Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"Tango in Tight Spaces" survey results!


Last week I ran a survey for the tangueros in our Tango Mojo community, and any women who lead, to find out how people are dealing with dancing in tight spaces, crowded milongas, and "traffic jams".  People are asking for the survey results. 

We had 61 responses to Part 1, and 48 responses to Part 2.  

In this long article, I'll give you the survey results in 3 sections:

a. An "nutshell" summary of what all the tangueros communicated in Survey Part 1.  I found the results surprising!

b.  The complete, unedited report of all the tangueros responses to Survey Part 2.  Most of the responses were so unique and special that I couldn't easily group them into categories.  See if you can identify with any of them. 

c.  A few tangueras' responses for Part 1 and Part 2, which I pulled out separately, because they were not from the leaders' point of view.  However I included them in their entirety, because I thought our tangueros might want to know what's going on in some partners' minds!

* * * * * 

Part 1 of the survey had these 5 questions:

1. When you arrive at a milonga and see that it's very crowded, what are your thoughts?
2. How do you usually deal with dancing in tight spaces?
3. How does it affect the quality of your tanda when you have to dance in restricted space? What do you experience deep inside?
4. What about when the traffic comes to a complete stop for more than a couple of seconds?
5. Is there anything else that you'd like to say about your experience with dancing in crowded milongas, in tight spaces, and when the flow of dance is at a standstill?

We tallied the responses from tangueros by interpreting the detailed answers and dividing them into 5 categories. 
Includes one response from a female leader too.  


Here are the Part 1 survey results:

1) LOVE dancing in crowded milongas/tight spaces and feel competent: 7 

2) Happy to dance in crowded milongas/tight spaces, coping very well, perhaps with a little compromise:  18

3) Are developing coping mechanisms, have a positive attitude, getting better at it:  

4) Experience more discomfort than pleasure, often with high stress and/or anxiety: 24  

5) Dance a lot, but no experience yet in crowded milongas: 2

Tangueras responses: 3 (Posted in full, at the bottom of this post, with other tanguera responses.)


Total responses - 61

* * * * * 

Part 2 of the survey was just one more question.  48 people responded.  

We tried to tally up the responses and put them into categories, as we did above, but in this cases the responses were too unique and special!  

So here they are in full, below the survey question.  We did not edit any of the responses, which come from countries around the world!  (I even translated one response from Russia, using my high school/college Russian, and checking only a few words with a dictionary.  So proud of myself.)


How would you answer the question?  You can type your response in the comments section below this article!


Single question from Part 2 of the survey:
If you could wave a magic wand and in an instant be dancing in tight spaces joyfully and to your complete satisfaction, what would that look like? What would change from the way you're dancing now?

Men's responses (plus one female leader):


