The dialog of tango: pay attention to these 3 moments to create stronger connection in your tango
by Julio Cesar Calderon
Learn what to pay attention in the dialog of tango to create a stronger connection with your partners. Their bodies can teach you.
In argentine Tango, when it comes to improvisation and connection, we have to think of it in the same way as if it is the first conversation we have with someone. This conversation usually becomes deeper as time goes by. Today, we’ll explore where to focus on to become a better conversationalist in the dialog of tango.
Julio’s Three Points Approach to the Dialog of Tango
When looking for hints from your partner’s body in order to improve connection, you can pay attention to many different things. In my experience, there are three very important moments that, if you pay attention, can help you create a more connected dance.
The three moments that tango connection can be enhanced
- Dialog of Tango #Moment 1 – Before you dance
- Dialog of Tango #Moment 2 – The moment of the embrace
- Dialog of Tango #Moment 3 – During the tanda
Dialog of Tango #Moment 1 – Before you dance
Usually we don’t go from “Hello, how are you?” to “Do you want to spend the night with me?” In the same way, we shouldn’t go from a side step to a colgada. Let’s remember that Tango is a social dance as a couple. It’s not just about ourselves showing what we can do.
Tango is about letting the person who opens his/her embrace and trusts us to feel comfortable with us. In every “dialog” we look to feel good, enjoy ourselves, and create a connection.
The dialog doesn’t start when we start dancing; it starts during the first eye contact, with the cabeceo. Usually, after the cabeceo, I will head towards her table, or the place where she is standing, so that I can accompany her to the dance floor. On the dance floor, we will meet in the embrace, bearing in mind that the embrace is a fundamental part of the conversation created during the dance.
Dialog of Tango #Moment 2 – The moment of the embrace
The moment we embrace is very important. That moment already allows you to feel many things: nervousness or insecurity, tranquillity or anxiousness, or even how much dancing experience does the person you are embracing have.
It is important to realize that everybody has a different embrace. So, the first thing I would do to help my partner feel comfortable is to respect the embrace she is feeling comfortable in, and from there on, I can slowly grow my dancing suggestion and, if she is open to it, take her into my embrace.
Discovering your tango partner’s sense of space
The embrace moment is when I try to feel how much space does the person I am dancing with want to share. Some people prefer to keep more of a distance; others look for my chest and, in a funny way, some prefer to sort of hang on me. These signals help me decide what proposals I choose for each of my dancing partners. It is important to understand that these proposals will never be the same for two people, since each person is different.
Dialog of Tango #Moment 3 – During the tanda
In the course of the tanda, I pay a lot of attention to the attitude of my partner’s body language towards me. If everything goes well, I usually feel that with the passing of the tangos, there is more relaxation, more confidence, and this allows my dance to explode. However, sometimes it may also be that the opposite happens and that the feelings of tension or rejection take place – a signal that helps me understand that I need to find a new beginning.
Julio Cesar Calderon – from the book Tango Tips by the Maestros