Ghost Guide To Tango: General


Return the foot to the centre of the wheel - keep collecting

Lead can use elbows to guide where her steps are going next.

You have all the time in the world - "You wait; you do nothing".

Let go of letting go

Space between the poses

Null point - dynamic sphere; changing radius - apply forward motion near centreline so not off-balance

Gabrielle Roth's Mistress - Seduce in to the dance

Lead hip motion as well as foot motion

...and swoosh lead - lead first then move. Feeling of moving forwards in "In Chains I Bind Thee"

Lead slightly ahead

Your partner

Build up trust

Dance with the feeling of having a conversation - the ease of the dance should mirror the ease of chatting.

Keep her in her vertical rectangle

Be aware of the changing position of the lead's right hand on her back.

When playing, apply tension with arm that leads her out so she knows where to go when she finishes adorning.

Different speeds

Can use elemental moves to transition between speeds (for example, giros can speed up or slow down).

Rebounds build up speed (see walking) as does front ochos to planeo pivot.

Can start milonga by taking a few backward - forward steps. Gets both up to speed and frees her up.


A lot of endings in tango music frankly don't make sense. They finish too earlier or add another beat. I suspect that tango musicians are simply evil.

Be ready to chain the move into something else rather than just striking a pose. eg a lunge into a planeo pivot or volcada.

As a last resort you can both change your head position eg look to the side to get an extra beat.

Kicca says...

Kicca says... "find your centre.":

  • Pull out from it
  • Push up from it
  • Push down from it

Kicca says... "expand your field of energy."

  • Feel energy reaching the top of the head, the finger tips and the toes.
  • Feel the energy pushing down through the balls of the feet.
  • Feel grounded into the floor.

Kicca says... "exude confidence."

  • Stand tall
  • Open shoulders
  • Raise your torso
  • Make yourself bigger
  • Say '"Here I Am"

Kicca says... "wear a corset."

  • Think about squeezing the ribs in and lifting our torso up.
  • In pairs, one with hands on the other's ribs, squeeze them in tight and push/pull up.
  • Maintaining pressure the corset wearer walked forwards and the human corset walked backwards. (Perhaps the gentleman wouldn't have enjoyed this exercise!)
  • Next we walked using our own hands as our corset squeezing our ribs in and pulling up.
  • Certainly gets the posture message across.

Kicca says... "use your feet."

While waiting for the invitation to step:

  • Tap your heel, show your heel
  • Tap your toe, point your toe
  • Rotate your feet, play with your feet
When Kicca does it; wow...


All decorations are led by the follower who decides when, where and how to do them.

It adds her character to the dance.

It shows her interpretation and style.

Crucial elements:

  1. have strong legs
  2. be quick, be very quick
  3. don't interrupt the timing
  4. be ready for the next step
  5. free leg moves from the hip
  6. be in time, on the half beat or quicker"
- Carole

What a follower wants

In order of importance:

  1. Please listen to the music. I am and if you don't it's hell to dance with you
  2. Please "listen" to me. Where am I? How do I feel? What mood am I in?
  3. Listen to the rest of the dance floor. Don't let me hurt someone else
  4. Maybe do some interesting movements. One per tune would be wonderful; the cherry on the cake.

~ A Passion for Tango.

A couple of final thoughts

Intention - a small signal at the beginning in of the lead that doesn't remove either the lead or the follow from their cone of balance but shows that the follow is following what the lead is leading. Can also be used for leading planeo points.

In tango it's a good thing to simply walk for a tanda. And most women can follow walking at a tango class. But this means if the leader chooses to lead anything other than walking, it's his responsibility for doing so. If he leads boleos and the follower doesn't follow it, it really is the leader's "fault" - not so much the first time as after all there's a "feeling out process" at the beginning, but if he persists then yes, fire and brimstone await...

 - Christopher O'Shea