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15 tips to circulate well on the dance floor


1- Direction

There is a specific direction for circulating in a ball (identical to the direction of traffic on a roundabout in France…).  You should move on the dance floor counter-clockwise.  This means that you must not take steps backwards on the dance floor, which would put you in a direction opposite to the circulation (Cheers to the salmons that swim upstream!).  You may however step backwards, but only after assuring yourself that there is no risk of collision with another couple.

2- Minimum speed and fluidity

You must not block traffic, stop on the dance floor to talk or to carry out figures.  The traffic around the dance floor must be fluid, although there is no minimum speed imposed… If you wish to stop to carry out a figure you must do that in a corner of the dance floor or in the middle, before returning to the line of flow.
As soon as the couple that precedes you moves and frees up the space, you must occupy it.

3- Remain in control of your speed

You must always be able to stop, interrupt a figure at any moment, change rhythm or direction so as to never hit another couple.

4- Circulate on the right lane and stop on the emergency lane to change wheels

You must never stay on the left lane.  The center of the dance floor is reserved for those wishing to carry out figures (you'll often find the worst dancers there…).  Good dancers dance as much as possible on the outside of the dance floor, on the right.
In principle, in high level balls, you should not overtake.  You should end the dance with the same couple that was before you at the start of the dance (but this situation that you frequently find in several balls in Buenos-Aires is more an utopia.  It is extremely difficult to respect this recommendation, given the anarchic behavior in many balls.  The circulation often resembles more the traffic at the Etoile in Paris at 6pm than a choreographed fashion show or the orderly circulation of cyclists in Holland….).

5- Overtake from the left

Practicality sometimes imposes that you overtake.  As for driving, it is dangerous to overtake from the right, since this corresponds to the closed side of the couple containing a blind angle.  The couple that you have passed may thus cut your path and hit you since it will not have seen you.  If you overtake, make sure that you will not cut the path of the couple before you, and do it from the left.

6- No rodeo

You must adapt the size of your movement to the available space.  Of course, when the dance floor is packed, you must not perform any figures.  You should avoid doing any high boléos, or ganchos if you do not have visibility.
It is also preferable to dance closed style rather than open style which takes more room.  Of course, even if you have a grudge against your partner do not use her as a guinea pig to settle you scores.
Camilla Saraceni creator of the show "Pas à deux" declared in an interview to La Croix "In Argentine balls, if a couple starts doing lots of figures, he is pushed by other dances to the outside of the dance floor.  The tango virtuoso, is similar to classical ballet where there is no creativity.  Ball tango is less showy, but not less difficult to dance.  What counts is not the number of figure, but the relationship between the two independent bodies that find they equilibrium as two, within the music and the movement.  The energy within the center…."

7- Maintain a safe distance

Some dancers a nicknamed "ventilator, helicopter, windmill, or even grass cutter", all instruments which require a minimum safe distance while being used.  It is better to avoid finding yourself too close to certain public dangers who dance as if the dance floor was reserved solely for them.

8-  Ensure that the lane is free before entering

Before entering the dance floor, be sure that a TGV (très grand ventilateur), will not hit you, or that you will not yourself cut the route of a calm passerby….

9- How to deal with collisions

In the event of a collision, excuses are very appreciated.  Do not pretend that you did not feel anything, which can be taken as "hit and run" and a lack of savoir-vivre….

10- Do not look in the rear mirror when you drive

Avoid narcissism:  Certain dance floors are equipped with mirrors and the site of themselves leads certain dancers to make prolonged pauses before that divine apparition, generating traffic.
 

11- Sobriety: drink or dance, you must decide

To maintain your balance, it is preferable to be sober, which also permits a better appreciation of the environment and avoids being permanently outcast by the partners who you would have had the imprudence to invite in that state….

12- Keep driving lessons and dangerous driving to specialist circuits

The ball is a place to have fun, not a place to give dance lessons. One does not stop in the middle of a dance to explain to the partner how to do a step… To try a new step, or new techniques, there are special places called "practices", where you can try new "tricks"…
According to Carmen Aguiar, well know Parisian tango figure, "we dance in a ball what we master, and in practice what we do not master".

13- Pause regularly

The argentine tango balls (also called "milongas") are structured in "tanda", groups of 3 or 4 pieces of the same orchestra.  The transition between tanda is announced by a "cortina", (musical curtain), same piece of music played regularly throughout the evening, for example to pass from one milonga tanda to a tango tanda.  This interruption is the occasion to empty the dance floor and gives dancers the chance to return to their places.  Dance floors often do not permit all dancers to dance at the same time and this transition allows all dancers to dance in turns.  There is no average to maintain and a good evening does not mean dancing non-stop all evening…Pause regularly for the good of all.

14- Do not keep to the mainstream and discover unusual itineraries

There is a social dimension to tango as for all couple dances.  This social dimension varies from one country to another, but in general, it is preferable not to dance several continuous tandas with the same person.  In certain countries such as in the U.S.A. the non-conformity with this rule is considered antisocial (read the article by Karen Tierney and of Mariana on the subject Salida N°25 or in the forum of the Temps du Tango).
Make good use of this advice to discover new horizons, and invite dancers with whom you have never danced….  You may be happily surprised.

15- Check the weather before leaving

Ball cancellations are announced in the site www.letempsdutango.com…. So to avoid hitting your nose against a closed door, consult the site…

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