My first lesson as a Tango follower

Today  had my first ever lesson as a follower. What an experience. I learned so much because the communication of so many ideas was no longer constrained by observation at a distance and by the limiting and sometimes inefficient nature of language.

I was able to feel how a truly great leader leads the cross. Totally horizontal, totally without ambiguity, and yet so incredibly subtle. Joao was able to lead me as a poor leader then as a good one, even as myself – and finally as himself.

Worlds of difference, a series of levels of enjoyment and pleasure for me as the follower.

A side step – how wrong I have been. The huge contrast between the way he shows me that I lead a side step – and the way he leads me.

One is a vague invitation to move from here to somewhere over there quite soon – the other is a definite shift of both of our axes from here to exactly there – now. With no pulling, no pushing, no arms and nothing at all except pleasure and a shared expression of moving as one.

An experience I can just as hopelessly describe in words on a blog as I was previously able to understand in conventional watch-listen-copy lessons.

The role of the frame in communicating the intent. The horrible way it feels when he shows me how I move my hand when I lead, the smile I can’t help but make when he leads me with perfect stability and noise free communication.

How a great leader can be so subtle and yet so very clear.

I can’t say how much my Tango changed today – but I can feel it……

Really feel it.

3 thoughts on “My first lesson as a Tango follower”

  1. I reading your previous blog and struggled to agree with your frustration in wanting the follower to commit to each movement; to be one with the music; to flirt, to seduce, to be an extension of the lead.

    Then lead me – I wanted to scream. Tell me what you want. I will dance for you and with you. I want nothing more than to be so secure in your arms that I can be lost in the music.

    I have only ever felt this when led by Joao – his gestures are subtle but deliberate. There is no mistake. There is an intensity that comes from being correctly led. And through this intensity, I live.

    1. I completely agree. Great leaders like Joao can lead exactly the response from a follower that I would love to experience, but i am unfortunately not one of them. I realised that the problem was that they were dancing with me – Someone with only two years experience.

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