“You aren’t leading me.” *continues to do un-lead molinetes and ochos*
Why does this happen?! What possesses a follower to “fill in the blank” with her own moves?
When I follow, I try my hardest to be as quiet as possible.* I wait for the lead, and if I don’t hear a lead, I wait some more. I try not to guess. I try not to fill in with something I want to do. I try to follow the leader.
But we all know the women who throw in their own moves. The leader often stands still, arms extended, as the woman boleos and ochos to her heart’s content. The slightest weight shift has her off and running … in her own direction. Why does this happen?
The other night, a woman I had just met invited me to lead her. I started with the simple things I feel confident doing, to get a feel for it again. Walking, walking, walking … wait, how did that weight shift turn into an ocho—oh no, now it’s a molinete! How do I get out of this? As she chastised me for not really leading her, my only thought was, Then why are you still moving?! I felt sudden and intense empathy for the leaders who regularly deal with this from their followers.
But really, why does this happen? What are women being taught—or not taught—that encourages them to continue dancing on their own like this? Is it just a desire to do cool moves and look pretty, no matter what the leader is doing? Is it a real misunderstanding of how tango is supposed to work? I just don’t get it …
*This does, of course, exclude adornos, pitter-patter, torso feedback, and related things that I have begun to do to express myself—but only when I think I can execute them without interrupting the lead. My default is always silence.