  • I would feel more confident
  • No couple would bump into me, no one would lead dangerous boleos around my partner . I would like to have a wider repertoire of moves.
  • Continuous movement
  • It would look like the couple dancing on the table.
  • The intensity would increase. The senses would be more enlivened and every breath every heartbeat would count.
  • Nothing will change in the way I dance.
  • To effect turns more compactly and comfortable to my partner
  • The space would be all mine, with no intrusions from other dancers from the front or the rear.
  • More confident and relaxed and also focusing more in the partner
  • When there are some couples near me I'm induced to move at the same speed and, sometimes , with the same grade of agitation (as molecules in a gas). I'd have to do an effort to calm myself and my way to traslate music in movement.
  • I'd have a larger selection of steps for small spaces, better balance, better musicality and greater confidence(the things I said would lead to that probably).
  • Sure, you could turn me into Ricardo Vidort, that would work for a start. What would change? Oh, everything, of course. I was watching the video (believe you posted it) of a milonga in B.A. where the camera lingers on Javier Rodriguez and Geraldine Rojas. OK, they're professionals, but I'd sure like to move like he does when he leads those turns. Amazing stability, balance, and intention - and smooth as silk .
  • It would look just like Ricardo Viqueira dancing on the table (that cute Japanese "Fish" included please) or just like Murat dancing in this tiny space in the middle of students crowding him. All the corridas with long strides, I love, would have to go.
  • It takes two to tango and it would mean dancing with a very advanced woman... and it would look something like the table top demo that you showed... only I wouldn 't want to do it for more than one song..what would change would be to find women as interested and invested in the dance as I am.
  • I come from a ballroom (big movements in lots of space), then Latin (less space), then Salsa (tighter space especially Cuban style), and lastly Argentine Tango but not in tight spaces. One wish from the magic wand would be to still move "big" but gracefully amongst the other dancers - anticipatory floorcraft. The other wish would be to radiate a protective shield around the two of us in which the woman feels particularly safe. 
  • Joyful, playful tiny steps and turns that are clearly lead and easy to follow as well as an embrace that can dance with musical breathing
  • I'd look like I wasn't dancing in a small space and trying to take small steps and make small movements.
  • A) That the crowd around me really want to dance with me and everybody else on the dance floor, flowing together with very elastic movements. B) (Maybe I misunderstand your question) I have only been dancing for 18 years. I believe I'm walking in the right direction (pun intended), but honing, honing, honing is still the agenda . Fortunately we both (my dance partner & I) enjoy the journey immensely :)
  • Controlled and elegant
  • Do not have a clue.
  • I'd own a milonguero's walk. Within a soft and communicative embrace and out of my sense of purpose and intentionality, she would commit fully to one weighted foot and extend instantly and in direct proportion to the size of my clear but patient downward mark. I'd nail my departing heel to the floor until physics demanded release . My right shoulder would not sag and my collar bones would tug upward on my floating ribs. I'd neither hunch over nor project my head forward. I'd know the music sufficiently well to anticipate major/minor transitions and temporal variation. I'd suppress the urge to speak with posture-embrace-musicality mantra.
  • It would look SMOOTH. Doesn't really matter what I was doing, just as long I didn't stop and start again. The music doesn't reset, so why should I?... if it looked and felt smooth as I changed direction in moving toward a free spot or away from a bottle-neck, then I would be happy!
  • It will probably be , not as busy , simplified , more pauses , accenting more the tension and relase .
  • Well, it depends on how well the floor is moving...if it's still moving forwards but at a slower speed then I need a way to handle the pressure from dancers arriving from upstream (this is important to me because a couple of particularly perceptive followers have said I feel more tense when I get pressured like that, and I don 't think it's right that I should be transmitting that feeling to them; so I think I either need to relax my attitude to the upstream dancers, or else develop some way of flagging to them that they'll have to wait until the floor clears ahead of me). On the other hand, if the floor is stationary, then I will be inviting a lot of small movements that don't generate persistent forwards motion - when this happens, I know that I quickly exhaust my repertoire, so I would like to develop a wider variety of small moves - eg, different variations of the ocho cortada, so it doesn't feel like I'm repeating myself.
  • I consider myself an advanced beginner to beginning intermediate dancer. Therefore , what I need most is just more dance time. Where I live we have a small group of dedicated tango dancers. I have to travel over 200 miles in order to dance at larger milongas. When I have it has been fine, I just simplify my dance to fit the space. Everyone else seems to be doing the same. I try to pick my spot to lead a nice Giro or do sacadas. Generally it goes well, but I still need more dance time with different partners.
  • Would involve very small steps or maybe no steps, only leading with the frame. More flamboyant moves like boleos and ganchos would be out, indeed impossible. Ochos and giros would predominate but even the turning involved in these could prove difficult in a restricted space.
  • I would be more musical, have more variety in my small space dancing, and be better at maintaining the line of dance.
  • Absorbed in the music and each other in close embrace, we move together but without dramatic figures, feeling each pulse of the music in our bodies uniquely and without boring repetition -- playfully and sensually.
  • I would move effortlessly with my partner with rhythm, variety, confidence, playfulness without having to think too much about stepping on feet, bumping knees etc.
  • Not a whole bunch. Smaller steps, concentration on the Angles instead of down the line. And through her axis not around it.
  • (Translated from Russian:)  I didn't understand the question.  I think that it's good to dance in a confined space. That's mastery.  
  • the difference is that now i am sometimes too focused and anxious what to do and most of the times i am repeating me and sometimes this leads to losing the flow ,,, if i were so confident to tango in tight space my mind would be concetrated to the music and to my partner
  • Imagnie the couple dancing on a table. Followers tell that it feels very nice to walk together and they dont like to be at the same spot for too long!
  • want to let go of control and thus experience to forget time and place
  • I would be confident that my partner enjoys the dance even with lot of pauses and small moves.
  • I would move without worry that I will hit on someone.
  • wld b more cofident tht I wont hit or b hit by accident on z dancefloor ...
  • A place where everybody cares about the other dancers, be polite, where the ronda is fluent and tangueras and tangueros happy to be together, in a tight embrace, it is no more important that there is large or narrow space. It is the tango paradise :)
  • My embrace, both close and more importantly the standard one. Leading with my shoulders I could do all the figures around my and follower's axes.
  • I am trained to dance in tight spaces (and I already saw that Ricardo Viqueira video ) but fluidity is still an issue.
  • I would be feeling relaxed n confident, moving comfortably, not stepping on my partner 's feet or knocking into another couple or being stuck in a corner trying to get out or dancing only small repetative steps with my partner feeling bored or feeling my muscles tensed up and my chest slouching!
  • I would know how to take steps of satisfying length, link them together rhythmicly and still not go anywhere.
  • The ability to dance using very small steps while almost stationary without looing the rhythm.

