Ten tips for a gentlemanly dance.

In a day when gentlemanly conduct seems to be under attack, Tango is the perfect venue for practicing close connection in an attentive, gentle, and sensitive manner. Milongueros, consider incorporating some of the approaches below into your dance.

  1. Make the dance about your partner, not yourself. Become the foil that showcases your partner’s skill and elegance.

  2. Play to your partner’s strengths and abilities and work with or around her limitations. Find a mutually satisfying middle ground.

  3. Protect your partner. Keep her safe on the dance floor. Do not lead a move that will open her or your neighbour to injury.

  4. Provide a strong frame and good balance. This provides structure within which your partner can move and play with freedom and security.

  5. Envision your lead as an invitation, an open door, a suggestion with possibilities rather than rigid expectations.

  6. Allow time and space for a creative and personalized response. Embellishments are her gift of beauty to the dance. Do not rush her.

  7. Be attentive to your partner’s axis and weight shift, ensuring that she is on her axis before a step is taken or executed.

  8. Focus on depth of connection rather than complexity of maneuvers. Don’t worry about boring your partner. She will love you for it.

  9. Leave the adjustment of the embrace to your partner. If she is not comfortable with close embrace do not force it.

  10. Infuse your floor etiquette with respect, reverence and gratitude. Escort your partner on and off the dance floor. Thank her for accepting your invitation and for the dances. Give special attention to the coming together and everything that feeds into this: the eye contact, the extended hand of invitation, the soft embrace. No matter what the skill level of the dance, this opportunity to connect with a beautiful partner in a manner that is “up-close and personal” is to be treasured.

    Smile. Have fun and make sure your partner does as well.