Question to all ladies who dance tango: What do you expect from the men you dance with?

What do you expect from a good dancer?

So, what do YOU think? what makes a man a good tango dancer?

So, what do YOU think? what makes a man a good tango dancer?

Talking with Tango dancers I often have the impression that women value and expect completely different things than their dance partners believe.

Therefore my question to all ladies who dance tango:

What do you expect from a good tango dancer?

What should a tango dancer do, or not do to make you feel comfortable while dancing?

Which tango dancers are the best for you?

I am already curious to see your answers, and I can imagine other men are curious as well…


Just write your opinion in the comment box below.

About Wolfgang Sandt

Mostly nice, patient, humorous, ecoconscious, good tango dancer and tango teacher
This entry was posted in About women and men, My Tango lessons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Question to all ladies who dance tango: What do you expect from the men you dance with?

  1. Elke says:

    Hello Wolfgang,
    probably there is nothing new to you, what I write about my expectations of my tango partner.

    But still I want

    – That he lets me feel at the beginning of the embrace, that he wants to be attentive and that he wants to make sure that we want to do something together right away

    – gives me the freedom to respond to his impulses and waits for me to be able to react calmly and incorporate my ornaments or twists

    – that he shows willingness to interpret the music together with me

    – that he stays with me throughout the entire time of the joint dance and does not drift off into the wonderful world of self-expression, which of course I demand as well of myself

    – that he shows me that he likes dancing with me (if that’s the case)

    he neither teaches me nor makes verbal suggestions for improvement. While dancing, everyone should accept the partner as he or she is and dances

    – that he basically shifts verbal communication to times outside of dancing

    – That he uses the proximity of the bodíes exclusively for the success of the joint dance. That means, I want to be able to breathe freely and keep my necessary freedom of movement, but neither do I want to feel ignored.

    – Of course I do not want to be the necessary dance instrument without which the tango is not possible

    Forget something? Maybe. Everything has been heard a hundred times? Certainly. But funny thing, what everyone knows, is not necessarily implemented by all.

    And a tanda is a tanda and only takes a few minutes.

    And perfection is not desirable in tango.
    So Wolfgang, ask if something is missing or unclear. That’s just the things that came to my mind about the topic.

    And besides, I’m wondering whether I shouldn´t come back to La Rogaia for the workshop with Steve and Debbie in May …

  2. Christine says:

    Hello Wolfgang,
    nice to read from you.
    I am very happy to answer you, maybe you can pass on your results to us as well.

    What I expect from my dance partner: he should be well-groomed, that is, nicely dressed, light perfume.

    When I dance, I do NOT want to take lessons, that is, no instruction or even be lead 5 times in the same step, until I “understood” what he wanted to do.

    Humor is also beautiful, that is, fun and lightness, dancing should be fun.

    And what I expect from dancers I do NOT dance with because they do not even bother to ask me to dance: Once in a while dance even with women over the age of 35 and look around for women you do not know and with whom you “usually ” would not dance.

    • Allisa says:

      I totally agree with your opinion.

      Would like to say that for every woman it is unpleasant to be asked by a sweaty Tanguero .. It would be nice to substitute a sweat-worn shirt or T-shirt first by a dry one, or at least to take a break.

      My praise to those who do it!

  3. Karin says:

    An embrace in which WE feel comfortable

    • Wolfgang says:

      One question: Does the uppercase WE refer to all women, or to the couple?

      • Karin says:

        To the couple, because I think that Tango can only “work” if the dancers of the couple can find themselves in the mbrace for that moment.
        Everything is palpable during this time.
        The music, the leadership, the rythm, the attention and and …

        It does not really matter what level the man is dancing on.

        If he dances on a much higher level than the lady he feels it, but
        takes her a bit further than she believes she can.
        Or, if you dance with a beginner, and the embrace is beautiful, anything else does not matter, because of this embrace it’s a wonderful little dance.

  4. Elisabetta says:

    Hello Wolfgang,
    I expect nothing, but I am happy when the following things are involved:
    humor, musicality, a bit of skill and the wish to communicate, measure, desire to dance something beautiful together, understanding and obligingness

  5. Angela says:

    … .. Mutual, unconventional engagement with each other …… The willingness to get in touch … .unbiased …… The willingness to deal with me as his counterpart ….

    to fathom the secret of leading and following, and the related, resulting freedom of musical, dance improvisation

    just Tango!!!! … simply real life! !!!

  6. Andrea says:

    Sensitive and clear leadership. The better my dance partner guides me, the better I can dance, dream with my legs!

  7. Ulrike says:

    No one is perfect – certainly not me.
    So I do not expect perfection from a tango dancer.