* * * * * 

A few women's responses 

- to Survey Part 2.  We thought you'd be curious:
  • I will be relaxt and enjoyed tha dance, be more concentratet on my partner and the magic of tango and not totaaly stresssed
  • I have been dancing for 15 years and my teachers are and were performers at Cirque De Soleil in Las Vegas, I took 7 years of lessons 3 times a week, plus Saturday Milongas and sometimes Sundays. If I had my magic wand I would make everybody collect their feet on every step. I am always improving and everyday I can do something better.
  • I would be dancing with my partner and enjoying each other. What would change I would have the mobility to move freely back wards forward,step by step, feel the strong connection being in tune with each other dancing, feel more passion with each other, feel the connection in the embrace, pivot,comes natural, enjoying the beautiful,touching feeling dance together with my partner as we dance.
  • When I dance tango at a very crowded milonga, I appreciate the leader leads me save and with great creativity, and the leader looks positive at the dance floor as a big organism and finds the small places with entusiasm - it feels like magic - and I don't need a magic wand :-)

- to Survey Part 1 (questions at top of post):

"I just dance with my partner on the outer side it is comfortable and we dance with ease,it feels great our connection.","It doesn't bother me or my dancing partner.","A feeling of Joy, I feel the love connection, it is a beautiful feeling with my partner.","We stop and talk with each other.","Very peaceful within us!"

"great!","I keep my feet on the floor for boleos and everything else and try to prevent my partner from bashing into someone if I can see it's about to happen.","a little frustration at not being able to ake big steps","I hope my partner is good enough to lead in in minimal movement steps."

"I think I have to bring more curage to come to crowded places and dance, and not stay away. Its a difficult one but the only way to learn.i do get frustrated by leaders hoe do back steps and ladys doing high kicks....."

"I look after a nice place to sid near the dance floor. Not to far away. I some times must overcome a feeling of 'drowning' in the big ocean of tango dancers. ","I find it okay, if the other dancers respect the rules at the dance floor. If some of the other dancers are bumping into me in a regular time, I some times decide going home again or find a more quite milonga. I do not like if a couple take a lot of space, and all the others must be ware of them. Fx if the woman do high boleros even if there is a risk of kicking other couples. ","I find it like a great challenge to do some nice small steps and get a nice feeling with my partner. To have a feeling, that the leader takes good care of me, even if there is a little space. If there is a nice flow at the dance floor, it doesn't matter how crowded the milonga is.","It's okay to make some small turning around ore some rebounds. I find it nice if the leader is creative and get the best out of the situation. If the leader gets irritated, it afects me in a  negative way, and I loose my energi and concentration.","When I get a feeling from the leader, that it dosn't matter, how many 'problems', there are at the dance floor, because he likes dancing with me and takes responsebility for, we have a good time in the tanda."


* * * * * 

Did you get through it all?  How would you have responded?  Which "tight spaces" category would you be in right now? Did you identify with anyone's comments?  Please comment in the area below!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Dancing tango in tight spaces

[Thank you so much for your participation in Part 2 of the "Tango in tight spaces" survey!"  The provocative question I want you to ponder is four paragraphs below the video in red."]

Blog Visitors, if you want to take Part 1 of this brief survey CLICK HERE]

This intriguing video, sent to me by Carlos, a tanguero in Canada, is from the 2011 tango festival in Seoul, Korea.  In it we see Ricardo Viqueira and "Fish" dancing to "Pocas Palabras" by the orchestra of Ricardo Tanturi with Alberto Castillo singing.  

They’re dancing on a small table!  



What is the value to you of this performance beyond it's being an entertaining stunt?

You probably don't need me to connect the dots, but just in case someone wants clarification:

If you could confidently dance a whole tango in the surface area of a small table and totally have fun with it, imagine how you could dance in crowded milongas! 


