Wednesday, December 2, 2009

When “Simple” is Complex

You tell the novice or the mostly unhappy advanced dancer who is impressed by a flashy style.  They are taken up by the person who is showing off on the social dance floor.

Let me use an analogy as a musician. When I played in show groups, I would flip my sticks in the air. Even the well-rounded jazz listener might assume that the drummer who can flip his sticks in the air is the better drummer. Chances are that the drummer who doesn’t flip his sticks is better. In most musical situations I would never flip my sticks. When I did, I got all these compliments from people who just didn’t know. They were fooled by the showy style.

Show-off moves may look cool, but the are a step farther away from your partner because whoever is watching has now entered into the equation. Any trained instructor knows that they can show you a step very quickly in open, but it is not so easy to now do it milonguero style. (Let's say, an ocho caminando or sandwicho is fairly simple -- but not easy in close embrace.)

I do believe in lessons/coaching/group lessons, BUT!!! “Thank you, oh great tango dance instructors from around the world, but I don’t have the time or money to learn acrobatics and dangerous moves for the social dance floor in my community. That’s a $3K volcada you got there, señor. Can’t afford that. Have a $50 embrace? Thank you, I’ll work on that for the rest of my life.”


  1. Thank you for writing this very intelligent post! I couldn't agree more.

    Saludos de Buenos Aires!

  2. This: "because whoever is watching has now entered into the equation." - cannot be emphasized enough. So many wonderful things expressed in that past. Thank you for writing it.


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