I was sorting through some ideas today, wanting to rant about some moves that have been irritating me lately. But I didn’t want to do a blanket condemnation of anything—I am okay with most things if they are done really well. So I started probing, considering what my real problem is. And I came up with this (with the usual disclaimer that these things are always subject to revision):
I always want my tango to be musical, cohesive, and considerate.
This means that, no matter the other variables, I want each moment to flow from the step before into the next step in a way that makes sense with the music and our dancing as a whole—all while remembering that I am a dancer and not a robot.
This means that I don’t want to do “cool moves” that are done as an afterthought or that interrupt our dancing (“Oh, wait, stop, now do a gancho!”). I would rather stick with something more simple until there is a more fluid, natural way to integrate that move into our dancing. I don’t want a quiet, romantic song to be punctuated with huge, loud movements. I would rather keep it small and intimate. And I don’t want my leader to try to make all of these decisions without considering me—taking into account our connection and my abilities, and maybe even listening to hear if I have any suggestions.
I don’t expect every leader to be the same, or even be at the same level. I had a beautiful dance with a beginning leader at the practica this week that was limited to walking and doing ochos. It was smooth, considerate, and musical. I regularly enjoy a full range of styles of dancing. But my statement above is the thread that connects all the dances I enjoy—and is a clue as to what happens in the dances I would rather avoid.