrity. At Tango Magdalena, we will continue to do our part to create more instances of happiness while sharing useful information on Tango Walking.

Illustrating Videos:




© JULY 2011


Student of the Month




Featuring Artist:




On a Different Note ..
cd_cover music_note

CDs available at : cdbaby.com , iTunes , Amazon.com , rhapsody.com... etc...




Robyn Donaldson




ZUMBA-Sensual Fusion Movement


Tanya Leake


Intoducing JACK & GILL


click to enlarge



Tango Magdalena's Home Page | Contact Us |
©2007-2011 Tango Magdalena