When it comes to real life, some people are leaders and some people are followers. Walk into any middle school and you’ll be able to figure out who’s who within 30 minutes. When it comes to Tango, although someone has to lead and someone has to follow, both roles are important. If your child is learning to Tango, here’s what they should know about leading and following.
When It First Began
When Tango first began, there were more men than women. Men learned to dance together until they felt that they were good enough to dance with women. They worked hard to become good at Tango so that when they finally chose a female partner, the dance would be enjoyable for both of them. For this reason, men started learning Tango as followers, letting more experienced men lead. As followers became more skilled, they would shift into the leader role so they could share their experience with new followers.
Where We Are Today
Today, when kids are first learning Tango, the boys usually learn to lead and the girls usually learn to follow. Many people suggest, however, that each person try the other side once in a while. When girls are used to following and get the opportunity to lead, they get a better understanding of what the boys go through as they try to lead a Tango. New experiences allow people to see things from other perspectives and gain better understanding.
Origins Of Role Swapping
There are typically enough boys and girls to have mixed sex pairing for Tango classes. If not, while girls don’t usually have a problem dancing together if necessary, boys can feel uncomfortable dancing together. Though no one is forced to dance with a partner they feel uncomfortable with, it’s still advisable to swap roles on occasion just to expand your horizons and understand Tango better. After all, the best dancers in Buenos Aires change roles in the middle of the dance, regardless of gender.
Practice Makes Perfect
Whether you lead or follow, it’s important to remember that practice makes perfect. You can practice tango whenever you’re not sitting down or lying down. If you’re standing in line at the movies, or waiting for the bus, work on balance techniques. If you have a little bit of space to work with, work on projecting into forward, back, and side steps.
And if you are laying down or sitting, you can still practice in your mind. Athletes and ballerinas return to peak performance faster if they visualize/practice in their minds while recovering from injuries. Think about your role, whether you lead or follow, and think about the role of your partner.
Want to learn more about leading and following? When it comes to learning Tango, we can teach you all about it. Contact us today to find out what kind of classes we offer to make you even better at both.