Now, if you did the survey and are watching this video for the second or third time or more, please answer this question for yourself, and below in the comments area:
Are Ricardo and Fish dancing with only "very small" or "tiny" steps?  Do you see how you have options for moderate-sized movements even when restricted to 80 cm/2.5 feet (the  short side of the table)?



Please watch, and tangueros, think about whether this is a skill you'd like to have . . . and soon!   It's not so much about the table, but about dancing freely and joyfully in very restricted spaces!

(In a few days I will be giving you information that can help you do exactly that.  Email my team at support@tangomojo.com if you want to make sure you receive it!)

CLICK HERE to take Part 1 of my brief survey about your own experience of dancing in tight spaces. (5 questions.)

Please comment below about your own experience with dancing in crowded milongas. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The musical "trigger" that does NOT mean "go!" (musicality lesson with audio example)

In Saturday's post, "The magical 7th beat - and the real reason you rush!" I revealed that in a normal 8-count phrase of tango, the 7th beat is often the last beat of rhythm that the bassist plays in the phrase

When he then takes his hand off the strings, he creates a pause!  That is, he gives the orchestra and YOU, the dancer, the counts of "and-EIGHT-and" to rest.

But many of you don't realize that the phrase hasn't yet ended, and that there's a whole 1.5 beats left after "SEVEN", the last rhythmic note! 

If you don't realize it, it's because the "and-EIGHT-and", while empty of rhythmic sound, is not silent.  It's usually loaded with something else that's melodic and interesting.  

And that "something else" is what so many of you are responding to.  

When you hear something new starting, you feel the urge to move! (Very many of you are doing this, tangueros and tangueras alike.)  

This is exactly where we find the "trigger" that makes you rush!  

Whenever the bassist gives the orchestra a pause, one or more of the melodic instruments usually take the opportunity to do one of three things:

1) They may embellish - like when the violins do a flourish, or the piano plays a melodic "plink-plink-plink". Melodic embellishments decorate the end of the phrase, and sometimes the middle of the phrase, adding artistry and expression to the tango being played. 

2) They may play an accent - just a single strike or two of a piano key.

3) And they may use the pause to introduce the next phrase!!


BINGO!!  Number 3 is your trigger!  

It's a melodic introduction to the next phrase, but it happens at the end of the current phrase.  The phrase you've been in hasn't ended, yet you hear a new musical theme beginning. And that makes many of you want to "GO!"  

In fact, that trigger to "go!" gives many of you anxiety, because you're afraid you'll miss the beginning of the new phrase . . . and look like you don't know what you're doing!  Well after this lesson, you WILL know what you are doing.

So when you hear the trigger of the melodic instruments introducing a new phrase during the pause at the end of the phrase you're in, what should you do? 

Your job as interpreter of the music is to stay where you are and complete the phrase with your axis still, enjoying your possibilities within the pause.  (In my next post, I'll talk about those possibilities.)

The bottom line for your dancing is that by learning to recognize and respect those 1.5 second pauses, staying calmly in your axis with your free leg relaxed, and being present with your partner, you start to become a dream to dance with.

* * * * *

Now I'll show you some examples of the melodic introduction of a new phrase during the rhythm-less 1.5 seconds after the 7th beat.  We'll look at a tango that everyone knows well, "Al Compas del Corazon", by Miguel Caló with Raul Beron. 

"The trigger" - that is, melodically introducing a new phrase in the pause after "SEVEN" of the previous phrase - happens in 9 phrases of this tango!  The introductions are sometimes played by the violins, sometimes by the piano, sometimes by the whole orchestra and sometimes by the singer. 

So there are 9 points at which you might otherwise rush, by anticipating the new phrase!  I'll show you two of them right now.

Please play this Youtube recording of "Al Compas .  . ." so you can follow along with my description below:


Preliminary note:  At the end of the first phrase, at around 0:8 seconds, violins introduce the next phrase, but the bass plays rhythm all the way through "EIGHT-and", so you'd be driven to keep walking or stepping. And you'd be accurate and correct.

Now for the two example triggers: 

Example AThe second phrase starts at 0:9. Here the bassist plays "ONE-and" through "SEVEN".  At 0:15 there's a deep piano accent on the " 'and'-after-the-'SEVEN' ", followed by the whole orchestra's introducing the next phrase on "EIGHT-and". The new phrase begins at 0:17, when it's time for you to "go".

