Movement: Tango Walk
If you're looking to develop your awareness of your dance line and your control of it, you'd have to go a long way to find a dance better than Tango Argentino. It tightens up the way you envisage your movement on the dance floor, and your ability to be true to that vision.
Here is an excerpt of my response to a request for technical pointers regarding the Argentine Tango walk, previous published in www.dance-forums.com.
Walks and your Dance Line
I don't like
to see a good post go unanswered.
What it is
Here I must clarify two things: "Personal dance line" should not be confused with "Line of dance"; and Principle-based teaching utilises techniques differently to the technique-based teaching prevalent in ballroom studios of the UK (I can't speak for other countries).
the personal dance line
of the personal dance line
Tango is an intimate dance, performed in very close quarters, and the elegant execution of it lies not in the adornments, but in how a couple's lines unify (notice I did not use the word "super-impose").
As an ideal dancer you would need to be aware of your line, and be able to place your feet on it unerringly. Since your movements will be unsighted, you will need to develop your sense of proprioception, such that your limbs go exactly where you intend for them to. I call this "perfect register" where intent and movement are perfectly aligned.
Finally, absolute command of your line instils a certain confidence in your partner and establishes a greater rapport.
Contact is maintained with the floor with the front of the foot (aids balance, acts as blind person's cane for detecting obstacles, prevents you from stepping on your partner's feet, positions your legs for leg-based leads like displacements)
Foot placement is ball flat (ensures the part of the foot that controls your weight is never off the floor, and always ready)
Your centre of gravity should be maintained at the same height from the floor, throughout the dance (for stability, but more for predictability on your partner's part)
Knees are slightly flexed (acting as additional control points, increasing step-size and drive power, absorbing the extra height gain should you need to go on your toes)
If your line, feet and knees are right, you should find the knee of your moving leg: tucking in behind the knee of your supporting leg just before the bulge begins; and tucking in, in front of the knee of your supporting leg just after the bulge. These are the ideal positions for the adornments i.e. boleos, ganchos, besos, whatever you want to call them.
©1999 Salsa & Merengue Society