We regularly teach floor craft during our weekly classes. We know that it’s not the most popular of our classes. Students come to class to relax, learn new moves, practice sacadas… yet we make them dance smaller movements behind an another couple who is “just not moving fast enough”. It’s possibly the classes where people get most frustrated. Some students don’t come back…

Yet we believe it’s one of our most important classes and keep teaching it regularly.

Why? For two obvious reasons:

  • ·      Because we want our students to dance socially
  • ·      Because we want our students to dance socially

Because we want our students to dance socially

We organize milongas, and in our hearts tango is best shared socially. However wonderful it is to watch a good tango show, but nothing replaces a connected walk in the ronda. So our job is to prepare our students to dance socially. Which means knowing how to get in the embrace and dance, obviously, but also knowing how to behave and dance in a milonga.

You see, everyone agrees that tango is all about “connection”. The thing is connecting goes beyond the tango embrace – it involves connecting with the music and the people dancing around us. That’s the basis for good floor craft. Plenty of tango students hear about cabeceo, get the idea, then skip the other floor craft classes. They hop onto the dance floor forgetting that there are 10, 20 or more couples dancing next to then… Often at the expense of those other couple’s evening.

That’s when floorcraft comes in.

There are discussions going on that say that it’s the responsibility of the milonga organizer to educate about floorcraft. But sadly, we can’t force a dancer to learn. It’s a craft on its own, and requires some time, dedication and practice. And if someone wants to learn it, it often implies seriously reassessing her or his dancing. And behavior in and around the dancefloor, which can take years. 

But because we know it’s the best way for our students to fully understand and love what tango is all about, we’ll keep teaching it. 

Because we want our students to dance socially

Yes. We want our students to dance. And they will, if they go to milongas

But if their floor craft is not up to the required standards, they will probably never get to dance with the best dancers out there… and after a while, they might not get to dance at all and that would be a shame. It’s no secret that more experienced dancers won’t invite a lady whose heels are dangerously kicking up in the air, or will never look at a man they’ve seen zigzagging between lanes.

Some people see it as snobbism, but we think that your partner’s floor craft is actually a good indication of how great your next tanda will be.

Because not having taken the time to learn about the rules says something about you and your dancing. Maybe it is about your level: you just started tango, you haven’t had the time to fully understand the rules of milongas, which means the tanda might be sweet but not the most enjoyable yet.

But, more often than not, it says something about your state of mind, and how you treat your partners: if you simply can’t be asked to challenge your dancing and respect the people around you… how are you going to treat the person dancing with you?

Happy dancing!


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