Navigating Tips for Argentine Tango

December 21, 2017 Artistry

Navigation on the dance floor is one of the things that beginners struggle with. It’s a skill often neglected in a lot of tango instruction that just focuses on dance figures. An exception is the series of instructional videos by Daniel Trenner.

Below is a sample video from Daniel Trenner and Rebecca Shulman’s Level III instructional video on Argentine tango. This video goes into depth on many advanced tango topics including:

  • Tango adornments (embellishments) for leader and follower
  • Follower’s Technique in Argentine Tango
  • Ganchos
  • Leg Wraps
  • Creating your own tango dance figures
  • Interchange of leader and follower roles…

…as well as many useful new tips on Navigating the dance floor when dancing tango.

The video is an excellent introduction to the Calicita, one of my favorite dance moves. Using the Calicita, you can easily turn to face a new direction — that’s why it is so useful in navigating the dance floor. I like the calicita because…

  • It is an advanced step, yet rather easy to learn.
  • It gives the follower a chance to do some fun adornments with her free left foot.
  • It can be done just about any time the follower steps onto her right foot.
  • It is a unique, romantic dance movement done in close dance position.

This  tango instructional video is a rare video by Daniel Trenner and is about 90 minutes in length; It is packed full of original content you won’t find anywhere else.  Besides instruction, it in included an inspiring tango performance by Daniel Trenner and Rebecca Schulman. The video below is just a brief sample.

Here’s a chance to expand your knowledge of Argentine tango!

Watch this Argentine tango instructional video clip, then see if you can answer the questions below.

1. What two things does the leader do to indicate that a calicita is in progress?
2. When the leader applies pressure to lift the follower up, why is it not perceptible?
3. What does the Follower do with her right foot during the calicita?  Her left foot?
4. What does the Leader do once the calicita is in progress?
5. How does the leader indicate that the calicita is ending?
6. Why is the calicita useful for navigation?
7. When can the leader “pick up” a calicita?

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1 What two things does the leader do to indicate that a calicita is in progress? — Wrap his right arm around the follower’s back to bring her close to him (if he is in open position). He also lifts the follower up slightly.
2. The follower pushes down when the leader applies pressure to lift her up.
3. Follower just keeps her weight on the ball of her right foot (with heel off the floor) and allows the leader to let her pivot  on the right foot.  She can do various adornments with her left foot and then take her left foot behind her right. Suggestion: watch the video again and look for these things.
4. After lifting the follower up and pulling her close, the leader walks in a circle (usually using back, side, forward grapevine like steps).  He does this as long as he likes until he is facing the desired direction.
5. The leader indicates that the calicita is ending by “letting the follower” down.
6. The calicita is useful for navigation because the leader can easily turn to face a new direction.
7. It is explained a bit later in this video course that the leader can “pick up” a calicita anytime the follower steps onto her right foot.   This is not shown in this brief video sample.  The complete video course is about 90 minutes in length.