That means that for 1.5 seconds, from about mid-0:15 (deep piano accent) through 0:16, you are still!  STILL!  You're not traveling in any step, until the "ONE" of the next phrase, which you'll hear at 0:17 seconds.

Will you take a moment now and go through the second phrase of this tango, from 0:9 - 0:16 seconds, and make sure my description makes sense to you?  If this is new for you, you may have to listen to the phrase and review my notes a few times.

About that moment of stillness at 0:15 - 0:16, during which you make no steps on the "and-EIGHT-and":  Saturday I said that you don't have to "stand there like an idiot" while there's music going on.  

Do you have any ideas about what you could be doing instead, during the 1.5 second pause? Make a note of your ideas. I'll make some suggestions in my next post. 


Here's Example B - It's a solo violin introducing the next phrase, and it's the only one in this tango using the entire "and-EIGHT-and".

This passage occurs at about 2:08 in the recording, in the first phrase the orchestra plays when Beron stops singing. For the next seven counts the bassist rhythmically accompanies the orchestra as it repeats the main theme, but in a new key. 

Then, at 2:16 (on "SEVEN"), the bassist plays his last beat of the phrase, then disappears, as a single violin enters to melodically introduce the next phrase during the "and-EIGHT-and" pause!  This is really a classic formula that you'll find in many tangos.  (The violin solo continues for the whole next phrase, but you can dance on that because there's bass rhythm accompanying the violin through "SEVEN". We're just concerned right now with the pause at the end of the preceding phrase.)

So for the second half-second of 2:16 ("and-"), and all of 2:17 ("EIGHT-and"), be still and don't go anywhere!  

If you're traveling on those first notes of the violin solo, before the bassist comes back in on 2:18, you are rushing!

When that solo violin starts playing, you're still in the same phrase!  There's a rhythmic silence, so stay where you are. No steps, no figures for that 1.5 seconds.  

But that doesn't mean "stop dancing".  On the contrary.  These silences in your dancing can be the key to your greatest moments of connection, communication, and even seduction in your tango!  


And that will be the subject of my next post.  I'll also have another audio example for you.

* * * * 
Did you jot down some thoughts about what you could be doing in the 1.5-second pause when the bass disappears after the 7th beat?  Please leave your ideas, or tell us what you already do, in the comment section below!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The magical 7th beat - and the real reason you rush!


Many of you have told me about your problem of rushing on the dance floor . . . or that your partner rushes.  

There is no rush in tango.  Not even in milonga.  Not even in a corrida (a “run”).  Every single movement, and non-movement, in social tango is done calmly and deliberately, even when the music is fast or when it’s dramatic and passionate.  

I’ve always said that “Rushing in tango = ANXIETY”.  When one partner rushes, it means they’re stressed. Rushing kills all the pleasure for both the rusher and the partner. 

When you rush, your partner can’t enjoy your company.  If the man is rushing, the woman can’t feel safe with him, because he doesn’t give her the time that she needs to be secure in her axis between steps. If the woman is rushing, she’s anticipating.  In both cases, the partner who's rushing prevents any meaningful dialog or artistic co-creation from taking place. 

I’ve written a number of articles on my blog about why you may be rushing, and what you can do about it.  I’ve written a number of articles on my blog about why you may be rushing, and what you can do about it.  My main premise was that if you’re a rusher, it’s because you’re afraid - 
- afraid to be still and silent on the dance floor,
- afraid to miss a beat in the music,
- afraid you’ll be judged and criticized for not “doing” something,
- afraid your partners will think you don’t know what you’re doing.  (On the contrary!  Those who do less are those who know more.)


But I recently made a breakthrough discovery about the true source of anxiety that makes people rush and I can’t wait to share it with you:



Almost everyone who rushes is misinterpreting the music at a very specific, recurring point that happens in phrase after phrase of many tangos. 

* * * * *


I’m going to tell you the precise cause of this problem, and how you can recognize the musical trigger that throws so many people off.  I’ll tell you how you can - and must - do something much more musically accurate and emotionally meaningful, as you effortlessly eliminate the rush.

“The trigger” happens in the last two counts of a musical phrase.  And it’s part of the repeating phrase-structure of a great number of tangos.

But first I must give you some background info about how tangos are structured.


If you saw my two “quick-and-dirty analysis” musicality training videos over the last couple of weeks (going back into the archives on Monday), you saw me counting and marking on a chart mostly phrases of 8 rhythmic counts.  

