Wednesday, November 09, 2011

When Waltzers meet Tango Dancers- Floor craft Suggestions

There are differences between the tango etiquette and other partner dance etiquette.

First and most important is how dancers use the floor. Tango dancers are accustomed to traveling counter clockwise at a slow to moderate pace in the outside lane whereas those doing traveling dances (waltz, fox trot, one step etc) will be also wanting to use the outside lane but at a much faster pace. A suggested resolution to this potential conflict is to have two traveling lanes. Those doing traveling dances should use the far outside lane and limit weaving through the interior of the dance. Those doing a more traditional style of tango should dance in a second lane being aware of faster moving dancers to their outside. As always, those doing dances that occupy a set space should stay to the inside and slot dances like west coast swing should align themselves with the direction of the flooring. The key to sharing a dancing with others is to expand your awareness of your surroundings to include the dancers around you and to have fun and allow others to have fun.

There are also differences in how people ask one another to dance and the number of dances that a couple is expected to do. In tango a common practice is to ask another to dance nonverbally with eye contact and a nod and to accept by meeting the gaze and affirming the nod. Also partners usually dance an entire tanda (a set of 3 to 4 songs ended with a “non danceable” cortina that gets dancers off the floor).

At Dance Eclectic "Tango and Tapas" dances, the music will not be organized in recognizable tandas although “cortinas” are planned to mark a transition between blues, world, non tango and nuevo tango sections.  So dancers should feel free to use their preferred ways of asking partners to dance and not have an expectation of a multiple dance commitment. Again the object is to allow dancing to be a lively conversation with your partner and to have fun.

As always comments on how we can improve this event are appreciated.