    But I try to be open to my dance partner, to open myself to him and that is what I wish from him.
    Then it’s easy to laugh together about the little uncertainties and misunderstandings …, to indulge in the music (which is the third in the league)

  8. Verena says:

    I expect him to lead me well. And if that does not work out so well at the beginning, the politeness and friendliness to seek the fault not only with me.

  9. Svetlana says:

    Partner should be ready for dialog.

    If I feel that he just demonstrates how great he is using me as a doll, it does not matter how great he really is:-) He is not my choice next time.

    I want my partner to be WITH me.
    It can be three steps he is doing but FOR me and WITH me. I want to be heard, to have opportunity to say what I feel about the music. So, basically it is respect to me what I am seeking for in the partner.

    After the respect is built up I would like partner to surprise me:-) In good way:-) To play with the melody or beat, to add some cherry on the cake.
    Even one is enough for whole tanda, that´s what makes it unforgettable.

    And of course I expect my partner to follow tango etiquette. Starting from clothes up to bringing me back to table after tanda.

  10. joachim says:

    That’s a fine and subtle and eloquent explanation and i think that a vast majority of tangueras would sign the statement.

    When you go for the beef it comes down to “be polite, listen carefully to what she wants, don’t overdo.” and what a surprise – that’s exactly what tangueros expect from a lady. it sounds so easy to perform ;-)

  11. Ursula says:

    What do you (as a woman) expect from your tango partners ?

    First I decided not to write anything about the subject, because this is a very individual and subjective thing and might cause a lot of discussion. But Wolfgang asked me personally to do so, so I changed my mind.

    Here are my thoughts about it:

    When I first read Wolfgangs facebook post, the common things came to mind like cabeceo, nice embrace, good axis, musicality, willing to follow the ronda, a suitable technical basis.., all these things, nothing special.

    Then I realized, that there are a number of dancers who definitely master all this stuff and nevertheless I´m not that enthusiastic about dancing with them. And I asked myself: Why? There are dancers I prefer dancing with even when their dancing skills and technique are not that mellow. Neither are mine. There are always miles to go to become a better ´milonguera´.

    So what do I expect – or better: What do I hope ? Here some points that for me personally are important to have a good tango experience:

    If I decide to accept an offer to dance, Im willing to fully relate to that person for the next 15 minutes. That´s what I expect from my dancing partner as well. Be aware that asking someone to dance equals to offering a 15-minutes relationship…

    This means: make a connection to the music AND to me. Its said that men can do only one thing at a time, but I know by experience that it´s not true. Listen to the music and listen to my body language. Respond. So do I. I try to read your body.

    Don´t think about how you look, who watches you dancing, don´t analyze why certain steps don´t work
    (therefore are tango classes and practicas, not a milonga), don´t muse about whether I meet your or you meet my dancing level or not.
    Stop thinking and start feeling. The woman in your arms will notice!

    Don´t talk while dancing. Let your body talk, that´s enough.

    But -yes, try to make a nice verbal contact between the songs. That´s a living person you are dancing with, not a roboter. Make a joke (humour is a beautiful thing…), a nice comment, a compliment, take her back to her seat and your milonguera will be happy.

    If you are not so fond of words, a sincere smile or a hug will also do. Tell your dance partner when you definitely loved dancing with her. Probably she knows already (women are good body language readers..) , but it is always lovely if somebody can also put his emotions in words.

    Dont try to be superman. Don´t try to impress with crazy steps, don´t dance for yourself.

    Musicality is fine, but be aware, that not only YOU (even if you think you are the most gorgeous dancer in the room) likes to play with the music. Maybe your partner wants to participate in the play, don´t shut her out.

    Generally, dancing with attention seekers , narcissists and super heroes isn´t fun. Fight against any attacks of megalomania. You might be a perfect match for some dancers – for others you are not.

    Being a good dancer doesn´t mean that you can behave like an egocentric spoiled child. I definitely do not enjoy dancing with people of that kind, regardless of their skills. You may end up sitting on the VIP sofa all night, waiting for your dancing queen…

    On the other end – if you are a beginner, watch other people dance -and come to the conclusion, that you look like a ridiculous dancing walross, don´t feed your inferiority complexes, don´t hide away in a corner and suffer.

    Dancing skills are just one aspect of you, that might make you a agreeable, desirable member of a milonga. If you behave like a nice, empathetic, open minded person – that you probably are in other contexts of your life , most milongueras will join you for a tanda.

    I think I ended up writing more about interpersonal mechanisms than about tango -specific issues. I´m sorry for that, but maybe this happens because tango IS a very close interpersonal experience and not only a question of technical details. At least I experience it like that and Iove it.

    Thanks to Wolfgang for bringing up the subject and trying to decipher the milongueras minds and thanks to all the beautiful dancers/persons (men and women) I have met during my tango journey.

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