Now, I don’t want you to count while you’re dancing in a milonga; I want you to FEEL the music, and “dance with your heart”.  However, I DO want you to count when you’re studying a tango so you can really understand what’s going on in the music.

Most tangos are structured in phrases of 8 counts.  The 8 counts are made of downbeats (strong beats) and upbeats (weak beats), that are played by the single rhythmic instrument in the orchestra - usually the double bass (contrabajo), or occasionally, the low keys of the piano.  

The count given by the bass usually goes “ONE and TWO and THREE and . . .”, continuing through “EIGHT and”.   The integers (1, 2, 3, etc.) are the downbeats, and the “ands” are the upbeats.  

Please make sure this is clear to you before reading on.  If it’s not, go back to the video of my “stick-chart” analysis of a Regular tango.

Tango music usually calls us to step on the downbeat, and to rest on the upbeat.  The upbeat is most often a moment when we can ground ourselves between steps, relaxing our free leg as it swings.  

I call that split-second rest the “micro-pause”.  I also call it the “Split Second Difference in Your Tango”, because this micro-pause can make the DIFFERENCE between mediocre and excellent dancing.  


When the bassist takes his right hand off the strings of his instrument, for a full beat or longer, he’s offering a greater pause, a “macro-pause”, to the orchestra and to the dancers.  

In the most commonly structured tangos of the Golden Age, the ones I call “regular tangos”, . . . and here’s my “writer-downer” message to you today:   



. . . the 7th beat is often the last beat the bassist plays in a phrase!  He leaves “and-EIGHT-and” quiet, inviting you to pause.  


You can eliminate what is possibly the major cause of your rushing by  listening for the rhythmic sound of the bass through the 7th beat in a phrase of tango, and respecting the rhythmic pause that often occurs in the “and-EIGHT-and” at the end of the phrase.

If this is new to you, please take a moment and let it sink in before continuing.  

"But," you might argue, after listening and indentifying the 7th beat in several phrases of a classic tango, “there’s plenty going on in the music after the 7th beat!  Am I supposed to just stand there like an idiot while music is playing?” 


Great question, and you’re right.  Rarely is there total silence when the bass gives the orchestra a pause at the end of a phrase.

Which brings us to this week's BIG LESSON:   the "musical trigger" that makes so many people rush!  

I'll be back in my next post to reveal exactly what the trigger point is, and I'll even give you some examples of where it happens in two popular tangos.  Then I'll tell you how to use it to your great advantage, to make your tango feel beautiful and to increase connection with your partner!

*  *  *  *  *  *

Meanwhile, please leave your comments below!  Do you sometimes rush during your tangos?  What do you think is causing it?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tango tip for men: Lose the Gringo Triangle!


Here’s another quick tip about your embrace, tangueros.

I’m always picking on North American and European men, who are the people I most often help with their tango. (Tangueros from Asia, Australia and Africa, you listen up too!)

Gentlemen, you usually have a little geometric detail in your tango that I want you to eliminate!  

I call it “the Gringo Triangle”.  It’s a little triangle of space between the inside of your right elbow and the woman’s torso.  

Close this gap!  

When you raise your right arm to enter a close embrace, seek contact first with the crook of your elbow, and keep that contact as long as you are in close embrace.  If you’re not doing this already (I’ll bet you’re not), this little detail will transform your embrace. It will feel wonderful to the woman you’re dancing with.  

I did some research over my last few months in Buenos Aires. Every time I danced with a Porteño who felt like a dream, I observed that the ribs on my left side felt nice and warm, in full contact with my partner’s arm.  

In this video are lots of examples you can study for a great right arm:





[I noticed one man in the video who seems to have the Gringo Triangle.  Maybe you did too. I won't identify him, but he’s a regular at Lujos and a pretty nice dancer, and he’s from Europe.]    

Tangueras, please notice this when you’re dancing in close embrace with someone wonderful.  Do you feel that spot on your ribs, near his right elbow, nice and warm and cozy - connected to him?

Then, tangueros, once you’ve made good contact with the inside of your elbow, let your right hand be full of energy and taking responsibility on the opposite side of her torso.  (See Gustavo's right hand example in yesterday's post, as well as almost every example in the video from Lujos above.) Your forearm will feel to your partner like it’s flexible and curving around her, because the important, purposeful contacts are your right hand and inside your elbow.

Close this little gap if you want to increase connection, and make your embrace feel magical.  Or if you want to be mistaken for a Porteño on the dance floor!

Let me hear from you. What do you think about the "Gringo Triangle"?  Please comment below this post!