A little Tango lesson: Help me Ronda!
Dancing in harmony with all the other dancers on the dance floor
I am sure most of you know this situation.
Chaos rules. Dancers are running wildly hither and thither (you can´t really call it dancing anymore). Many of them “shortcutting” permanently through the center of the dance floor, and run for miles against the line of the dance, others are overtaking wildly left and right, like they were running a race.
Others instead are outing themselves as radical supporters of traffic calmed aereas on the dance floor and block for hours the dance flow of all the others performing a myriad of figures dancing strictly on the spot.
Secretly I call those dancers “dance floor bollards” .
“Dear bollards, here a short annotation. If you like to dance on one spot, there are many beautiful dances where you can do this, Salsa, Merengue, Rock´ n Roll, Boogie, Chacha, Rumba and goodness knows what else, werden are danced on the spot.”
Tango means movement in the space. Quick or slow, depending on the music and the number of dancers on the dance floor, but in any case movement….
Yes and there are also the inhabitants of Gancho City. the wild Voleo smashers, the tail gaters, always being hard on your heels, no matter whatever you try to shake them off…
Everybody is stressed (Well almost everybody, some never get it if something´s not so great), the general atmosphere is aggressive.
Somehow everybody fights against everybody. Dancing has stopped to be fun.
This can be pretty frustrating.
So, what can we do about it?
The answer is easy.
We dance in the “Ronda”, the harmonious round of all the dancers, the way it is done in good traditional milongas (And believe me, though I am not a fanatic traditionalist, some traditions do have their advantages.)
So what is happening in the “Ronda”?
- All Dancers dance with respect for all the others, and adapt their dancing to the situation on the dance floor.
- Nobody blocks the dance floor unnecessarily long by performing tons of figures glued to the spot.
- Because nobody blocks it is not necessary to overtake, and so nobody does it, neither left nor right.
- Everybody moves up when there is a free space in the line of the dance (But without pushing the couple dancing in front of you ). Actually we are speaking about the flow of the dance. That means you really can imagine this like water flowing continuously but relaxed without hurry (No Tsunami!).
- If there is only limited space on the dance floor, noboby performs big figures or abrupt, unpredictable sallies (no matter in which direction)
- No matter where you are heading to, watch if there is free space in that direction BEFORE you go there. Once again, you dance with the music with your dance partner and with ALL THE OTHER COUPLES on the dance floor.
- Nobody “dances” crossing the center to the other side of the dance floor. Everybody follows the line of the dance counterclockwise along the outside of the dance floor. So everybody has enough space to dance comfortably.
- If the dance floor is so crowded that there´s no more sufficient space on the outside, you dance in concentric circles. Meaning, there is an outer lane (If you can manage to stay there do it, because it is the best place for dancing), and one or several inner lanes. Whoever landed on one lane stays there until the end of the “tanda”. Permanently changing the disturbes the flow of the dance and is absolutely undesirable.
- Nobody dances several steps back against the line of the dance (One or two steps once in a while are okay if there is no free space in front of you and if you make sure that the space behind of you is free BEFORE you step. However, you know by now, that in a traditional, i.e. flowing “Ronda” the other dancers will move up quickly. So be cautious!)
- If there is few space keep your dance simple. Don´t perform complicated figures you don´t master yet (Avoid figures that require a lot of space.)
If all dancers take this to their hearts and dance nicely in the “Ronda” , they create a fantastic vibration on the dance floor, that everyone can feel and that carrys all the dancers. There´s no aggression, nobody is stressed. Everyone dances with everyone. Everyone feels good and at ease.
Whoever experienced this flow, this vibration once doesn´t want to miss it. It improves the own dancing more than hours of learning figures.
That´s it. Now go and dance Tango – in the “Ronda!”
P.S. Tell it to the other dancers…:-)
P.P.S. And No! This “Ronda” has nothing to do with the Beach Boys.