Sunday, September 16, 2007

Line of Dance: A Field Guide

If you recognize this diagram:

you probably dance tango in North America (and yes, not in Denver, we know, we know).

This is because leaders were issued a field guide, except in Denver, because they ran out just before the Colorado border.


Congratulations, tanguero! You've been to class, you've watched the vids, you've bought the shoes, you've showered almost daily, and you're on your way to greatness.

So you find yourself at the milonga, and joy of joys, a woman accepts your invitation! Now all you have to do is put that hard work to use. But don't forget that any dance can be ruined by just one fatal collision. Check out these rules of the floor to make sure your navigation is as smooth as your pick-up lines.

1. Line of dance is counterclockwise, unless you feel like going clockwise, in which case, by all means do.

2. If the guy in front of you is too slow, that's his problem. Let the music move you right past him! It's just like driving; they have two lanes for a reason.

3. If you're going to pause, then really pause. Take all the time you need. The guy behind you knows about the two lanes; if he wants to move, he'll move.

4. Sometimes you'll see a break in traffic across the room. Sieze the moment and make a break for it. The people in the middle will understand, nay, envy you.

5. After-dance bathroom break? You've played Frogger before; dodge yourself some dancers and get to the restrooms in half the time.

6. Remember, there are no slow songs, only slow dancers. Rev it up, tangueros!


Anonymous said...

Planchadora, you must have drawn that circulation pattern after visiting the milongas in my neck of the woods. I'm wondering if there's a market for milonga collision insurance?

La Planchadora said...

HAHA! Johanna, would you believe that's actually a Druid cosmological symbol? I swear they passed these out in tango classes.

Gentimiento said...

My edition of the guide to navigation also contains this helpful hint:

“Don’t forget that the best place for a salida might be behind you.”

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Gentimiento. I have scars that bear witness to those who thought that moving into that empty space behind them was a brilliant idea... Things change way too quickly in that region of the floor where you don't have eyes. Unless there is no one (or very few ones) on the floor, I say sideways and forwards Tangueros.

Planchadora, maybe the Druids had similar circulation problems with their ritual dances?

La Tanguera said...

I just loved this. :D

Debbi said...

This is just too fantastic. That was definitely passed out at the Boston Tango Festival this past spring, only it apparently was much too orderly and clear for the majority to follow at that point!

Some days I really wonder why is it so difficult to keep the line of dance.... I made the mistake of blithely stating this the other day, and was challenged to learn to lead. And so, my new tango education is about to begin. me and my big mouth.... But I am sure I will be asking your advice as I learn! :-)